Bangkok, Thailand, 2015
In May of 2015 I accidentally smashed my $1,600 lens after taking it out of my backpack. The glass didn’t have any scratches, however, the focus was completely broken and all photos turned out blurry. Although it was a huge shock at first, I wanted to turn this moment around and “develop the negatives”. I quickly fell in love with this broken look and created a set about broken characters with a broken lens by a former broken soul called “Broken: Amsterdam”.
So I promised myself that I would produce yet another set with the lens in a place that was somehow “broken”. Almost instantly I thought of the weird, crazy Thai metropolis that is Bangkok and the plan for “Broken: Bangkok” was born. After almost a week I still didn’t know how to produce the set. Don’t get me wrong, there are endless things that are “broken” there, but nothing really appealed to me. Bizarre moments were all around me, but I didn’t really feel any of them. I thought about what made me produce “Broken: Amsterdam”. Back then, the creative energy of the set was driven by my deep feelings of frustration that I eventually turned into positivity. I asked myself, whether there was something in Bangkok that could fuel this set.
Every day as I walked down the streets of the city all these pushy street vendors bothered me a lot with their "wonderful" offers. After yet another street vendor shoved a ping pong show flyer in my face one night, it hit me! Literally. I thought to myself: “Alright, it’s on! If you street vendors always have a wonderful surprise gift for me, I also have one!” I took my old 5D Mark II with my broken lens and shot all the people that bothered me on the street. My camera truly felt like a creative antidote for this daily street vendor poison. All of a sudden, my frustration turned into excitement and a positive outlook on the whole situation. I had finally found my inspiration for the set! But see for yourself how I turned these frustrating situations with positivity and creativity into something bizarrely beautiful...