Since 2001, Christopher Wise has lived in Thailand, a place he has photographed for various publications like Forbes, Monocle, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. He has been building a body of work over the last 20 years and, during the pandemic, he decided to Kickstart a publication of his work. He was successful. Near the end of 2021, Thai/ Life/ Style/ generated the $12,000 it needed for publication.
The book is a lush experiment in the details of Thai life, shot using film and digital cameras (see the colophon for a list of cameras used). Wise gives us landscapes, portraits, and details—tons of images in a book that he calls a “scrapbook,” one that details moments and memories from his last two decades in the country.
Thai/ Life/ Style/ is composed of full-color, full-bleed images—all in portrait format. He calls each spread a “diptych,” and some images are playfully juxtaposed (as you can see in some of the images). At the bottom left of each image is a caption explaining the image and locating it within Thailand.
Images like a man lighting incense at a shrine, a father shaving his son’s head for a monk initiation, and close-up portraits of locals suggest that Christopher Wise has been deeply embedded in Thai life. This is, of course, something that a white man with a camera might find hard to pull off for a variety of reasons. But we don’t get the sense that Wise is anything but simply curious about his adoptive home.
About Christopher Wise’s Thai/ Life/ Style/
- Pages: 176
- Photographs: 170
- Edition Info: 200 copies
- Locations: Thailand
- Book Dimensions: 165mm x 240mm
- Publication Date: 2021
- Publisher: Self (Kickstarter)
- Additional Notes: Full-bleed pages; Contains 3 essays by Austin Bush, Lawrence Osborne, and Manit Sriwanichpoom; Introduction by the photographer; Hardcover, full color and debossed; Made in Thailand; Signed
- Price: $60
- Where to Buy: Kickstarter