Sotsai / สดใส

2015 - present  
Sotsai aims to be a dynamic illustration of contemporary Thai identity and creative culture. This series explores the merging of traditional culture with the global awareness of the emerging generations of Thai disapora, with an underlying focus on the vast diversity of identities, notably those not often seen in mass media.

This project began organically as a means of connecting with my Thai culture. Though I grew up in Berkeley and Bangkok, I often felt like a stranger in my own backyard when in Thailand. When I was 19 I took a semester off and moved to Thailand full-time for the first time. During this time, I employed my camera as a means of finding and forging community. Making photographs with Thai creatives I met brewed connection, collaboration, and, in many cases, friendship. Over the years, this project empowered me to feel ownership of my transnational upbringing and identity.

Sotsai is my khun yai’s (grand mother’s) given name, and means bright, lively, and vivid— adjectives I associate with Thailand’s rich and energetic spirit.