Now published “The Liquid Mandala”. Sametr Pattanapornchai, —known by the Thai media as the “mad professor”— used to fill the streets of Bangkok with mysterious hieroglyphs. Probably victim of some obsessive-compulsive disorder, Sametr was a homeless person at drift through the underground spaces of the Big Mango capital. His characteristic graffiti merged vaguely technical diagrams with mystical numerology and Buddhist divinatory charts: allegedly, Sametr was trying to uncover a global conspiracy against him. His faceless foes were leaving, however, a trait of clues disguised as dates of calendar, cartographies and all short of coincidental happenings.

Once he was discovered by artists, bloggers and curators, he was featured first at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center in 2019 and, soon after, at the Bangkok Biennale of 2020. Even if his work was presented next to that of top artists such as Ai Wei Wi, Anish Kapoor and Marina Abramovich, Sametr could still be seen drawing on the pavements around Phra Kannong at that time.

I stay very grateful to French filmmaker Rapahel Treza (author of the documentary ‘Mistery Mind Maps’ about Sametr) and Thai photographer Beer Singnoi for their images and helpful insights.