Photography Cinema

Piyatat Hemmatat: Ballistics

Image Maker
Piyatat Hemmatat
In pursuit of his growing passion for experimental arts, Piyatat HEMMATAT (b. 1976, Bangkok, Thailand) studied Fine Art at the City & Guilds of London Art School, and then earned his Master’s degree in Visual Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2002. After working at a design studio in London from 2004 to 2007, he returned to Thailand, established his eponymous studio, and founded RMA Institute (2009-2019), a creative exhibition space for emerging, regional and international photography and other art. His community projects eventually evolved into PhotoBangkok, Bangkok’s first homegrown International Photography Festival, that he founded in 2015. Piyatat’s multimedia explorations in photography, sculpture and video installation encompass a variety of narratives including socio-political commentary, faith, spirituality, abstract experimentation, and conceptual photography. He has published and exhibited both locally and internationally, and is recognised for his experimental works combining ideas of beauty, nature, science, technology, mystery and mythologies.
Place of Origin


Historically, the survival of an individual, tribe, region or country has largely depended on its progress in the arms race; the ability to hunt, protect, attack, defend, disarm, thrive and evolve. A strong military arsenal or personal weapons can be both an intimidating threat or a peacetime deterrent.

The global military industrial complex is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and engineering. It constantly pushes the technological boundaries and is the biggest business enterprise in the world. Aside from arms and military capability, it has given the world other kinds of technological breakthroughs: double-edged swords such as digital communications and smart production platforms, including the internet, mobile phones, GPS, robotics, space programmes and AI.

The very idea of weapons is understandably a polarising subject. Its nature is extreme with contradictory design elements of beauty and ugliness. Firearms specifically have their own distinctive aesthetics and represent the dualities of creation and destruction, the mechanical and organic, terror and inspiration, light and dark. Technology truly expresses and brings out the best and the worst within all of us.

Guns are weapons used with hands and arms as an extension of the human form. Fundamentally analogue tools, they have evolved from archery, swords and spears. The entire project of Ballistics consists of a series of photographs, sculptures, and video installations created using different calibre guns and bullets.

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