The Photo Bangkok Festival has returned, aiming to inspire photographers in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Having had a break since its first event in 2015, Photo Bangkok Festival (PBF) is once again up and running. The festival will run from July 5th to September 9th this year, with programmes that not only cater to photo enthusiasts, but also to families and casual observers. The non-profit international photo festival provides a platform for up and coming photographers all across Southeast Asia. By showcasing their artworks alongside international artists, it helps to inspire and encourage people to contribute their knowledge for the benefit of the community. Its first event garnered plenty of positive attention and attracted over 100,000 attendees, and, this year, the festival has set its sights even higher, and is once again partnering with the prestigious Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre (BACC).

Photo Bangkok Festival

Founded by acclaimed art photographer Piyatat Hemmatat, his triennial festival claims to cover the whole spectrum of photography, from exhibitions and portfolio reviews to workshops and screenings. It brings a unique opportunity for amateurs and professionals alike to benefit from its impressive array of educational programs. One of the main exhibits, Post-Repost-Share, which will be displayed at the BACC from June 6th, examines the current relationship between photographs and viewers. It throws light on how social platforms have changed the way people use their cameras, inviting viewers to relate to various social issues prevalent in Southeast Asia in a thought-provoking way. Through it, the organisers hope to encourage viewers to become conscious of their many shared narratives and also demonstrate how photography can be a powerful tool for voicing the many harsh truths that people live with.

Photo Bangkok Festival

Other exhibits include the Thai New Wave Exhibition at the BACC, various street photography exhibitions, and an interactive installation at the BACC. A new highlight that is sure to draw in the crowds is the Smartphone Photography Contest, which invites the Thai public to submit photos under the theme of Beautiful Bangkok. In Hemmatat’s eyes, smartphone photography is a medium not yet widely recognised, and he hopes that this contest will provide an incentive for others to try it out. For those interested in the practical applications of photography, the Analog Booth is definitely something worth checking out. Opening from July 3rd to 22nd at the BACC, four interactive camera obscuras have been stationed front of the centre, ready to demonstrate the fascinating way light behaves through its myriad of colour filters and kaleidoscopes in a spectacle that will cater to all sorts of interests and ages.

One of the biggest draws of the whole event has to be the Portfolio Review, which will run from the 24th to 25th of July at the BACC. Partnering with the PHotoESPAÑA and the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok, this program gives aspiring photographers the chance to showcase their works to international experts by offering them one-on-one appointments that will last for 20 minutes and offer them the opportunity to seek constructive feedback and advice. Selection of participants will be open call, and the online entry deadline is July 3rd, with a 1,200 Baht entry fee.

So, whether it’s a spectacle, some fun, an exhibition of thought-provoking imagery or some serious career advice you are after, anyone with an interest in photography is sure to find something to enjoy at the the Photo Bangkok Festival 2018. All details are below.

Date: July 5th – September 9th
Where: Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, 939, Rama Rd, Wangmai, Pathumwan, BKK 10330 (Main exhibitions, Analog Booth, Portfolio Review)