An exhibit of the photography of Shady Side Academy alumnus Michael Seamans '01 is now on display in the lobby of the Hillman Center for Performing Arts on the Shady Side Academy Senior School campus in Fox Chapel.
The exhibit features images of Muay Thai boxers in Thailand. Muay Thai, or "Thai boxing," is a martial art and the national sport of Thailand.
"These images were made over the course of six trips to Thailand between 2016 and 2019," said Seamans. "I was at a creative low point in my life when I began to spend time in the working Muay Thai Gyms in Bangkok. I had traveled to Thailand to train at these gyms, not document them, but I was quickly inspired by the boxers, trainers and characters who populate them and knew I needed to try and capture what I could."
"I had fallen away from my life as a photographer. I didn't even travel with a camera at that time, but after a few days in Bangkok I went to the 7-11 and bought a disposable 35mm camera to try and photograph some of what was around me with little success. When I returned in 2016 I brought with me a proper camera set up, and began immersing myself into this world through my camera."
|Senior School Art Teacher Tony Goodwin |
and Michael Seamans '01
"In Thailand, Muay Thai is a profession, not a hobby. It is a way for boxers to earn money for themselves and their families. Young boxers will move to Bangkok and live at gyms where they go to school during the day and then train at night, usually competing monthly to send money back home to the villages they call home. Inside these gyms they find camaraderie, mentorship, and make enduring bonds. This is a small window into that world."
Seamans has a lifelong love of photography and the arts but has dedicated his life to entrepreneurship. He lives and works in Pittsburgh, where he co-owns Fungus Books and Records in Regent Square and SKN Muay Thai Gym in Larimer.
The photography will remain on exhibit in the Hillman Center through mid-February 2022.