Press release for upcoming show at Coban’s New York Muay Thai Camp, for immediate release:
Lookchaomaesaithong: The Photography of Eight Limbs
June, 23rd, 2012
335 W. 35th st. 5th Floor, New York
As Muay Thai grows in international popularity, and gains a heightened level of recognition and respect, it is important to understand and highlight its roots, origins and traditions. Over the previous three years, documentary photographer, Jacob Barak Klensin, has been working to capture the world of combat sports in a uniquely intimate way. His work has shown elements and topics that are often times misunderstood, and even directly contradicted in popular perception of professional fighting. It focuses not on the sport, but on the people behind it, on not only the physical, but more importantly the emotional dedication and sacrifice seen daily. It shies away from the action, the excitement and the glory seen on television and in magazines, but rather displays the day to day process of dedicating oneself to the life of a fighter.
Recently, Jacob travelled to Thailand, in hopes of beginning a new process in his body of work, exploring the roots of disciplines that make up modern fight sports. While there, Jacob spent time at a small number of camps, not only photographing, but fully immersing himself in the experience of living and training alongside young Thai, and foreign fighters. One of those camps was Lookchaomaesaithong, in Buriram, an area known for producing the large majority of traditional Thai Boxing champions. One of the many champions produced by the small camp, Coban Lookshaomaesaithong (having taken the name of his camp out of respect and loyalty), has recently gone on to open his own Muay Thai camp in Manhattan, in hopes of creating a new international bridge for fighters between Thailand and the U.S. On June 23rd, this New York gym will be the first Muay Thai camp to host an art show, entitled “Lookchaomaesaithong: The Photography of Eight Limbs,” displaying images of traditional Thai fighting. The images will show young fighters as they take the early stages of the very same journey, in the same space, and with many of the same people, that led Coban to become a five-time world champion.
“The Photography of Eight Limbs” a revolutionary, one night only event, will not only uniquely connect the two camps, but create an environment where the audience will be entirely surrounded, not only by photos, but by the art of Muay Thai, and stories and lives of those who have dedicated their lives practicing it. For those within the fight community, it will take place in a setting entirely familiar to them, while inviting them into a new facility, set up by one of the sport’s greatest. For those who may not be trained fighters in any capacity, the art on the wall will be hung in the environment that has made the entire project possible, allowing the show to be more than what is simply framed and hanging. It is our hope to create an event that will appeal and speak to an extraordinarily wide audience, showing “the art of eight limbs” in a new, exciting, and creative way. Please join us for “The Photography of Eight Limbs,” as New York’s most authentic Muay Thai camp hosts this innovative display of one of the world’s most beautiful forms of combat.