An invisible photographer
based in SurrealLand.




Copyright © Krerkburin Kerngburi,
2024. All Rights Reserved.

SurrealLand! | ดินแดนสารขัณฑ์ (สาระ-ขัน) is an ongoing project (2014-present).

SurrealLand!, focuses on the irony of the Thai belief system and social vulnerability to superstition.
The series seizes upon the slipping social semblances and the absurdities of realities.

SurrealLand! is an ideal realm full of “good people” with virtuous deeds, boasting its long-storied history, rich cultural heritage, and proud traditions. It is a moral society where people’s faiths are deeply rooted in Buddhism while embracing sacred or supernatural beings and mystery powers. It is governed by myriads of taboo regulations and laws that exhibit ambiguity and flexibility based on circumstances. Here, some truths are forbidden, like a Twilight Zone in which the surreal intermingles with the real.

SurrealLand! is a series of ordinary, everyday photographs that provoke deeper inquiries into the fluidity of society and challenge conventional perceptions. In Thai society, individuals often evade certain truths, seeking comfort in familiarity and surrendering to oligarchs for survival. The paradoxes that emerge from this dissonance bring “SurrealLand!” into the visible realm where it can be examined and questioned.

SurrealLand! reveals extraordinary happenings hidden within ordinary existence. Shaped by power structures and entrenched beliefs, various societal values have been distorted and naturalised until they are perceived as normal. People subjected to these norms adapt flexibly to their circumstances, reflecting the struggle for survival and security in a country where rigidly hierarchical social and political institutions fail to keep pace with the shifting needs of modern life.

This project set out in 2020 when I returned from my study in the UK and encountered some kind of culture shock. I noticed societal peculiarities that had caused me to question aspects of everyday life I once took for granted. This led me to conceive a project aimed at telling a story about my homeland. In the process of developing this project, I revisited my archives including ones from the Street Photo Thailand collective's 365 Days project in 2014 when I committed to capture street scenes every day for a year. I sensed something intriguing about them that I had never noticed before.

Additionally, I have vivid memories of the mid-2014 coup in Thailand. This event stripped democratic power from the people and continues to impact the country today. It makes me wonder if this country ever truly had a genuine democracy to begin with. Perhaps everything that happened was just an illusion, predetermined by someone. The photographs I captured during that time attest to a crucial moment in my nation's history, documenting the social landscape and reflecting on the behaviour of individuals amidst political upheaval. These observations, coupled with a keen attention to the ordinary details of everyday life, became a catalyst for my deepening interest in exploring and understanding the social and political context that makes up the intricate layers of Thai society into SurrealLand! - I aim to give societal prejudices a twist in this project and encourage deeper inquiry into our societal norms.

*Anything can happen in SurrealLand!, I mean literally.