School has finished and I'm home from a month spent in Thailand. This is the beginning, no?
I want to continue blogging, using this space to write about and support ethical and sustainable art. I want to establish myself a career in the arts and so maybe I can use this blog to help me pursue that.
Thailand was an amazing experience. The whole time I kept my eye out for art galleries and little studios but was sadly disappointed to find there were few. Much to my dislike, we stayed in the more touristy areas where artists painted purely for a western audience, creating reproductions of famous art works, the typical frangipani and abstract boxy things. When I visited Phuket town, however, I finally found what I was looking for- Wua Art Gallery and Studio. Mr Zen's paintings were so different to any others that I'd seen in Thailand, kind of like what you'd put on a wall in a hip Melbourne cafe. So cheap too! It gave me hope and reminded me, after a month of no art, that this, art, is what I love and need to immerse myself in. Unfortunately, after too many vodka buckets and hill tribe jewel
lery purchases over the weeks, I couldn't even afford one of his prints, and that's saying something.
That same day, I stumbled across another gallery/cafe which threw my heart into a flutter once more. The Love Art Studio could have held me captive for hours if it weren't for the bus timetable I had to abide by. Kitipong Ngowsiri was exhibiting there- his paintings are a gorgeous mess of colour and texture and ranging subject matter, riddled with humour. A tarp was cutely hung upon the wall with painted/grafittied words which something like:
'Absolutely number one the art
Exhibition is original art 100% [shit]
You can buy artwork in $1/ piece here by
choosing to put [throw] your money [heart] either
to left or right box. And I will ask your [my] god to
bless [be] you.'
And so I left a 20baht donation in the box for the artist in return for a post card with one of his paintings on it, the other box was for a charity aimed at helping the homeless dog situation going on in Phuket. I left feeling more fulfilled then after a dose banana pancakes.
Right now, I'm trying to plan what I want out of next year- resolutions, I guess. One such resolution is inspired by Ngowsiri's words- to use my money as if it is my heart.
Art should not be purchased blindly. In a world that is under pressure from materialism, we need to purchase more with our hearts- ensuring that what we buy is not harming the planet or people but serving a positive purpose.