Ausadavut Sarum | interview

Note: One of the many exciting aspects of online art communities is that they are truly global – important work is not defined by nation or geography. Light Source is dedicated to featuring a diverse array of work from around the world, and engaging those artists in a meaningful dialog. … But language can sometimes get in the way. Ausadavut Sarum is from Thailand, and I do not speak the Thai language. All to say, I have made only slight edits to his responses below in an effort to maintain the tone (and poetry) of his replies. My deep gratitude and respect to Ausadavut Sarum for his willingness to respond, in english, to my questions. – Joseph Squier

Light Source: Your photographs have a strong feeling of a “surface” that is more commonly linked to drawing and painting – scratches, marks, lack of focus, removal of “photographic” detail. Some of your pictures contain almost no detail – it has been mostly removed or obscured – and they become very abstract. Can you talk about why you find these visual qualities so appealing? Why do you prefer to work in photography, rather than drawing or painting?

Ausadavut Sarum: I want to show something ‘deeper and different’, by making photographs that are more of a mixed type of other art altogether; with unlimited new technology, I am finding how ‘aesthetics’ in photography can change or impress the viewer by this new way. In the present time we live in the digital or ‘hybrid’ period; so how far forward can photography go? Or can it even go back to the 19th century, can photography try to be history painting? I have no doubt that photography is a Fine Art, with no need to improve anymore.

LS: Your photographs often contain a human figure, usually one lone figure. Can you talk about why and how you use the human figure? Is there anything you can say about what ideas or feelings you want to communicate with these pictures?

AS: I think the human body can show feeling or tell some story. Just one hand can show feeling – angry or strong or lonely, etc. The human body can show spirit or attitude about human life.

Do your photographs say anything about your personal life or your autobiography, or is your interest in these images purely visual?

I lost my mother when I just only 9 years old. She died in a car accident and I was a witness. I couldn’t stand the pain and became a young boy who created his own world. But you know, life goes on and time goes by. I learned to go on, to get up, to leave all my sorrow behind. I grew up, and when I went to the university I found something special that changed my life: photography. 
And surely in my soul, in my deepest feelings, my sorrow is still there. I found a way to heal my deepest pain. Photography is my therapist.

How long have you been making photographs, and why did you start?

I graduated in Communication Arts, Journalism from Bangkok University in 1987. Even though I took only two courses in photography for my major, I fell crazy in love with photography. I learned by myself, by reading and taking a lot of photographs. After graduation my first job was in-house photographer with a well known Fashion Magazine in Thailand named “IMAGE”. I worked there a long time, nearly 15 years. After that I became a photo editor for a travel and life style magazine named “anywhere”. During that period, I traveled a lot – in and out of Thailand – and got more experiences and saw the world.
 Nowadays I call myself an independent photographer.

What inspires you?

Music and movies. I also get inspiration when travelling, especially the quiet places that hide away, such as nature and the atmospheres around me. Sometimes the quiet or the silence has answers for questions that you have no idea about.

What are your ambitions?

Just one photo book before I die, and that photo book will tell my whole story.

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All images copyright © Ausadavut Sarum, 2016. No re-production or re-distribution without explicit written permission. Contact Ausadavut Sarum via Fotoblur.


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