Over the years I’ve been in the US, I became obsessed with one subject. That is “Wash Your Hands” signs in public toilets. Even though most of them say to employees, the passive message appears to patrons. Explore the diversity of the signs.
This is my contribution to World Toilet Day. It’s a collection of toilets in the cities I was in 2018: Bangkok, Incheon, Washington DC, New York City, Murmansk, Moscow, and Tokyo. Most of the time of taking the photos, I was drinking, no surprise.
I have been fascinated by urban abstract in different cities like Mexico City and Tokyo. Contrary, it took a long time for me to properly explore and take photos of this Bangkok neighbourhood, where I have been living and spending time (on and off) in almost a decade. I guess I just took home for granted.
There are a lot more stories about it. Shopfronts and urban development are just surfaces. The communities and people are the ones that make it vibrant. That is on my pending lists to share the experience.
One thing I have witnessed over the years living in Phra Khanong area is its gradual transformation. Although several new residential buildings are apparent (including my place that used to be a cinema), there is obscure evidence that changes could be traced from its past glory to what it might become–they are shopfront signs.
These signs are from shops in the patch that is now known as W District. But, to be exact, they are on Pridi Banomyong 3 Alley, a small bit of Sukhumvit 71 Road, Edison Alley (Pridi Banomyong 1 Alley), and Sukhumvit 69/1 Alley. Map below.
The collage is roughly arranged in a matrix.
The vertical arrangement shows how old I guess the signs would be. Signages of closed shops and stores that are fading and frozen in time from decades ago are in the bottom. And ones that are running and new business (as of September 2019) are towards the top.
Whereas from left to right is ordered by the languages used. The most left is only Thai on the shopfronts. There are some only in English. Then there are dual-language signs that don’t have to be in Thai. And to the right, there are three in one: Thai, English, and either Japanese, Chinese, or Korean.
Phra Khanong is going through another transformation. And it is not certain that any of this shopfront sign would last for how long in years to come. Old ones might even stay longer than the new.
To me, these different uses of styles, typography, and languages on these signs show the glimpse of its diversity and history of this area.
Something came back to Dump of the Day collections—Abandoned chairs. There were enough of them in Washington DC, mostly in my neighbourhood, to compile them as a gallery.
They have a special place in my heart. My fascination with street rubbish started with them. From that, it transformed into my early personal project in Sydney—Anywhere Chair. I will not replicate it but still enjoy spotting them.