A project that explores the social, cultural, and political influences and identifications informed by colour and defined by physical and political geography of Thailand.
This project, by Dol Imnamkhao in his 3rd year of Communication Design at Emily Carr University, addressed the complex socio-cultural and political fabric of Thailand and the historical role that colour plays as a metaphor. The print-based project was grounded in a geographic and historical understanding of seven colours that, in some ways, define Thai culture and even daily life in Thailand.
To view a PDF (4.5MB) of the document, visit the link here.
One of the challenges of the project was chronologically documenting the historical influences associated with a given colour and contextualizing those influences geographically and socially. A granular timeline was used to provide both a macro overview and a micro focus on events over time, combined with maps proximate to the timeline for geographic context.
Incorporating notions of the diverse culture in Thailand and how they are informed or influenced by colour, this process image from the InDesign file shows some of the icons of Thailand from cuisine to kickboxing. But wear with care because, as Dole points out, if you dress predominantly in red "others could question you for your political beliefs".
These political representations that use colour as a way of defining ones beliefs are not unique to Thailand, but when one attempts to balance the cultural, geographical and social applications of colour, the use of a particular colour for its rhetorical value can in one sense be quite powerful but easily runs the risk of being misrepresented.
Part of this guide provides information for the visitor to experience the social and cultural colours of Thailand one day (and one colour) at a time. In the case of Purple, the nightlife in downtown Bangkok is a way to experience a colour that hasn't been influential in the political arena since the Free Thai Movement held sway during WWII.
Dol Imnamkhao is from the class of 2015 at Emily Carr University, to view more of his work visit his portfolio site here.