Born in Bangkok in 1977.
Lek Kiatsirikajorn studied painting at the Silpakorn University of Fine Art in Bangkok before switching to photography, which interested him with its potential for outreach. He was a promising young artist on the Thai scene in 2001 when he decided to move to England and study photography at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth. Immediately after graduating he won the “Fashion Meets Art” prize organised by the British magazine ArtReview. After spending seven years working in fashion and advertising in the United Kingdom with Mario Vivanco and O Studio, he returned to Thailand in 2008.
Kiatsirikajorn’s path has been like that of a boomerang: during 2006-2008 in England he became fascinated with such great American documentary photographers as Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, John Sternfeld and Alec Soth. The way they managed to project a strong image of American society through a personal vision inspired him to look back to his own roots. As an expatriate, he came to think he could understand his home country better than when he lived there: he became aware of aspects of it that he had not seen before, but which would enable him to portray it in a more universal way through images of daily life. It was time for him to “go home”.
As Time Goes By is the project that marks his return to Thailand. The daily realm of the “home” – either the space of the family home or the entity of the nation – was his source of inspiration. He is the first to admit that this was an inherent reflection of his Thai cultural background. These ties take him back to his roots, but without any lapse into nationalism. In his work he is searching for a subtle balance that will express the identity of a citizen of the world who nonetheless has deep roots in his native land. The quality of these photographs focusing on Kiatsirikajorn’s immediate family comes partly from technical skills acquired in England. He shoots negative film with medium format cameras, then scans the film and produces inkjet prints on Archive paper. It is this ultimate step in the process that reveals his experience as a digital manipulation expert: thoroughgoing tonal control lends his images a characteristic richness which may hark back to his past as a painter.