by Harit Srikhao

The series from 2018 to 2020. It considers the decaying political propaganda of Thailand’s monarchy and nationalism, narrated through the country’s monuments and statues. Srikhao accessed the national foundry where the monarchy’s monuments are cast. There, he documented the plaster fragments, remnants of sculptures built around the country in the 20th century to symbolize a modern and unified kingdom. The project constructs by 3 parts.

First ) The news of the mysterious death of Pakapong Tanyakan, a military academy cadet. It is believed that the cadet died from harsh treatment and the Thai military refused to take any responsibility and concealed the actual cause of his death. As a reaction to this story, Srikhao documents himself in a black suit performing military’s punishment positions and a hundred portraits of a high school student’s head in a military haircut from above.

Second ) His close-up and intimate pictures of national monuments and royal statues show the fragility and mortality of the history and power.

Last ) From his research at the Thai national foundry, the royals did not pose as models for sculptors, they used the bodies of young and healthy men to pose for them. The aim was to project an idea of the kings and queens as healthy, strong and immortal. He photographs young men in the ‘Life casting’ process which is the method sculptors use to replicate the young and healthy bodies for royal family members. He intentionally cast his models to look like ‘Pakapong’

Extension ) The idea of young and healthy body as the perfect representation of Nationalism in Thailand get an influence from the Western. In Germany, Srikhao accessed the German Hygiene Museum to research the connection between body and nation in nationalism. There, the controversial ‘Transparent Man’ (1935 Model) during its maintenance became his main subject as a prototype of Thai nationalism.