Living With Spirits by Ben Davies
ISBN 978-616-7277-02-8. 132 pages All pictures Duotone on 157 grs Japanese paper. 24×27 cm. Hard cover with jacket. US$35. A personal photographic journey into the heart of Thailand’s spiritual world.
LIVING WITH SPIRITS takes you on an extraordinary photographic journey into the heart of Thailand. From the remote mountains of the North where shamans make sacrifices to the rice spirits, photographer and travel writer Ben Davies criss-crosses the country in search of animist rituals and ceremonies. In Yasothon, as the heat of the dry season turns the rice paddies to dust, he observes villagers firing rockets at the clouds to remind the spirits that it is time for the annual monsoon rains. In Trang, he watches as devotees bathe in scalding oil and pierce their cheeks with swords to demonstrate the power of the gods. Over a five-year period, Ben travelled the length and breadth of the kingdom photographing astrologers, spirit mediums, tattoo masters, abbots, palm readers and even a floating nun. His magnificent selection of black-and-white images, accompanied by short incisive text, provide a unique window onto a traditional but fast changing way of life. Reviews “Living with Spirits succeeds in providing a rare insight into a belief system that runs through the country’s bloodline…” Traversing the Orient Magazine. “Atmospheric, personal and poignant..” Bangkok Post. “A fascinating glimpse at the diverse thinking and mystical beliefs that are deeply rooted in Thai society….” Dateline Magazine.