Bangkok Archive

Ulf Svane


20 Feb - 19 Mar 2024

Bangkok Archive is a documentation project based in Bangkok, founded by award-winning Danish photographer Ulf Svane. Driven by curiosity and a love for the city, we visit old, authentic places and talk to the people who keep these places alive. Due to rapid economic development, these places are constantly at threat of gentrification, relocation and closure. We consider ensuring a lasting memory of these places an urgent task.

As newcomers enter and new demands and habits emerge, with each passing year the city loses some of its distinct cultural-historical identity. With each refurbishment and demolition, the city's décor is irreparably changed. At the same time, rising house prices in the city center push large segments of the population further out into the suburbs. Hand in hand with the relocation of people follows the departure of traditional businesses and small industries. Their way of life had set the standard for the environment and appearance of the city for decades. Traditional places to meet, eat, and drink with friends and family, or have your clothes washed or your haircut are at risk of disappearing.

We intend to ensure a memory of these places and the personal narratives that hide in plain sight. We wish to remember the city as it used to be and, through this, ask ourselves what kind of city we want to live in in the future. We want to question urban development and the political priorities on which it is based. We believe that the old places are an important part of Bangkok's identity, worth fighting for and preserving so that new generations can get to know the city’s spirit and reflect on the it's future.

The project is an extension of the Copenhagen Archive, a project which narrates the metropolitan development of Copenhagen. Keeping the focus on individuals and on one-to-one images of daily lives, these projects aim to document those people and places who are often overlooked in traditional cultural heritage representation. In collaboration with UNESCO and the World Congress of Architecture, the Copenhagen Archive will exhibit the artworks at the Copenhagen Museum and publish them as a book by Lindhart & Ringhof in May 2024.

“Bangkok Archive / บางกอกรำลึก” C43 : Fashion and Inspiration Space, Charoen 43 Art & Eatery 20 Feb - 19 March (Tue-Sun 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.)

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