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Pornsak Sakdaenprai

A mini-retrospective of Thailand’s forgotten photography master

7 July – 27 August 2012


Thai country music (Luke Toong) and its stars’ romanticised appeal once shaped the identity of lower-class Thais and most rural people. Pornsak Sakdaenprai’s Pornsilp Photo Studio achieved success by manifesting such fantasies, transforming the sun-burned young farmers of a small Isan town into glamourous Luke Toong gods and goddesses as they appeared on worshipped record covers.

These 30 black and white photographic prints, taken between 1965 and 1967, by Pornsak Sakdaenprai, 74, the number one photographer from Pimai district in Nakorn Ratchasima province, reflect the influence and inspiration of the Golden Age of Thai country music, as one of Thailand’s oldest communities began to open up to modernisation and ‘civilisation’ by thronging his studio for new images of itself.

Kathmandu Photo Gallery is proud to present the work of Pornsak Sakdaenprai, printed from the original glass negatives, all previously unexhibited, to honour this master photographer as part of our ‘Seeking Forgotten Thai Photographers’ project on neglected artists hitherto unrecorded by Thai photographic history.


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