Galerie Oasis & PhotoBangkok 2018
An exhibition of photographs
by Patrik Budenz
7 July – 31 August 2018
Advertising images of desirable objects, of food, status and sex seduce our fleshly appetites. At the far end of the spectrum is Patrik Budenz’s ‘Samadhi’, exquisite black and white portraits of meditating monks, taken in the forest temples of Northern Thailand in 2016. Instead of making us hungry or envious, we are inspired to stop still, as the portraits pull in our gaze and focus our thoughts with their potent fusion of absolute realism and transcendence: the here and now and the beyond all thought forms.
Like Henri Cartier-Bresson’s celebrated photograph of South Indian guru Sri Ramana, these images of samadhi are both pictures of men and an opportunity to capture the divine—a portrait of God as the quiet no-voice within, the human divine, present and achievable by man through devoted effort.
Patrik Budenz: “While meditation is an exercise of the mind, it still reflects on the body, most of all on the face. I set out to grasp the varying states of mind the practitioner passes during meditation sessions which lasted up to several hours of absolute focus, concentration and dedication. In all that time they are required to be completely alert and attentive to all aspects of the body and the mind that might arise at any moment.”
Last known in Thailand for ‘15 Minutes’, his intense studies of Thai boxers in the moment of defeat or victory, Patrik Budenz (born 1971) graduated from the Neue Schule fur Fotografie Berlin (New School for Photography Berlin) in 2009, when his series ‘Post Mortem’ also won the New York Photo Award. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Deutsche Fotografische Akademie. He has published 3 books: ‘Quaestiones medico-legales – Hinter den Kulissen der Rechtsmedizin’ (2011), ‘Post Mortem’ (2013) and 15 Minutes (2015). He lives in Berlin, Germany.