By THE NATION
“Ruam Mitr – meaning ‘medley – is the name of a gated community, a fragile proposition that’s nowhere but in the viewer’s mind, composed of images assembled from times and places on the far edges of Bangkok. Built in the swamp of the great delta, a century ago it was the domain of wild life and small communities of outcasts joined by muddy canals, but is now cut through with expressways, golf courses, manicured gardens and palatial houses: order ever on the brink of ruin. This suburb is a movie set filled with props for dramas enacted against the encroaching waters and patchwork wilderness. When the stories cease, the swamp will return,” says Shane.
“Ruam Mitr Village” is Shane’s attempt to understand the centrifugal forces that have propelled Thai society to turn paddy fields and swamps on Bangkok’s outskirts into ironic emblems of impossible dreams.
Scenes from old Thai films are superimposed onto present day images of faux Louis XIV million dollar mansions that teeter between grandiose luxury and abandoned ruin. Each of these composite images is paired with a photograph of the suburban wasteland to create a disturbing yet poignant diptych. In this contentious space between melodrama, illusion and swamp, the real morphs into the fictional and vice versa until we can no longer distinguish between truth and delusion.
Better known as a filmmaker including for the Greek language feature “All for Nothing” (2006), “Ruam Mitr Village” is his third solo photographic exhibition.
For more information, please www.CinemaOasis.com/en/gallery/ruammitrvillageshanebunnag/.