NEW YORK, January 22, 2013 – Yen Baet, a self-taught photographer who was born and raised in the Philippines, has won the Tourism Authority of Thailand's (TAT) inaugural “My Thailand, My Story” contest. Baet, who already accompanied National Geographic Travel photographer Alison Wright on an all-expenses paid trip to Thailand in 2012, will have her work showcased in a photography exhibition in New York City from February 5 – 12, 2013, as part of the contest’s grand prize.
Partnering with the National Geographic Travel Group, TAT asked photographers to share up to three original images online of any destination in the world.Judges from National Geographic selected seven winners from the submitted photos based on creativity, photographic quality and the ability to capture the essence of place. These individuals then traveled to Thailand on a weeklong trip to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, documenting it on camera along the way. Upon returning, all seven photographers uploaded images from their journey to an online gallery hosted on NationalGeographic.com, with Baet receiving the most votes from the general public over a month-long period.
“It is an honor to have my work selected by photography experts at National Geographicand ultimately by the public as the winner of the “My Thailand, My Story” competition,” said Baet. “I would like to thank both the Tourism Authority of Thailand and National Geographic Travel Group for the trip of a lifetime and for an experience that I will certainly never forget.”
As the grand prize winner, Baet will have her personal photographs from the trip featured in a week-long exhibition in New York City next month. The images will be showcased at Jaiya Upper East Side, located at 1553 Second Avenue between 80th and 81st Street. An invitation-only grand opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 5.
“We want to applaud Ms. Baet for her unique ability to tell the story of Thailand, our landmarks, and most importantly, our people, all through the use of still images,” said Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand–New York. “This competition was launched to enable travelers to experience Thailand’s unique culture and breathtaking beauty through the eyes of talented photographers, and we look forward to sharing Ms. Baet’s journey with the people of New York City.”
Baet’s love for photography has taken her around the globe, from sprawling metropolises to small unknown towns. Her work has been featured on the pages of airline and photography magazines, calendars, catalogues and travel books worldwide. Furthermore, her photograph “Quechua Family in Cusco” (Peru, 2012) will be exhibited in Argentina's Borges Cultural Center in 2013. Having travelled to over 40 countries and counting, Baet’s current portfolio contains an extensive collection of Europe and also covers some of the United States, Asia and South America.
Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, “Amazing Thailand” is one of Southeast Asia’s premier travel destinations and home to well-known tourist locations including the capital city of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Ko Samui and Pattaya. Known as the “land of smiles,” Thailand features some of the world’s finest luxury hotels and resorts, and offers visitors a rich tapestry of exotic architecture, culture, cuisine, traditions and exciting adventures. For more information on Thailand, visit www.tourismthailand.org/us.
*Photo credit to Yen Baet