Since I’ve been here I have been very fortunate to visit two phenomenal art shows. The first was to a friend’s demonstration of his mother of pearl inlay work. He is an amazing artist in a media that I have long admired.
The show was presented at the Paragon shopping mall in central Bangkok. I met Jukkit Suksawat several years ago and he took me on my first visit to the meditation temple, Wat Phatum, which is now a regular stop on my trips here. In fact, it is the first stop I make the day after I arrive to meditate, center and begin the journey. We went to several other temples that one doesn’t normally get to as well. He also introduced me to that gem of a restaurant, Krua Apsorn on Dinso Street in the old section of Bangkok.
Jukkit is one of the masters of his particular craft, and I am honored to call him a friend. While I was there, I met several other craftsmen and women who produce the very finest in Thai craft work, from basketry to leather shadow puppets to nielloware, a mixture of silver, copper and lead. I was lucky enough years ago to get a few pieces of this. The quality is absolutely stunning as you look at the photos below, you will see why I say that! It is very sad that these traditional crafts, as in the US and elsewhere, are being “lost” as few young people are interested in studying these art forms now. It takes a long time to produce these crafts, even in capable hands.
I am also looking forward to seeing the exhibition of Thai arts and crafts at the Bitek site in Bang Na on March 10. Jukkit will be there assisting one of his students. You can do a search on Jukkit to see more on this amazing artist.
The next show I visited was to a four-man event at the SAC on Soi 39, Sukhumvit Road. A Facebook friend of mine, Pichai Pongsasaovapark, was one of the featured artists. I was really amazed at not only the skill of the various artists, but the relaxed and friendly atmosphere created for the show. The art works were displayed on three levels of the gallery. On the first level were collaborative pieces rendered by the 4 artists. This was not an easy thing to accomplish as two of them were in Thailand, one in San Francisco and the other travels between Shanghai and California often. I have to say, it was probably my favorite part of the exhibit. Not to say the individual works on the next two floors were not grand in and of themselves! I loved the flow of the presentation and that, although they are very different in style and technique, it did not in the least feel disconnected. Even on the upper levels, there was a great sense of unity in the theme of Nature. There were more than several pieces there I would love to own myself. If I lived in Thailand, I would be very tempted to have acquired at least one of them. The show moves on to other venues over the next month or so. I’m sure it will be greeted as enthusiastically as it was here.