This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
Contemporary takes on Thai proverbs…
One of my (unnamed) New Year’s resolutions is to get out more.
As far as I can tell, there is not one single resource listing everything going on in Bangkok. The bits are spread out everywhere. Magazines. Websites. Blogs.
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I have an interest in Thai proverbs. If you do too, the Thai Folk Wisdom (ถึงพริกถึงขิง) exhibition will be at the Culture Center until January 17, 2010. The presentation is from 10 in the morning to 9 at night, which I imagine is the same time the doors of the Culture Center open.
Be sure to pick up the book on the exhibition while you are at it: Thai Folk Wisdom. For a full colour book, the 500 baht price tag is quite reasonable. If you forgo the book, you can always opt for a set of six mini banners from the exhibition (free to the public).
This dual language book brings to life fifty proverbs and sayings from Thailand with great creative flair. Each proverb is interpreted with an abundance of vibrant pizzazz reflecting modern Thai culture.
Under the direction of designer Tulaya Pornpiriyakulchai, sensational visuals have been provided by some of Thailand’s leading contemporary artists from Manit Sriwanich-poom, M. L. Chiratorn and Pinaree Sanpitak to Jakkai Siributr.
The artwork at the exhibition is spread throughout the hallway of the 3rd and 4th floors. So if you do find yourself at the Discovery Centre (like I did), the pedestrian overpass will take you straight to the lower of the two floors.
Like sardines in a can…
Art is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Looking through both floors of the exhibition, I absolutely LOVED the painting by Kaesorn Podnjamnong (เกษร ผลจำนงค์): Like Sardines in a Tin (เเน่นเหมือน ปลากระป๋อง).
Canned fish are crammed into every tiny space to give full value to the buyer. The fish aren’t bothered because they are dead and have been turned into food.
Passengers squeezed together on the bus are a different matter – no fun no comfort. Some people trying to be funny have compared them to sardines in a tin – compressed so tight they cannot move an inch.
The Thai script on the top left of the painting means bus free for people – รถเมล์ ฟรี เพื่อ ประชาชน (rót may free pêua bprà-chaa chon).
During the economic crisis, free buses were a part of Samak Sundaravej’s (former Thai Prime Minister) economic stimulus package.
The Thai script on the bottom right of the painting means pain release (medicine) – ปวดหาย (bpùat hăai). The kind used for headaches.
And maybe Kaesorn could stop by and tell us the connection 😉
The reason I am attracted to this painting in particular is because it screamed out Thailand to me. Bangkok, especially.
I’ll have to confess that I have never been on a Thai bus, but I sort of know the feeling. Scrunching into the Skytrain during rush hour is close enough!