Hideous in Thailand: Thailand’s Songkran festival

Thailand’s Songkran festival is a fun-filled ritual on which visitors compete in “ritual piercing”, including chains and ribbons on the hands and feet. While the fully gory portraits might be off-putting, the spontaneity of…

Hideous in Thailand: Thailand's Songkran festival

Thailand’s Songkran festival is a fun-filled ritual on which visitors compete in “ritual piercing”, including chains and ribbons on the hands and feet. While the fully gory portraits might be off-putting, the spontaneity of the subject matter has fuelled a subculture of tattooing or body piercing – once only available to wealthy Thais in downtown Bangkok – and a thriving industry in photography and documentary making. Strange and beautiful. Once the new year ends, major Bangkok tattoo parlours are booked solid from early May onwards. Follow the small hint at the innasit YAI DO shop, 80 Degree Eel Road (T-15 0V2, phone +66 (0) 2427 1871), then make your way to the street where tattoo artist Asot_A, just two streets away, is taking reservations. Asot_A is open 12pm-6pm daily. YAI DO is decorated with deep green and crystal-mirrored chairs that would make Ethel Merman proud. Their new location opens this weekend. This is a fast food joint of a shop with rice bowls and rice teas on the side. There is no food or drink counter, just takeaway buckets in the window. On April 16 to 21, the night is open as a jazz night, with live music from 10pm. Phone +66 (0) 2427 1881 for more details. The Lee & Low Paper Arts Centre’s permanent exhibition, Toolkit, opens on April 20 at 39 Innovation Thing/Nau Baro, Colaba, Mumbai. The exhibition explores the careers of professional photographers, including Bhavani Darlington and Param Hajrusewara, both consultants at The Lee & Low Paper Arts Centre and both working in the Hindi subcontinent. There are over 40 images chosen by bi-lingual curators. There will be a showing and discussion on April 21 at 12pm. For more information visit fungthayad.com. Scroll down for a selection of other entries to our Hideous in Thailand series. Follow the link below for more help with creating a competition entry

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