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Photographer Ralf Tooten

Kan Win

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Another photo exhibition by Ralf Tooten is now on in Bangkok. This time, it’s the ‘A.W.C’, or ‘Asian Worker Covered’ exhibition, presenting the artist’s perspective toward workers on Thailand’s construction sites.

Having lived in Bangkok for several years, Ralf Tooten has seen a rapid change in the city. Building projects have mushroomed along with urbanisation. Capital is not the only factor; the workers themselves play a key role in finishing buildings in the city.

Whereas most of the time workers are forgotten, Ralf gives them recognition and dignity. The individuality of these anonymous labourers are captured through his lens.

"The inspiration for my work ‘Asian Worker Covered’ came the first time I was in Bangkok and I saw all these colourful workers around Bangkok and all kinds of construction work, so I was really fascinated," said Ralf Tooten, a photographer.

To Ralf, the eyes of the concealed workers are the windows of the soul and together with the veils, protecting them from concrete dust at work or hiding their true identity, their appearances make their individuality stand out.

With vivid colours and creative ways of wrapping their heads and faces, the unknown labourers render a charming effect through fascinating shots. We learn their fashion through their sometimes recycled outfits, where haute couture is out of sight and only David Beckham is left in their catalogue.

Often portrayed as the downtrodden or the marginalised in society, the workers have finally made their fashion statement! And so they deserve to.

The Asian Worker Covered exhibition is on at Bangkok’s Goethe-Institut on Sathorn Rd until 8 March.


Yours truly,

Kan Win :o

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