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THE JUNGLE PHOTOBOOK

Hi Reader, 

"I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you would have never moved" - The Universe

I read this quote and burst out laughing 2 years ago. You see, I recalled a period of profound discomfort that compelled me to leave London and embark on a journey to Asia- a totally foreign place, a complete jungle compared to what I was used to.

As Lao Tzu said -  "New beginnings

are often disguised as painful endings."

But, just like Mowgli in the fabled tales of Rudyard Kipling 'The Jungle Book', this unknown terrain, brimming with mystery and unfamiliarity, became a catalyst for my transformation. In this vibrant and untamed wilderness, I learned to adapt, to thrive, and most importantly, to find harmony within myself.  

"I am Mowgli of the Seeonee Wolf Pack. The jungle is my home." - Mowgli (we're all in the jungle ;) )

Ironically, it was that experience of unease which led me to a newfound comfort in my own skin, more at home on earth and in love with the people, the food, the places like never before... and I discovered a passion, an obsession, with photography.

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - said Confucius

... and that is what I did :) 

Anyways, what I am trying to say is:

 

if you feel like the universe is sending discomfort your way, there might just be a silver lining propelling you on an exciting adventure, new heights, more love, joy... and here's a nice reminder:

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." Confucius

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JAPAN JOURNEY

Tokyo, Japan | January, 2023

''Japan is another world' - said my dad when I expressed my dream to visit the country. I was recently obsessed with making Kimonos, tea ceremonies and started reading a lot about Japanese philosophy

I found this one aspect very fascinating and intriguing- this was a culture that somehow managed to blend a relentless pursuit of mastery, an uncompromising attitude towards cleanliness, and an intense perfectionist mindset with 'wabi sabi', meaning, embracing and celebrating the beauty of imperfection

GINZA, TOKYO

So, I simply had to experience this dichotomy first-hand... and so I did. It's hard to put into words exactly how I felt it, but it hit roughly when laughing with the chef at a local restaurant as he handed me printed-out instructions on how to dip sushi into soya sauce.

"What is important is not the creation of the world, but the creation of ourselves."

Keiji Nishitani, a philosopher of the Kyoto School.

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"The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings."

- Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, a renowned expert in Zen Buddhism:

NARA, OSAKA

"If I were asked to explain the Japanese spirit, I would say it is wild cherry blossoms glowing in the morning sun." - Motoori Norinaga, Japanese scholar of Kokugaku active during the Edo period.

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Ditigal Art Museum

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Art Aquarium, Ginza 

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Mono no Aware: One of Norinaga's most enduring contributions to Japanese aesthetics is the concept of "mono no aware," often translated as the 'pathos of things'. This concept refers to a deep empathy towards things, a sensitivity to the ephemeral nature of life and beauty. It's an appreciation of the fleeting, poignant moments of existence.

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"O snail Climb

Mount Fuji,

But slowly,

slowly!"

- Kobayashi Issa, known

for his compassionate

and humanistic haikus

*A haiku is a form of traditional Japanese poetry that is renowned for its brevity, depth, and evocative imagery. Characteristically composed of three lines, a haiku traditionally follows a syllable pattern of 5-7-5.

 

Haikus often focus on aspects of nature or daily life, capturing a moment in time with simplicity and clarity. A key element is the inclusion of a seasonal reference (kigo) and a cutting word (kireji) in Japanese, which adds a pause or a division in thought, enhancing the poem's depth. The essence of a haiku lies in its ability to evoke emotion and provoke contemplation through its concise and poignant wording.

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Dad was right through: it was another world. I felt out of place and hardly anyone spoke English, but I did feel cared for unexpectedly. Whenever I was lost or confused at least 3 people rushed to save my life, which now looking back, must have been quite funny to witness I felt that Japanese people had open hearts, I even made a friend (she as half English though). 

"What happens when people open their hearts? They get better." - from Mika"Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami... also known for ""Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

I loved Tokyo, I loved the people, I loved the food, (steak and sashimi for breakfast, lunch + dinner yes please!), I loved Onsen, Matcha, the Harry Potter Cafe around the corner from my hotel, the galleries, the animals,... the tiny rooms, strict rules and ques not so much, but the Wagu makes up for it ;) 

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OSAKA CITY CENTRE

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Japan inspired me

to be precise, to master my Art, to make the most of out space, to be more organised and efficient, to queue properly, appreciate silence, ... and boy do I miss steak and sushi. 

The Real Concrete Jungle

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok felt like a jungle. Absolute madness. The Hangover was filmed there for a reason. It's a jungle I am telling you.

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A man, his dog and a pink taxi

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"Knowledge is like a magic wand that opens the door to the world of enlightenment and curiosity."

- King Rama V, one of Thailand's most revered monarchs, known for his modernization reforms and efforts to prevent colonialism. 

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The one thing that made me want to extend my stay, again and again, and forgive the incessant smell of ... absolute garbage let's just call it, the traffic, the carnage, the tourists, the pollution... was the Art. Boy, was the creativity in that city thriving.

 

The Art was really cool. 

"Art is a tool for meditation, a way to connect with our inner selves and the universe."

- Montien Boonma, an artist known for his works inspired by Buddhism and spirituality. 

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TONSON GALLERY

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The use of textiles was prominently featured throughout the exhibits., weaving a rich tapestry of artistic expression.

That didn't come as a surprise. The textile industry in Thailand plays a crucial role in the country's economy, representing a significant portion of its exports. Renowned for its rich heritage in silk production, Thailand has evolved into a hub for both traditional and modern textiles. Thai silk, in particular, is famous worldwide for its quality and unique designs, often handwoven and reflecting traditional Thai craftsmanship.

 

The industry obviously has it's shadow, but, in recent years, Thailand has been moving towards sustainable and eco-friendly practices in textile production, one of the most intriguing being lotus fiber. Unlike conventional cotton, which requires significant amounts of water, lotus cultivation and fiber production are more water-efficient. It also has a natural sheen and is often compared to silk in its texture and feel.

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THE EMPORIUM

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BANGKOK ART & CULTURE CENTRE

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BANGKOK ART & CULTURE CENTRE

I'm a London boy at heart, so it was nice to see Banksy and Goldie.

What icons. Made me feel at home. While Thailand, unlike some of its neighbors, was never a British colony, the influence of British culture can be observed in various aspects of Bangkok's urban life and beyond, especially in the architecture (and commerce).

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"​Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable."

- Banksy

WAREHOUSE 30

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If Bangkok teaches us anything, it's that in the midst of chaos and beauty, there's always a wall or a blazer waiting for a truth to be told.

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"​I think the journey of life is about the search for your inner gold."

- Goldie, born Clifford Joseph Price, is a British musician, DJ, visual artist, and actor, known for his work in the drum and bass genre.

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Tiziano Terzani, Italian journalist or writer: "Bangkok is jarring. A nonstop cacophony of sights, sounds, and smells. You either love it or you can't wait to escape."

6060 ART SPACE

This was a really cool toilet ...

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BANGKOK ART & CULTURE CENTRE

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I feel like nude tones are whispers of color, subtle and sophisticated, a silent poetry speaking

of softness.

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Oh at the cafés were 10/10 and oh my so were the cappuccinos and matchas made with pistachio milk- an absolute 10/10. 

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"I've always liked cafés. You go, get a coffee, sit down, and write. There's something about the atmosphere in a café that sets the mind free."

- Ernest Hemingway

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The places I stayed at were just so gorgeous: soho house and a place right around the corner called the Alberti. So lovely. Will come back. 

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SOHO HOUSE BANGKOK

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“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” 

 

- Frank Gehry

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THE ALBERTI

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Thank you Bangkok for the Art. 

Next Project: Vietnam or Istanbul (not sure yet). 

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👇

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