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“Charoen Chai,” the Chinese paper community

Food was not the only thing the Chinese diaspora brought over to Yaowarat or Thailand’s Chinatown. Tucked away in the alley of “Charoen Chai” is an ancient Chinese paper-folding culture waiting to be experienced.

Teacher Klae - Surin Yangkeawsod, heir and successor of small theatrical puppetry art (Joe Louis)

Teacher Klae, or Surin Yankeawsod, is the seventh heir of Sakorn Yangkeawsod, better known as “Teacher Joe Louis.” Sakorn was honored with the title of National Artist in the Performing Arts Category (Small Theatrical Puppetry) in the year 1996 and was the founder of the “Hoon Lakorn Lek” puppetry troupe and Joe Louis Theatre. After Teacher Joe Louis passed away, Teacher Klae has applied his expertise in design and performance design to his main role as director for small theatrical puppetry performances, making adaptations to keep up with the times and to be accessible to audiences of all ages.

SRINLIM: Expressing Thai ways of life through designs

When you walk in a street, stroll in a crowded neighborhood, or enjoy local customs or cultural performances, have you ever stopped to appreciate that all around you is a “way of life”? Some are unique to a particular neighborhood, while others are part of city life. Oftentimes we will find that “ways of life” express Thainess that is more than just about the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, traditional Thai patterns, or traditional Thai costumes.

“Alms Bowl Village,” the one community in Thailand that makes alms bowls

Looking back to its history, the “alms bowl village community” or Ban Bat is one of the oldest communities that had migrated to Bangkok since the era of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Originally, they were blacksmiths making alms bowls for monks, a skill passed down through the generations. In 1998, a factory manufacturing stainless steel alms bowls was established.

Puppets of “Chakrabhand Posayakrit,” a legendary Thai art form returns to the stage

Many recognize “Chakrabhand Posayakrit” as one of the 52 master craftsmen in the past 200 years of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. His expertise lies in traditional Thai paintings that portray literary female characters with such delicateness that they seem to have hailed straight from a dream.

Ploenchan Vinyaratn and the concept of “Beyond Living” that brings about works that are not just objects but mementos full of stories

Ploenchan is a textile designer and owner of Beyond Living. Her designs are known to be full of color and unique textures.

Pichet Klunchun, a contemporary artist who preserves Thainess

The turning point that sparked one small town boy’s interest in art took place in 10th grade. He was a boy who didn’t like to hurry home but would stay long after the school doors shut. The lights in the Thai music room, however, would still be turned on. It was during those evenings that Pichet would venture inside to learn and play Thai instruments. Later on, he received Khon classical dance training from Chaiyot Khummanee, a senior Khon master of Thailand’s Fine Arts Department, and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Dance from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University.

Locus Native Food Lab: Chef Kong’s food laboratory concocts tales of local ingredients

After knowing him for some time, we discovered that what “Chef Kong” or Kongwut Chaiwongkajorn does is not merely cooking, but a new way of storytelling through food. He draws inspiration from real life and experiences about different ingredients in the context of the Northern culture. Instead of words, he cooks and creates stories through world-class cooking skills and knowledge.

Reintroduction of the art of weaving by PATAPiAN

Weaving is one of the most common skills in Thai handicraft. The knowledge has been passed on from one generation to the next in each community, which has its own unique practices in terms of materials, patterns, colors, forms, and utilities. Woven products that most of us are familiar with include sticky rice containers, baskets, bags, and fish traps. These items are mainly used in the countryside. Needless to say, woven products in the world of fashion and home accessories are often regarded by city dwellers as outdated and incompatible with their lifestyles.

Sculpture : From seatbelts to woven furniture

Would you be surprised if I told you that the lime green chairs that appeared in one of the scenes in the Hunger Games (2012), an American science fiction-drama film, were named the “Sexy Chair” and created from scrap seatbelt strapping by Thai product designer Nuttapong Charoenkitivarakorn? Once strapped over someone’s waist, these former seatbelts have been repurposed into functional furniture, under the brand Sculpture.

Pabpiabriabroy interprets the beauty of flowers through magnificent paper origami.

The voice from another end reflected how neat the speaker was. Her rhythm was slow, light and polite which matched with her brand “Pabpiabriabroy”. Wirin Shaowana unintentionally built a brand from her passion in papers. Wirin loved flowers. Ten years ago, she got inspiration from Sakul Intarakul, the famous Thai florist. His beautiful book of flower designs and patterns became her intellectual source. She created her flowers in monotone geometry shapes. Wirin wanted to present alternative Thai flowers; reduced delicacy yet increased strength and omitted colors yet preserved forms.

PiN: Enhance art value through steel debris.

Growing up in a family own steel factory in Suksawat area was not a pleasant experience. The noise of stamping, bending and welding machines were like a daily alarm clock for Pin, Saruta Kiatparkpoom. However, her negative opinion changed when she, as a sophomore student in university, started working with her dad. Pin created art piece by steel scraps for Art Environment class. Later on, she extended this project to an art thesis by screening life stories of her factory’s workers on steel sheet. This experience shifted her to positive perspective toward value of every lives in her steel factory and her Kiatparkpoom’s family business. Upon completion of her bachelor degree, Saruta participated in many seminars hosted by government and private sectors to build up her design and business skills. She then decided to create her brand, “PiN” where unique steel identity was created. Her business concept is simple and clear, “Do my best every day…the sound of working machines is the sound of my workers and family’s breaths. We will keep walking steadily.”

The story from “COSMOS & HARMONY” soap.

If there is a Don’t Miss product list for foreigners especially Chinese tourists, Cosmos & Harmony is definitely in it. Its Ease Up With Style soap collection was in the latest 17 Don’t Miss product list ranked by shoot2china. The soaps in this collection are in ancient Thai style packaging. There are three scents; Nam Ob Thai (Thai perfume), Muay Thai (Thai boxing) and Hermit Self-stretched. Each scent gives different feelings, for example, Hermit Self-stretched gives the aroma of Wat Po’s balm and its herb ingredients help releasing an ache.

Supachai Klaewtanong: Nipa palm leaf project

Bangkok does not represent all of Thailand. Ways of life differ from one region to another. Inhabitants of secondary towns have their own ways of life, including those in the southern town of Nakhon Si- Thammarat. Though classified as a secondary town, Nakhon Si Thammarat has much to offer, especially in the world of design and contemporary handicraft which is experiencing an unprecedented boom.

Masked dance and shadow play

It is undeniable that in this day and age, very little is known about shadow play (locally known as Nang Yai, which literally means large hides).

Tam’s style: Style of Tam, a Farm-to-Table Thai cooking.

As the very first winner of Top Chef Thailand, Chudaree Debhakam or Chef Tam has become well known. With her passion in traveling and bold characteristic, Tam had turned down the jobs in restaurants or hotels and chose to be freelance chef who cooked in her own style.

“Simplicity and Timeless,” message in ceramic works of “Aor Sutthiprapha”

Aor Sutthiprapa from Small Studios is one of the Thai born world famous “ceramic artists.” Her works have different forms from other Thai artists’. Her Contemporary Art works were exhibited in Sweden. Her renowned work, Weaving Indigo, was prominent on its simple form and earth mixing technique. The concept was to show uncertainty of life through earth.