Kody Kohlman

While I Was Blind

These photographs were shot over the course of a year living and teaching English in Phetchabun, Thailand.  Prior to my arrival, I had an idealized vision of what living in Thailand would be like.  I imagined white sand beaches, monoliths protruding from turquoise waters, vibrant rainforests and a country that would be a perfect home.  It wasn’t until I set foot in Phetchabun, the town I would be residing in for the next semester, that the reality of my situation kicked in.  Living landlocked in the middle of the country, I was exposed to extreme poverty, a lack of sanitation, harsh weather conditions and a general sense of displacement.  It was through this experience that I was able to view Thailand for more than its’ tourist attractions and see the true soul and essence of the country.  My original idea for this collection was one that would be filled with images of landscapes, but throughout my time away, the photographs I was taking slowly began to sway in a new direction. I had started documenting how much more there is to a heavily touristed country than what you generally see on postcards and social media.  These images are aimed at representing the differences of what you see to what you get, both internally and externally.