The Making of a Photo Exhibition

The Making of a Photo Exhibition

The year was 2015 and I’d been living in Bangkok for a few months. I used to love wandering around the city taking photos and writing about what I’d done.

I was doing some research to find out if there were any castles in Thailand when I came across a map, produced by the European Union National Institutes for Culture in Thailand (EUNIC), that had information on European heritage. I started reading and decided that I was going to start my own little project for Talkingthailand.

On The Trail of Bangkoks European Heritage
Source: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/delegations/thailand/europeanheritagemap/

I made a list of the places I wanted to find and started to explore the city. I was really interested in the history behind them. I also love walking, so I thought it would be a good idea if I could combine both of these things and create a book so people could learn about the history and go in search of these places for themselves.

That’s how my idea for On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage was born. A year later, I self-published my first book. I was very proud of myself.

On The Trail Of Bangkok's European Heritage
On The Trail Of Bangkok’s European Heritage

As someone who loves taking photographs, I always wanted to hold my own photo exhibition and my idea was that I could exhibit photos from my book.

I already knew of just the place. Dialogue Coffee and Gallery – a small Indie cafe on Phra Sumen Road. I knew the owner, Narin, because I had already reached out to him to have a copy of my book on show. Narin told me that anyone could display their work in the art and exhibition space upstairs. Anyone, who wasn’t well-known that is – enter me!

On The Trail of Bangkok's European Heritage
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage

After discussing the details, the date was set. I was really happy, but soon realised I had less than a month to sort everything out. At least this gave me a kick up the butt to get on and do it!

There are 47 places of interest that feature in my book and I knew the gallery space at Dialogue was too small to hold them all. The first thing I did with my faithful assistant, Chris, was to go back to Dialogue to measure the space. I’d already bought some frames, so I knew how big the photos would be. We returned to Chris’ house and replicated the space with a tape measure and books to try and work out the spacing between the frames. Once we had finished our makeshift gallery, I knew I had room for 11 photos, so I bought the rest of the frames.

The next thing I had to do was get the photos printed as 20×30 inch prints. This was easy as there was a photo shop near my home who did an excellent job. I also had postcards and bookmarks printed for sale. Other items such as a price list and information cards for each photo were created by me and printed at home.

A few days before the exhibition opening night, Chris and I transported the 11 framed photos and other items over to Dialogue to set up. Much to our pleasant surprise, our dry run in Chris’ living room proved to have been worthwhile. The photos were hung in the places we’d planned!

It took more or less the whole day to hang the photos in their designated spaces, to lay out all the postcards and bookmarks for sale, and to make sure the space was as perfect as we could get it!

A few days later, we returned to Dialogue all suited and booted for the opening night!

On The Trail of Bangkok's European Heritage
About me

We arrived, had one final check to make sure everything was in its place (and the photos hadn’t fallen down), started the music up from Chris’ laptop, and waited for my guests to arrive.

On The Trail of Bangkok's European Heritage
On The Trail of Bangkok’s European Heritage Exhibition

I’d already invited people I knew, so at least I would have a few people there. To my surprise a few folks came who had just popped into the cafe and realised there was an exhibition going on.

I even managed to sell a photo and a couple of books. So, all in all, a very successful evening.

My exhibition ran from 3 – 25 November 2017 and all too soon it was time to return to Dialogue to take down the photos.

I am immensely proud that one of the things I wanted to do had become a reality. It was a great experience and one where I got to put skills to use such as creativity, organisation, and collaboration. I couldn’t have done it alone though and, thankfully, I had my trusty assistant, Chris, to help every step of the way!

The photos that made the cut..

And, just for fun, the videos we recorded of me trying my hardest to explain what my exhibition was about!

Here are more photos of European Heritage in Bangkok:

10 Replies to “The Making of a Photo Exhibition”

  1. Fabulous post Gill and congratulations on the exhibition!

    I saw your post last year and could relate what you were going through. It’s nerve-racking and don’t think that people understand just how much work goes into holding an exhibition.

    Any planned in the UK when things open back up? Oh and can’t remember what part of the UK you’re from? Watched your video, which is cool – you’re a natural – and my partner heard a bit of west-country in your accent! 😉 x

    1. Ah thank you Nilla! Yes, it is nerve-racking! Putting your stuff out there and opening yourself up to feedback – good and bad! Thankfully, I received only positive feedback, but that’s the risk you take ay? It’s worth it too! I am thinking of doing something here and will look into possible venues when things open up again! Mind you, I haven’t got my faithful assistant with me anymore! My hometown is in Northampton, but I was born in Edinburgh and moved south when I was 12, so my accent changed at that young age! I also lived in Swindon for 4 years, so my accent is a little mash up of Scottish and west-country! LOL Everyone picks up on it! I loved doing those videos! Have a fab week ahead! xx

      1. It certainly is, especially on your first exhibition! But then, it’s a fantastic way to grow in your art and of course to gain exposure. Did the exhibition result in any sales?
        What a mix! Ha, ha, he picked the rolling of the ‘Rs’! 😉 x

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