Sweat, the spicy smell of snake oil

… and the hypnotic flute and drumming of the traditional Muay Thai music are filling the air. Meanwhile, in the ring, two girls are fighting like mad men. The drunk crowd filled with locals and a occasional tourist are cheering, shouting and screaming for their favourite contestant.

The girls are here for the money, sometimes forced by their poor families. Before they go up and fight they are roughly massaged and oiled so their muscles are warm and slippery. The fights sometimes last no more then 2 or 3 minutes. A sudden blow from the opponent foot or fist end it all. NEXT!

In August 2012 I was on a photo assignment in Bangkok. Shortly after finishing the job I went to Chang Mai for a motor trip in the mountains. That night when I arrived in my hotel I heard the shouting of the crowd in the boxing stadium below my window. I had to go and see this for myself.

The Muay Thai Thapae Stadium is no more then a few old bricks with a corrugated roof and a ring in the middle. It is surround by bars run by different owners, they all serve a specific part of the crowd with buckets of alcohol. To me the colours and ambience are addictive, I have to shoot this! I look for the owner of the stadium and after some negotiating I am allowed to shoot the games the next night:

Muay Thai Aico LindMuayThai_AicoLind-9MuayThai_AicoLind-10MuayThai_AicoLind-8MuayThai_AicoLind-5MuayThai_AicoLind-6

MuayThai_AicoLind-7

This is the blog of Amsterdam based photographer Aico Lind.

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This entry was published on February 18, 2015 at 15:16. It’s filed under Event, Inspiration, Portfolio, Portraiture, Reportage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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