All About Art in Bangkok's Malls

Walking into one of Bangkok’s dozens of mega malls is anything but your typical shopping experience. Seriously, these places put the Mall of America to shame. Of course there are still typical teen mall rats and stores you could find anywhere else in the world, but there’s something special about the malls I’ve visited so far that makes going to pick up a new pair of shoes much more magical. It could be the fact that there are entire ice rinks in some of them or the movie theaters with full buffet dinners and actual beds for seats. While these things are true (and awesome!), the thing that sets these malls apart in my mind is their epic displays of art.

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Huge installations hang from the ceilings and sculptures are scattered throughout the walkways. Neon lights guide your way from floor to floor and always keep your eyes busy with their quick changes of color. Sometimes there are even complete exhibits, making you feel like you’re perusing an art gallery rather than just simply looking for a new blouse.

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I happened upon one of these exhibitions while shopping at Siam Center one day. Entering through the Siam BTS station exit, I ended up on the Fashion Visionary floor of the mall and was enamored by the creative displays and gorgeous clothing all around me. It took a while to notice the actual photo exhibit being displayed on the walls surrounding because I was too caught up window-shopping at all the stores!

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But once I noticed the photos, shot by renowned fashion photographer Wasan Puengpraset for a project titled “Black & White,” it was hard to keep my eyes away.

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Using the Anaglyph photo technique, which pairs two photos of the same image shot from the left and right side to reflect what we see out of both our left and right eyes, Puengpraset created a third dimension to these high fashion photos that is further pronounced through the use of color separation and overlapping. In these photos, he made the right picture red and the left picture cyan before they were overlapped, but he could’ve switched the colors to the same effect. Isn't it amazing how the photos seem to pop out at you even when you're not wearing 3D glasses?!

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The exhibition was only set to run until September 2013, but it was still going strong when I was there a little less than two weeks ago. If you’re in the Bangkok area, I’d suggest heading over to the Siam Center before it gets taken down, or you can check out Puengpraset’s portfolio for more of his striking work.