“WHERE IS THE BOUNDARY IS WHEN IT COMES TO THE SAFETY OF MY PRIVACY?” ASKS PHOTOGRAPHER/NURSE PANIDA SRIJAJ. “IF WE’RE TALKING FROM THE ASPECT OF MY PROFESSION, THERE ARE CERTAIN RISKS BUT IF YOU VIEW A NURSE AS A NORMAL YOUNG WOMAN, THEN IT SHOULDN’T BE ANY PROBLEM.”
BOO! A Private Life Photography Exhibition by Panida Srijaj presents the life of the 26-year-old photographer / nurse who is working at an Alternative Medicine Center at Mae Fah Luang University Hospital, Chiang Rai. Panida spends her free time (sometimes while on duty) capturing her everyday life in the hospital she works in, the luxuriant forest in the town, as well as the activities going on in more private spaces such as her own bedroom and regularly uploads the images onto her Facebook. In 2015, Panida met Angkrit Ajchariyasophon at his exhibition in Chiangrai and, having seen the photographs she took through her social media account, Angkrit introduced Panida to CASE Space Revolution, a gallery in Bangkok.
For those who wonder how a young nurse from Chiangrai ends up having her own photography exhibition in a gallery in Bangkok, the aforementioned story is what led to the origination of the show, which is being held from the 4th of February to the 18th of March 2017. The photographs were selected and showcased within three different sections, from the ones depicting her life working in the hospital, to days off spent traveling and, lastly, personal activities taking place in her bedroom (the photographs in this section are semi-nude). The photographs are installed from the farthest wall outside leading in to the furthest end of the exhibition room where the wall is painted in a pinkish red color. Apart from the way in which the work challenges the expectations of a male-dominated society with the photographs of Panida’s nurse friends in rather ‘mature’ gestures that many may find inappropriate, the fact that the works are exhibited at a gallery in Bangkok instead of Chiangrai is also an interesting issue for it illustrates the decision to have the artist’s privacy expressed in a safer environment with the audience (in Bangkok) being a different group of people who might share some experiences with Panida (imagine how the patients from her workplace in Chiangrai would react if they saw the photographs). Nevertheless, Panida’s answer to this question is surprisingly mellow. “Personally, I don’t worry much about it. The question I have to ask back is where the boundary is when it comes to the safety of my privacy. If we’re talking from the aspect of my profession, there are certain risks but if you view a nurse as a normal young woman, then it shouldn’t be any problem.”
TEXT: NAPAT CHARITBUTRA