Pha Koeng { 34 images } Created 13 Jul 2017

This series entitled "Pha Koeng" documents a site of number of Thai Buddhist monks’ dilapidated wooden huts on stilts, within the jungle temple grounds of Wat Pha Koeng, located in the Chaiyaphum province of Northeast Thailand. It was inspired by two photographs. The first was the discovery of a pair of discarded trousers embedded in the mud, on the farmland we were working on. Initially I gave it the title "The Runner" though in subsequent images (taken over several months) it became the "Lindow Man III". The trousers represented motion (they seemed to be running) that were trapped within the mud. The last time I visited them, they were still half buried in the earth but ground around them had become scorched by a freak forest fire. Several photographs of a views through the windows of the abandoned monk’s mediation huts became the second source of inspiration. The views were completely obscured by thickets of bamboo shoots. Paths or tracks that meandered off into the distance and suggested a way out – potential escape routes also fascinated me.
The freedom of one's mind opened through concentrated meditation seemed to be at odds with the harsh physicality of confines of the impenetrable bamboo forest. The series originated in 2011 and has continued through 2017, as I documented its destruction by fire as the site was cleared for reconstruction.
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