When my friend stopped welding to receive my book “Heavy Metal” about the Sieng Gong quarters in the Talat Noi area of Bangkok earlier today, it marked the culmination of a documentary project I’ve been working on for over a decade.
It was in 2010 when Charlotte, Elle, and I were cycling in and around Chinatown that we serendipitously stumbled upon Sieng Gong. It was then that my obsession took root, leading me to photograph and film the area on every subsequent visit to Bangkok.
Sieng Gong’s unique vibe, with its towering stacks of vehicle parts along its alleys and blocks lined with small mechanical workshops and forges, was born during World War II. During that era, obtaining spare parts for cars and trucks was notably challenging, leading to the necessity of reusing old engines, carburetors, rear axles, and transmissions from retired vehicles in the neighborhoods south of Chinatown.
Today, Sieng Gong is renowned as the go-to place for finding parts for many vintage cars and trucks. In recent years, the area has become a popular destination, with several trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants emerging since I took my very first picture there in 2010.
Many thanks to Charlotte Raboff and David Pahmp for their support throughout the project!