Learning from Bangkok’s China Town designs

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen 15h40m28s843

The Bangkok Design Week exhibits were mostly located around the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, bordering on Bangkok’s China Town. Some of the venues were even set at the southern edges of the neighborhood in Talad Noi.

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen 15h36m14s792

Many art exhibitions and photo shows were part of the design show displaying two- and three-dimensional visuals and building the base for inspiration for architects and designers. 

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen IMG_2533

Among those, the photo exhibition ‘China Town’ by Yvan Cohen at the River City shopping complex is one show that connects the old town, culturally-rich neighborhood, past, and the contemporary, modern art of photography. The British photojournalist who has lived and worked most of his life in Bangkok takes visitors on an emotional journey into the heart of Yaowarat as the China Town is often called.

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen 15h38m33s624

The Bangkok Design Week organizers understood the connection to China Town, architecture, and design, as much as Yvan Cohen explored it with his photo lens. The rich heritage of architecture and structure is an excellent basis for future innovations and certainly long-lasting design ideas. The exploration of a part of the city that is quickly changing and disappearing is an inspiration and a study for the creative industry.

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen 15h38m22s465

Old buildings are treasures of architectural form and structure that lasted for more than two hundred years and are now crumbling and making room for high-rises and skyscrapers in other parts in the city. And maybe soon here, too. With it, lifestyles and traditions are changing. It seems, though, that in Bangkok’s China Town, the time has still halted a bit, and the city’s authenticity is preserved so far.

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen 15h40m58s537

For the past ten years, Yvan Cohen has been on a quest of light and shadow in this old Bangkok neighborhood where he uncovered cultures, traditions, established friendships. He learnt a thing or two about the secrets of Chinese opera. In the current exhibition, he shares his experiences with the visitors.

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen IMG_2527

Bangkok’s China Town is one of the oldest and largest China towns in the world. Soon after the immigrants arrived from famine-stricken China in the 1780s and in search of a better life. They established themselves as successful merchants preserving traditions, religious ceremonies, and building a strong community.

Bangkok's China Town by Yvan Cohen 15h40m15s917

The neighborhood with its typical wooden shophouses, gold shops, and street-food stalls grew organically. The small streets and allies still remind of times long gone and serve as inspiration. Yvan captured not only the innate buildings but the spirit of the China Town inhabitants and the street atmosphere. 

Bangkok’s China Town exhibition is sponsored by Hua Seng Heng, a gold merchant in Bangkok and China Town. It is Yvan Cohen’s first photo exhibition in Thailand. The RCB Photographers’ Gallery is open to the public until March 31, 2019.

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