Bangkok Sketchwalk, Wat Kalaya Pier Alley

March 18, 2013

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A4 Laloran 120g sketchbook; graphite pencil and watercolours.

Wat Kalayanamitr stands majestically overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Its height alone makes it stand out on the skyline of the western, undeveloped side of the river.

This alley runs away from the Wat Kalayanamitr, along its eastern boundary, away from the riverside to the Wat Kalaya ‘land-side’ residential area. The alley ends at the main highway, with something resembling an Ancient Roman triumphal arch. The alley has small shopfronts but is not at all as earnestly commercial as those on the eastern side of the river. There is a distinctly rural feel; it’s not out to prove itself, though its inhabitants are certainly quietly struggling. It could have been the high street of an “old-time” village anywhere in SE Asia – I scarcely felt I was in Thailand specifically.

This includes all my routine favourite themes in urban sketching: ways in which buildings can dominate their environments, plus clash between the traditional and the contemporary

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