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August 2017


RTSLIN Thailand

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Above Photo: Family Dots, Maitree Siriboon


Maitree Siriboon 4 Wijit Apichatkriengkrai 20 Muangthai Jirawongnirandon 32 Nunthicha Direkwattananukul 48 Voraprada Voratananchai 58

Front Cover: Untrue Blue, Muangthai Jirawongnirandon




Bringing different things to the same place, can create a new thing in some way.


o e .

Maitree Siriboon 5

Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist

Artist: Maitree Siriboon Save Thai Buffalo Maitree Siriboon was born in 1983

Later, Maitree turned his attention

in Ubon Ratchatani, a province in

to work on the topic of buffaloes, an

the northeast of Thailand, which is

iconic working animal in Thailand.

a region of the country many call “Isan”.

As time passes and technology

His works were influenced by his

evolves, buffaloes have become

Isan childhood, a rural life, village

more of a decoration for the land

environment, traditional agriculture

and a reminder of the past.

and buffaloes. He used art to draw people’s




identity and culture.

He established performance art by painting an actual buffalo with the colours of the rainbow, entitling

In 2009, Maitree had a photographic

the photos “Mondrian Buffalo”,

exhibition, the “Isan Boy Soi 4” series.

“Rainbow Buffalo” and later on with

In this series, he showcased how

the “Series of Save Thai Buffalo”,

some of the local Isan people were

which includes “The Kiss”, “Pink

adapting to life in Bangkok.

Miro”, and “Family Dots” in 2015.


His work has been shown around

Exhibitions include:

Southeast Asia as well as in Brazil,

- The Guangzhou Triennial, 2011

the United States, Japan, France,

- Young Artist Project South Korea

China, Italy, the UK, and the

(YAP), 2011


- The 3rd Biennial of World Images in Paris (Photoquai), 2011 - Art Stage Singapore, 2012 and 2013 (Project Stage) 7

Interview with the


• How did you start your career as an

• Do you have other hobbies as

artist and when did you begin?


I have studied art since I was in primary

I usually take photos of people in the

school. At that time, I just loved to study

villages around my home area. I also

art but was not a professional at all.

teach art to children on Saturday-

My teachers sent me to participate in

Sunday and for adults as a form of art

various art contests. In some contests,


I got awards, but sometimes I didn’t get anything.

• What is the story behind the “Save

After that, I moved to live in Bangkok

Thai Buffalo” series?

to study at Silpakorn University as I wished to be an artist in the future. The

It started in 2012. I was interested in

turning point was after I graduated

the identity of Thailand. Many Thai

from the university in 2006. I did a solo

people pay more attention to Thai

exhibition for the first time, which made

symbols that represent Thai culture in

me feel like I was an artist already.

terms of meaning, colour or arts.


Thailand has many diverse cultures

There are a lot of technological

that are a mix from every part of

advances nowadays to help farmers

the country. We have never been

to do agriculture. Where are the

colonised. So, I think the identity of

buffaloes? What are they doing right

Thailand can be expressed through

now? At that moment, I took one

the arts and artists in this country.

photo where I sat on a buffalo’s back. I called the photo ‘Albino Buffalo and

I would like to create artwork that

Green’. This photo was selected to

reflects myself in every step of my life.

show in an exhibition in Italy.

The story of Save Thai Buffalo began

After that, I got the idea to create

when I went to paint the buffalo in a

a certain kind of artwork, which

village. I started asking myself about

eventually became the Save Thai

the time period.

Buffalo series in 2015.



• What is your inspiration and purpose

I hope that by painting colours on

for the series?

their bodies will make people look at them in a new and different way.






perspective on buffaloes. The new

• Did you have to train or practice

generation does not realise that

before you worked with buffaloes?

buffaloes are animals that have to

Actually, it is not that serious. I just

be trained to work in agriculture. Nor

have to make them feel comfortable

do they know that, in the past, the

to stay with me by talking with the

buffaloes were indispensable working

owners and stay with them for a while.

animals that helped Thai people to do rice-farming. In the present day, buffaloes are known as animals that are used for entertainment and tourism. I think in

“The beginning of photography is to record memories.”

the art field, buffaloes are not that popular in Thailand. Not many people or artists create art related to Thai

• What are the factors that made you

buffaloes. I would like to change

interested in this kind of art?

their identity by creating artwork so

In terms of photography, I am not a

that people rethink the issue and ask

professional photographer. I am not

questions about buffaloes because

that proficient but I just think that

they are iconic symbols of our past. I

I am good at this kind of technique

want to increase buffaloes’ value by

as a storyteller. In the past, I created

painting on their bodies in order to

artwork that was mosaic art. The

change their negative identity as dirty

beginning of photography is to record

animals with black bodies.



It is a very easy method. Actually, I do

about this. I just thought about my

not want to keep it as a documentary

limited budget and how I could

but I am interested in recording

create meaningful work. So, I think

memories in the way I would like to


remember. I want to record stories

Thailand), my region, is unique in our

and I don’t think I can represent

country. We have a rich culture. Art in

it well in another way better than

Isan has not been presented enough

photography. So, I took this route to

in our society.

take pictures in order to make my

Another thing is that I am interested

work more accessible.









international and modern art. I love


• Why did you present Isan and Thai

to work with local people in local

buffaloes as your core idea?

places. In the end, it is because Isan

At the time, I did not think anything

is my home.

• What are the factors to choose an

• How have you developed your

area for work?


For Save Thai Buffalo, I thought

I will imagine the image first and ask

about and imagined the landscapes

myself a lot of questions. Sometimes,

I wanted and sketched it on paper.

I have no idea. It might take time to

Then I thought about where I have

think about it. I would like to deliver

seen these landscapes before.

photos that are similar to realism, but also look like a dream. One

• How long has this series taken from

barrier is the weather because it

the beginning until it found success?

is not stable. Furthermore, working

It took around two years for the Save

with buffaloes is quite difficult. Once

Thai Buffalo series. In the first year, I

in a while, I will not get any pictures

took photos in summer, but I got only

because it feels uncomfortable

five good photos. So, I did it again in

when I paint on their bodies.

the second year in the rainy season.




• What is the background and

• How does your work relate to

aims of your project, Isan Dream

current culture or society?

Homestay? Most importantly, it is about identity It is about the contrast between

and faith. The visual identity that

art in the past and the modern

we see is that buffaloes are one of



the things we need because they

local people is that they are

are useful animals. They helped our

unaccustomed to contemporary

country to become the Thailand

art since it is very different from art in

like it is at this moment. They help

their area. Bringing different things

farmers to plant rice.

to the same place can create a

So, I would like to change the image

new thing in some way. For Isan

and change the way people look

Dream Homestay, it is a studio, a

at buffaloes. It might not affect

homestay and artist residency in

everybody, but at least some

my hometown, which can bring

people may read my articles and

modern art into real life and bring

rethink the matter. I want to give an

art closer to us than before.

opportunity to the buffaloes.





I want to make people open their

• How do you navigate the art world?

mind and look at buffaloes in a positive way by creating a new

I think art should be diverse and

image for buffaloes. It might be

unique. If you focus on Southeast Asia,

hard to change people in the older

Thailand is one of the countries with

generations, but I’m quite sure

its own particular identity. Thailand

the new generation can change

is separated into four big parts that

because the internet world will


connect everything together.

Central. Each region has a distinctive




style. As I am an Isan person who is • Who are your biggest influences?

a combination between Thai-Laos, I think it creates our own unique

It is very hard to say. There are many

identity. From my perspective, I don’t

people who have inspired me. I see

think we should call ourselves Thai

a lot of artwork. For example, the

artists. I feel like I want to create work

work of Michael Shaowanasai is

that represents who I really am. I want

inspiring, but I like the work of many

to present contemporary Isan style to


contribute to the Thai art industry.




will give good things back to you when you grow up for sure.” • What do you think about Thai art? There




in our

country. The study of art does not involve teaching for everyone.

artists to work


teach artists

to create work for themselves. Sometimes, understand depends

people all


the each







decide how much they can get from their education in art class. In Thai education, art is like the last subject to study. I think the future of Thai art is not clear at all. It is not moving forwards or backwards. It is a bit stuck. For example, when we go to see • What do you want to say to the

artwork, we feel like we can escape

new generation that is interested in

from the real world for just a few


minutes. If you know that you have

Art can be addictive. Art can be a

the ability to create art, you should

healing force for people.







of art

such as singing, drawing, and

To learn more about his work please visit:

painting. It will make you have

Facebook pages; Isan Boy Dream,

better concentration. You may not become an artist, but the practice is a good thing to do since you are young and have energy.

Save Thai Buffalo, Thai Mosaic Art and Isan Homestay 19

Wijit Apichatkriengkrai Ele-



The nature of the artwork will reflect the natural world.


Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist

Artist: Wijit Apichatkriengkrai The Art Project of Ecological Aesthetic in Thai Rice Culture

Wijit Apichatkriengkrai was born on 17 January, 1964 in Sukhothai. He graduated with a BFA in Printmaking and a MFA in Painting. He earned a Ph.D. in Visual Arts from the Faculty of Painting Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University. He has created many artworks for twenty years, from painting, visual art, sculpture, multimedia to

The project was developed to

a currently site-specific public art


project that enables people to

as a project as this magazine is

have more opportunities to learn

produced. Beginning with problems

and know about modern art.

in the present day, the rice culture





Aesthetics in Thai Rice Culture” was a part of the artist’s Ph.D thesis.

a real event and continues

in Thailand has

been changed

because of social,educational and technological concerns.

The artist learned from real case

He wants to bring Thai rice culture

studies and practised every step


of planting rice, from ploughing to

present society through his art and

threshing. He aims to teach and

theory design and to encourage

keep the general public aware,so

people to re-think their beliefs

that they recognise the significance

related to farmers and rice.





of the country’s rice culture.



Interview with the Artist • What is your background? I have studied art since I was young because I felt like art really suited me. At first, I studied architecture but then thought that it might not work for me. So, I decided to study art really from primary school all the way to my Ph.D

The rice culture in Thailand has been changed. Rice fields are not the same as I knew them. The truth is that rice farmers have lost their traditions. Thai farmers grow rice commercially. As a result, it has changed farmers’ lives and the rice culture has faded from the community. So, I would like to create art combined with agriculture to ad-

• What is the inspiration and story of

dress this issue.

the Art Project? It starts with work called “Art for Pub-

• What do you aim to say through

lic.” It is not public art. In Thailand,

your work?

we have issues about how to deliver art to the community with new creative activities, not just using sculptures or drawing. An activity will bring people to go out from their homes and do an activity together. In terms of art or culture, I continued with an existing idea when I studied my Ph.D I wanted to deliver Art for Public to the community.

I want people to realise that rice is important to Thailand and our history. Moreover, I want to take this opportunity to lead people who join the activities to rethink about the rice that we should have in daily life. I want to help farmers feel happy about their work and not just for the money.




“I hope that the design and

• Why did you come up with the

processes of the Art Project of

idea of Thai rice?

Ecological Aesthetics in Thai Rice Culture will continue into the future. Lastly, I want to create a



opportunity and





The main point of the problem is that the Thai rice culture has disappeared in terms of happiness, peacefulness and many kinds of art and culture. It is the most regretful thing because the chemicals

• What made you create this project?

that are used in rice planting and harvesting



farmers’ health. So, I came up with

Normally, I create visual art and

this idea to change and develop

sculpture, but I don’t think it reaches

the industry.

the entire community. The work I do is quite similar because people may think that it is not stable if I change

• How important are rice and rice

my style. The most important thing is

fields, in your opinion?

to create something that can reach people. Working with many people such as young people, adults and all other age groups, I create works that refer to the problems in soci-

In the past, the rice fields that I saw were better. They were beautiful and plentiful. There were many trees, fruit and animals.

ety. The content is not dependent

For now, it is more like a business

on an artist, but it points out an issue

than a way of life.

that I am interested in.



• What are the factors that you consider when choosing the locations for work? It






Site-specific. This is a cultural landscape that means we are working with nature, the environment, light, sound and animals that surround us. You can call it collaboration with nature. It is more than working in an art studio. The nature of the artwork will reflect the natural world.

• How long has it taken from the beginning until it was successful? I have researched this project for two years. It took one year for writing the report because this was part of my Ph.D thesis.

• How does your work relate to current culture or society? I think it is highly related to the present





cultures that have been changed. “Real art for the public” means I see it like an aesthetic art, not visual art. My art is about balance, beauty 30

and usefulness.






For example, one of my projects, the “Long-Keak” tradition, is an activity whereby a group of farmers come together, to help each other during the annual harvest. • What is your biggest motivation?

• How do you navigate the art world? I hope that “Art for Public” will develop my community and society. Moreover, I hope it can teach people about art in some way, even if they are staying at home.

I used a lot of theory from many people for this project. Most of all, I was inspired by natural works such as Relational Aesthetics by Rirkrit Tiravanija and others.

To learn more about his work please visit: Facebook page: @toowijit 31



Something that I can see, even if it is not there.

Mua 32

angthai Jirawongnirandon 33

Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist

Artist: Muangthai Jirawongnirandon Muangthai Jirawongnirandon,

He is a person who produce the

a young Thai photographer was

work from what interested him,

born in 1993 in Bangkok. He gradu-

transmitting a sense of curiosity,

ated from Thammasat University in

isolation and anxiety as shown in

Journalism & Mass Communication,

his photographic exhibition, the

majoring in Film.

“Untrue Blue� series.

Currently, he is working as a Project Coordinator. He used to take black and white photos; more recently he has been experimenting with colour photography.






“Untrue Blue”

Interview with the Artist • When did you start photography? I started photography in my first year of university in 2013. At that







moment, I went to travel to Singa-

I am interested in the “language of

pore. I just bought myself a camera

photography”. I like one Japanese

for the first time. At first, I liked the

photographer, Takuma Nakahira.

portrait style because I just thought

He did a magazine, ‘Provoke’ and

I liked to take pictures of people.

a book called ‘For a Language

Now, I do another style.

To Come’ which contains essays about photography. He talked about the language of photogra-

• What are you doing in your free

phy and that photos bring a new


language to the world at that time.

I like to while away the time by doing nothing, sitting and sleeping.






photography? • Can you describe your work style?

The main thing is the aesthetics.

It is about the mood that covers an

Every time I take a photo, it is like

image that I cannot see. All of my

an escape. My inspiration is that I

photos present a mood, as in one

try to take photos that communi-

of my series “Untrue Blue”, which

cate with me.

depicts a middle-class man. It is a mood of sadness that comes from my personality. Some of the things that have happened to me, I feel

• What types of cameras do you use?

bad about. So, it made me ask my-

Mostly, I use film cameras. As of late,

self what is real sadness?

I have been using my phone.


“Peacock” 39




“Bulbs spark across the road and a wind blows gently. Elsewhere, apart from what I could really see, I found myself clinging to another place. Where dusky spaces could be darker and pale areas could be brighter, makes me acknowledge the dark point out of white, the white out of dark. And that’s how they compliment each other in some way. Like a romantic night scene that I can sense in the day. Then these image were made. All my past and present experiences will benefit me in the future, even though the future is unknown.”, Muangthai’s explanation of the “Nocturne” series.


“Nocturne” 42


• What do you most enjoy about

• Can you explain more about your

doing your work?

previous exhibitions?







My first solo photography exhibition

convenience store, to buy some-

was established when I graduated.

thing. I found a food warmer and

I went to a bar that has a gallery in

I looked at the top tray and there

the upper floor. I was drunk at the

was some blotting paper. It was

time. I talked to the bar’s owner

a space that looked like a snowy

and showed him my photos. Four

land. I was impressed with some-

months later, the owner greeted me

thing that I can see, even if it is not

and asked me to exhibit my work. I

there. It was an image in my imagi-

agreed. Secondly, my friend’s boss

nation and it came out of the real

looked for photos to put on the


walls at their business. She was very kind to exhibit my photos there. 43


“Untrue Blue”



• What do you like most about photography?

• What is your plan for the future? Nothing special. I just want to earn

I like the moment that I capture in

money every month. I do not want

the photos I take and sometimes

anything so that I can have a good

what I see in the subject is quite un-

standard of living.

expected, for example when I saw the snowy land in the food warmer. •







photographer? • Do you think photos affect you?

I do not go anywhere just for taking

The photos reflect me. I am excited

photos anymore. I will go to some

when I look at them.

place that I have to go and if I see something interesting, I will take a photo of it. In reality, I would like to

• Do you retouch the photos?

be a photographer and immerse

I do not retouch. I bring my own

myself in my work, but I will not rush

scanner and use the real colour in

into it.

the photos.

Contact: 46

“Untrue Blue”


“Untrue Blue”

Nunthicha Direkwattananu 48




ukul 49

Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist

Artist: Nunthicha Direkwattananukul

The wonderful illustration artwork in

the In Flower Lesson inspried


Nunthicha Direkwattananukul,

otherwise known as May. She was born on 13 November 1993. combines art and crafts



her main focus being flowers and nature. 50

• What are you doing? I do illustration design for many things. I love packaging design in Asia zones such as Japan and

Interview with the Artist • What is your inspiration for


Flower Lesson?

Korea. In my free time, I think

I wanted to create a lot of artwork

about new projects and draw in

to deliver to many people to know

Photoshop. I feel like I am good

me and my work. My inspiration

at drawing flowers and everything

is all around me. I learn so many

that is based on flowers. So, that is

things from the internet. Sometimes,

my starting point. I also do product

I just imagine something and that


becomes my idea.



• How did you start your career as

• Why does your work concern

an artist and when did you begin?


I started after I graduated from

It is because I think I’m good at this.

university. Actually, I call myself

I can adjust and manage it well.

a designer because I still work for commercial purposes.

• What are the factors that made you interested in this kind of art? When I was in the third year of university, I worked on a project about clothing patterns. I used to do hand drawing, but when I drew using a computer programme, I felt that this was my style.




• What is your idea to create a con-

• How does your work relate to cur-

cept for work?

rent culture or society?

It comes from my own passion. I do

In my opinion, I think a lot of Thai

everything I want and I always find

people are interested in art. The art

new techniques to use.

world is more open. It has made me feel that my work can reach some


special groups in society.

• How have you developed your artwork? Personally, I practice every day,

• Who is your biggest influence? Nobody in particular. I do whatever I want.

drawing as well. I always find a new opportunity to create a new thing such as drawing a typical picture to transfer to a motion animation.

To learn more about her work please visit: Facebook: In Flower Lesson Instagram: In Flower Lesson


Focusing on the real abilities more than looking at things that they cannot do.



Marco Dal


Voraprada Voratananchai 59

Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist

Artist: Voraprada Voratananchai

‘Is an Artist’ - an art therapy

After that, she develops their work

project by Voraprada Voratanan-

into products with their permission

chai. She uses the creation of art to

(kids design which producr would

heal herself and others. She works

be made). The artist does this in or-

with adults and children in differ-

der to perform an exhibition for kids

ent places, doing various activities,

to show how creative they are.

such as drawing, painting and etc.




• What is your inspiration?

with the

It starts with art. I feel like art is a


communication form that is neutral, non-violent and not too loud. Another important inspiration is my

• When did you start the “Is an Artist”? The project began after I studied art and found that art was a great remedy for mental health. So, I went to teach it to underprivileged children in many areas. I would say that they taught me at the same time I worked with them. Thus, I started to create products from the pictures that they drew. In order to display their values to other people, I organised an exhibition that sold

family, they really support me. • What does your work aim to say? From the beginning, I would like to be a voice for underprivileged people. I would like to make other people see their real abilities more than looking at things that they cannot do. Furthermore, I would like to make them see their potential. They all have their own stories. I want to be their voice to communicate those stories as much as they want to say.

the kids’ products. 63

• Why are you interested in this kind of art? If you go to an exhibition, you tend to look at the art and then it is over. I think art has more meaning than that. I asked myself what more I could do about this. So I thought, If I can help others from the things I do, it may be more useful than if I did it and kept it to myself.

• How is art important from your perspective? Every process of art is very necessary. No matter if it is in life or work, art is like medicine that we can use all the time.






• What are the factors you consider when choosing a site for a project? I prefer to go to deprived area and work with people there, in order to give them a voice. I would like to give something that they never got. Every time I went, they responded to me very well and they kept using art in their places.

• How long has the project taken from the beginning? It took around five years until this project was successful. I spent around one year at each place to spend time with the participants.


“I would like to give something that they never got.”

• How does your work relate to

• Could you talk more about

current culture or society?

previous projects?

The point is that we do not count

Six years ago, I used to run an exhi-

some of these people as members

bition for homelessness in Bangkok.

of our community and so there can

I met Miss Aree at Sathorn. I stayed

be many problems for them. To

with her for six to eight months and

solve some of these problems, we

built a relationship. I hoped to help

need to build awareness among

her in one way or another. This was

the new generation and also for

the starting point of “Is an Artist”.

underprivileged people so they

Every group that I help, I always go

support their values and enjoy be-

back to check on them every year.

ing creative.






• Who are your biggest influences? My family is the most influential to me. They inspire me.

• What do you want to say to people? I would like to see people have a new vision about art as it is reachable and it can be everywhere.

• What are you doing now? “Living is one kind of art”. I would For now, “Is an Artist” is being reconstructed.




for a newly-graduated therapist

like to suggest that people look back at themselves and go out to help others in their own way.

to create an opportunity for this. We might not use the name “Is an Artist” anymore, but we will use those artists’ names instead. And I am also being a volunteer. I do group therapy and I also do knitting

To learn more about her work please visit: Is an Artist: Instagram: is_an_artist

and reading.

Personally website: 75

Acknowledgements Contributing: Artists:

Maitree Siriboon

Wijit Apichartkriengkri Muangthai Jirawongnirandon Nunthicha Direkwattanakul Voraprada Voratananchai Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Producing Editor:

Panutcha Taweekaew

Series Editor:

Kevin Ryan

Design Assistance: Project Assistance:

Natalie Chabaud Terry Allen

First published in August 2018 Copyright: Charnwood Arts and Individual Authors All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, scanning, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Charnwood Arts.


Charnwood Artslink International Charnwood Artslink International was born in the early 1990s through links with

the Indian state of Gujarat and European twinning links between Charnwood in the UK and towns in Belgium, France, Germany and Poland. Since then we have worked with or promoted the works of artists from over 100 countries.

We began this work even earlier, as since 1977, Charnwood Arts, an arts and educational charity based in the UK East Mildands, has worked with artists and organisations around the world to create scores of exhibitions, events, workshops, festivals, publications and projects.

This current magazine project, initiated in the summer of 2018 is designed to involve people between 16 and 35 years of age in producing magazines about arts and culture in, or from, their home countries.

Most people involved in this project have no direct experience of producing a publication before undertaking the project and with support they are thrown into the deep end of undertaking ALL aspects of originating and producing the magazine for on-line distribution. All of the young people and young adults involved in this project to date have been involved in face to face work with Charnwood Arts.


RTSLIN International



Nocturne, Barefoot 2016 Muangthai Jirawongnirandon

Charnwood Arts acknowledges core support from Arts Council England and Charnwood Borough Council.

Artslink THAILAND  

This Issue of Artslink was produced by Panutcha Taweekaew and focuses on five Thai artists.

Artslink THAILAND  

This Issue of Artslink was produced by Panutcha Taweekaew and focuses on five Thai artists.