Writer : Chidsupang Chaiwiroj
Photos : courtesy of the artist
Photographers take pictures. When a photographer publish a book, it must be expected to be a photo book. But that is not the case for Ekkarat Punyatara. His book ‘Black Day’ is not a photo book, but a work of art.
Ekkarat Punyatara is an internationally-recognized photographer who works as the photographer and photo editor of National Geographic Thailand magazine. While his main job focuses on the viewpoint of an outsider, Black Day, which is his personal project, reflects his viewpoint as an insider, as a Thai citizen who was born under the reign of King Rama 9 and had to witness his passing. He said that he would like to do this book as a poetry, and it took him one year to document the mourning period. Wherever he travelled for his work, he carried this theme with him.
When asked how many shots he took, he said he didn’t count at all. For him, quality matters more than quantity, and from endless shots, only 29 shots were selected to be published in this book.
With the intention to make the book ‘handmade’ as much as possible, he decided to go with the simplest object that connect the King with Thai people, the annual calendar. To make the book that gives a feeling like opening a calendar, the thread sewing technique was used so can each page can flip 180 degree. To make the papers stick together, another process, which is the thread braiding by hand, was added by Pixniq, the publishing house. With these complicated process, it took one more year to complete.
Black Day is in the limited edition of 89 copies, available at Open House Bookshop by Hardcover, Central Embassy.