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Tim Matsu March 25, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Thailand.
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Chiang Mai, Thailand 2007

Tim Matsui (b.1973, USA) is an Emmy-nominated visual journalist and filmmaker focusing on human trafficking, alternative energy, and the environment. Tim’s clients have included Newsweek, Stern, Der Spiegel, GEO, Wired and other domestic and international publications. Tim partners with editorial outlets, non profit organizations and corporations to tell meaningful stories built upon the tenets of journalism. He has received grants from the Alexia Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Fledgling Fund, and The Fund for Investigative Journalism.  His most recent project is the feature documentary film The Long Night (which recently won the POYi and the first prize for Long Feature of the World Press Photo Multimedia Contest) and the accompanying audience engagement project Leaving the Life.

About the Photograph:

“Young women, mostly in their teens, hire a transgender make up artist to prepare them for an evening serving drinks at a karaoke bar in Chiang Mai, Thailand. If a client wants to date the server they’re permitted to leave the establishment after paying a bar fee. I’d met the make up artist through a Thai non profit that’s a resource for the transgender community. Because of that she vouched for me, while I had some restrictions. The bar owners were ok with my presence. All of the legwork to get to that place to make the picture involved most of the work but the actual photography was pretty straight forward. Strangely enough, one of the more challenging parts was meeting my expat friends afterwards for drinks. They were gossiping about who was with who and catching up on weekend plans, but my head was still where I’d just been.”