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
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
- 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 donâ€™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
â€˘ 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.
â€˘ What are the factors to choose an
â€˘ 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
â€˘ 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.
â€˘ What is the background and
â€˘ 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
country. The study of art does not involve teaching for everyone.
artists to work
to create work for themselves. Sometimes, understand depends
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.
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
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 countryâ€™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,
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
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 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
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.
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.
â€œUntrue Blueâ€? 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.
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.
“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.
• What do you most enjoy about
• Can you explain more about your
doing your work?
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
• 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
Contact: email@example.com 46
Nunthicha Direkwattananu 48
Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist
Artist: Nunthicha Direkwattananukul
The wonderful illustration artwork in
the In Flower Lesson inspried
otherwise known as May. She was born on 13 November 1993. combines art and crafts
her main focus being flowers and nature. 50
â€˘ 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 â€˘ What is your inspiration for
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.
â€˘ What is your idea to create a con-
â€˘ 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.
â€˘ How have you developed your artwork? Personally, I practice every day,
â€˘ 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.
Voraprada Voratananchai 59
Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Photos: Courtesy of the artist
Artist: Voraprada Voratananchai
â€˜Is an Artistâ€™ - 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?
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
â€˘ 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.
â€˘ 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.
â€˘ 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.
â€˘ 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?
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.
• 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: https://www.facebook.com/isanartist/ https://isanartist.wordpress.com/ Instagram: is_an_artist
Personally website: www.voraprada.com https://readmesometimesblog.wordpress.com/ 75
Acknowledgements Contributing: Artists:
Wijit Apichartkriengkri Muangthai Jirawongnirandon Nunthicha Direkwattanakul Voraprada Voratananchai Writer: Panutcha Taweekaew Producing Editor:
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. www.charnwoodarts.com
Nocturne, Barefoot 2016 Muangthai Jirawongnirandon
Charnwood Arts acknowledges core support from Arts Council England and Charnwood Borough Council.
This Issue of Artslink was produced by Panutcha Taweekaew and focuses on five Thai artists.