When Bangkok based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich was young, his father gave him Betta fish to keep as pets. Watching how they move three dimensionally, he remembers feeling mesmerized by the beautiful, multicolored creatures. And as any curious and imaginative child might wonder, how is it they can they breathe in water, while other animals cannot? This early experience with Betta fish sparked a life-long interest in the animal.
The Betta species, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are native to the Mekong basin, and can be found in the wild in parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. But by no means are they elusive creatures, as Betta’s are also popular around the world and can be found in any local pet store. Angkatavanich would visit pet shops to seek out the perfect fish. He believes these fish all have distinct personalities and the hardest part is finding the one that will do what you want. In his photographs, Angkatavanich freezes simple moments, in stunning detail, revealing the individuality and beauty in the movement of these fish. With each new photo he discovers something new about the species – in their behavior or how they react to the flash of a camera. And while the series doesn’t have a title, for Angkatavanich, the images evoke the feeling one would have while dancing or listening to classical music.
All images © Visarute Angkatavanich