Traveling to a foreign land is often a turn towards the unexpected even if one views a bevy of itineraries online or does some prior research. And this is certainly the case when Belgian photographer Krzysztof Szczurek visited scenic Thailand. Staying in Bangkok, he was startled by the heat and humidity – worlds apart from his home country’s cool temperate climate – and was literally and figuratively amazed by the local color. He compiled his more picturesque observations in his photo series Bangkolors.

In perusing the photos, one would notice that Krzysztof was going for an insider’s approach instead of capturing postcard images that focus on tourist destinations and pristine structures. He magnified the various colors found in the city using saturated and vibrant tones, from people’s clothing and everyday things to the peculiarities found in Bangkok’s thoroughfares. The photographs may appear like random snaps at first, but upon close inspection, viewers will see that the emphasis on hues comes as the visceral link of the entire series.

Krzysztof uses a square format for every image, which trains the viewer’s gaze towards the color of items and other specific details that he intends to underscore; ultimately, he’s conveying the city’s remarkable vibrancy and the high level of animation found in the everyday lives of locals. In browsing through Bangkolor’s pages, one can readily imagine the streets’ collection of sounds, the sharp flavors of Thai fare, and the excitement of riding a “tuktuk” for the very first time, among others. The series, however, is no visual travel agency; rather, it’s a casual stroll through Bangkok’s side streets sans the map and the touristy veil.

“It’s about recycling the forgotten, bringing to the surface the invisible, and giving value to the underestimated,” Krzysztof admits. After all, in a world filled with travel tours and tourist destinations, travelers tend to forget the beauty found in foreign cultures and simple day-to-day things. Bangkolors reminds us that the self actually holds more weight than the selfie.

© Krzysztof Szczurek (Belgium)
© Krzysztof Szczurek (Belgium)
© Krzysztof Szczurek (Belgium)
© Krzysztof Szczurek (Belgium)

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