Peter Nitsch – Shophouses

“Far from the traffic jams and the go-go bars, Nitsch takes us into the front rooms of the eight million ordinary Thais who are the real Bangkok: busy, chaotic-looking, organised by an impenetrable idiosyncrasyand unashamedly human.”

– John Burdett, Author


The city as a living space, and that with its related concept of urbanism as a social phenomenon that according to Louis Wirth describes the rationalised lifestyle of urban people in comparison to the provinciality of rural inhabitants, is among the great themes of contemporary photography.

Barely uttered, the “magic word” creates in our minds large pictures in which develop the technological aesthetic of urban-building excesses in globalised mega-cities. What we often forget in this respect is a second dimension of urbanism, which embraces the coexistence of various types of people, each with their own identity, in a limited living space.

With his SHOPHOUSES – 4 x 8 m Bangkok series of works, Nitsch focuses precisely on this dimension.













This time-lapse shows half a day in a Bangkok “Hair Salon” and it‘s result, a 1.80 x 1.80 m framed image and it‘s preparation for an exhibition in the Kathmandu Gallery. It isn‘t intedended to be a perfect time-lapse. Instead, it tries to visually emulate the rough and changing color settings and thus be closer to the real feeling of this particular “Hair Salon” – a buzzing honeycomb in the humming megacity Bangkok. If you attend the salon you really feel transported back in time, Thai-music from the 70‘s radiates out of the 20 year old radio, people chatting amongst one another as if they were old friends – and the owner looks after you like you were her own daughter or son – you really feel at home there.

In this “Hair Salon”, life and work are close roommates. Whilst the people are getting nice hair cuts, the owner of this mamma and papa house is preparing food for her lunch (you can see the potato peelings lying on the floor in the final fine-art photography at timecode 02:46 – which is permanently exhibited in the entrance at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangkok – shown at the end of the time-lapse).

More photographs from this ongoing project can be seen in the app “SHOPHOUSES – 4 x 8 m Bangkok:

More interesting stories on Peter Nitsch’s website.

Peter Nitsch lives and works in Munich and Bangkok. He’s background is located back in the early eighties of the German Skater scene. He is co-founder of the Playboard Magazine, ‘get addicted to … DAILY MIX OF CREATIVE CULTURE’, Rupa Design, Rupa Media and runs his coworking photography space and app called PIXS IT.

Nitsch has won several international awards both as designer (New York Festival, BDA …) and photographer (Los Angeles International Photography Award, Hasselblad Masters semifinalist …). His work as designer has been in the area of Print and On Air Design for clients such as Universal Studios, ProSieben, 13th Street, SciFi Channel and United Nations.

Peter Nitsch is among the advanced representatives of fine art photography in Germany. The cultural process of upheaval in Southeast Asia and especially the conflict between Thai identity and the globalised living conditions in the region are focuses of his photographic work.

Nitsch is also a contributor to The SIP (Shpilman Institute for Photography), a research institute that aspires to facilitate, promote, initiate research, open debate and creative work in the field of photography and related media.

• Peter Nitsch on twitter;
Interview for Art Review
• Peter Nitsch on Wikipedia.