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Unseen Burma: Visual Impressions, A Testimonial of the Golden Land

Burma, known today as Myanmar holds its rich history and culture. During the colonial era, it was considered an ‘exotic land’ that extended eastwards from India, then under the rule of the British Raj. A one-hundred-year period from 1862-1962 encapsulates the dynamic history the country had progressed through from being a partially dynastic independent kingdom to a full colony under the British, then its brief independence post Second World War.  The book ‘Unseen Burma Early Photography 1862-1962’ provides a kaleidoscopic visual feast of this country through a well-curated collection of rarely seen old photographs accompanied by detailed captions.

The introduction of photographic technology in Burma since the second half of the 19th century and its widespread popularity from the early 20th century onwards allowed the visual records of this land to be captured. Ranging from portraitures of elites, significant events, and modernization to scenes from vernacular lives, personal mementos, etc., these vignettes from bygone days have lived to tell their stories.

At this book talk organized for The Siam Society, the author will zoom in, through a hand-picked group of photographs from the book and discuss different social, political, and cultural facets that left various trajectories in Burma’s modern history and people; some of which served as antecedents of how modern days Myanmar come to be.

About the speaker

Mr. Thweep Rittinaphakorn (AKE) is an independent scholar whose work focuses mainly on the textiles and art history of mainland Southeast Asia.  He is a textiles curator of The Siam Society’s collection and a regular speaker for the Siam Society, Thai Textiles Society, and The Bangkok National Museum Volunteer group.

His research on Shan elites’ costumes & photographs and Burmese tapestry silk ‘Luntaya Acheik’ was presented at the annual conference of the Association of Asian Studies in 2014 & 2016. He also spoke at the 13th International Burma Studies Conference of Northern Illinois University Burma Studies Center in 2018,  The 7th and 8th ASEAN Traditional Textiles Symposium in 2019 & 2022,  and The Irrawaddy Literary Festival, Mandalay in 2019. His research articles on these subjects were published in “Textiles Asia Journal” as well as “Arts of Asia” magazine. Recently, he just launched his book titled “Unseen Burma Early Photography 1862-1962”, a compendium of old photographs accompanied by well-researched information.


Thursday, 20 April 2023 at 19:00


Lecture Room, 4/Floor, The Siam Society


Members and Students — Free of charge
Non-Members — THB 200

For more information, please contact

To book your place, please contact Khun Pinthip at 02 661 6470-3 ext 203 or

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