Eat Me Art: THE HOUSE OF THE RAJA by Spanish photographer, Xavier Comas
4 AUG – 13 NOV 2014
Forgotten in Thailand’s troubled Deep South, stands a dilapidated wooden palace once home to a Malay ruler, the last of his dynasty. Locals call it the ‘House of the Raja’, a place suffused with loss and solitude, laden with the region’s glorious past and tragic present. Intrigued by this demonized, yet little-known borderland, Xavier Comas chanced upon this mysterious house. The caretaker, a Muslim shaman who held rituals inside, invited the author to stay and initiated him into its hidden dimensions. As he builds a bond of trust with the inhabitants of the house, the missing pieces of its history gently fall into place, revealing an ancient culture long hidden and the building’s ties to the centuries-old struggles in this contested region.
Comas’ evocative black-and-white photographs take us into a realm of hauntings, mystic powers and fading memories. His first-hand account enthralls the reader with vivid descriptions in which the real and the magical entwine. The House of the Raja provides a missing key to controversial issues of legacy, belief and identity in Thailand’s Muslim South.
‘Xavier’s photographs are arresting and extraordinary – in their subject matter, technical virtuosity and emotional intensity. As soon as I saw them, I wanted to publish his work. As we worked together, I discovered that his writing was poetic and evocative, dealing with difficult subjects with sensitivity and depth, weaving a tale that draws the reader in to a mysterious world. River Books are proud to publish his book.’
– Narisa Chakrabongse, Editor and Publisher, River Books.
‘The House of the Raja’ will be on display at Eat Me Restaurant from 4 August until 13 November 2014. Eat Me Restaurant is open to the public daily between 3pm and 1am.
Presented by H GALLERY, Bangkok