"The Mysterious Heads of Mekong River (2023)" is an experimental use of AI technology to generate photographs without using a camera at all. Instead, it involves inputting textual commands into a system called Midjourney, which then produces images that appear as if they were taken by a camera. The results have effectively supported and aligned with my fundamental ideas about "Contemporary photography", particularly in terms of the diversity of sources and challenges to traditional frameworks. Before being synthesized into what we call "Photography", it was limited to only capturing light that bounced off objects and reached the film or light sensors. However, it now includes a range of data from the past, internet, and other rapidly developing technologies, including artificial intelligence like Midjourney.
The excitement and curiosity towards the progress of artificial intelligence resembles strange giant heads emerging from the Mekong River (A trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia), with local people marveling at something they have never seen before (although it looks similar to humans). Some people climbed on top of the head with excitement, while others watched with fear or disgust. Some even embraced and held it. This phenomenon is met with different reactions from different people, but as time passes, it becomes a part of culture and way of life, and we may even forget the time when we saw it as an alien object from another world. The story of these mysterious heads is similar to the legend of the Naga fireballs (Thai: บั้งไฟพญานาค; RTGS: Bang Fai Phaya Naga), the mysterious fireballs that emerge from the Mekong River during the end of Buddhist Lent, which people viewed with excitement, suspicion, and curiosity, but ultimately gained benefits from.