Bang Lamung, Thailand
A blue house surrounded by lush green, tropical scenery. Next to it is an even bigger golden house that looks a bit like the Guggenheim museum with lots of round curves and gigantic dimension. Birds are singing their songs in strange voices, people speak with what seems to be 90% vowels and the smell of spicy ingredients comes out poking your nose at every street corner. Where am I and why am I here?
I got invited to come and stay for the year of 2012 at the “Thaillywood Contemporary Artist Residency” which lies 90 minutes outside of Bangkok to live and work as an artist. But also to build the structures for a fruitful partnership between the artist residency and CRE8 Foundation. But let me explain you how i got here…
The project of the artist residency here in Thailand is something pretty new as the contemporary art scene is still growing and not so many structures exist in this country. How many Thai artists can you name out of the head? (If you can name two you are doing pretty well, I had only Rirkrit Tiravanija in my mind ) The whole project here got initiated by Marie & Hugues Taittinger who are passionate socially minded art collectors from Brussel/Paris and love the country and wanted to give back by sharing their passion for art and by building up a one of a kind place for western and asian artists to live and work in.
Many artist residencies exist in the world and each one has it´s distinctive profile. Thaillywood aims to connect artist form the East and West during their working period to offer the opportunity of an ongoing exchange. But there´s also the social component of the residency which is the main reason CRE8 has teamed up with it.
The two organizations joined forces for a really beautiful project. The general idea of the collaboration is that each artist that comes for a scholarship at the residency will collaborate with CRE8 and use the methodologies to come up with one of a kind collaborative art workshops that will be conducted with the local community – in this case the kids from the surrounding area. Professional artists will be part-time art teachers to share their creative process and involve the kids in a journey towards their own full creative potential. You get a residency but you also share your talent and give back to the community that you live in. Give & take so to speak. Bi-annual exhibitions will invite art lovers as well as the surrounding community to follow up on the results of the professional artist as the kids.
CRE8 is known for creating collaborative art projects that connect different cultures with each other to show the beauty that lies within valuing each single perspective that contributes to a bigger artwork. To give you an example of what is to come I want to shortly introduce you to one specific project that we started here last year.
D.A.S. project connects three countries to create an animation film together and is divided in the following different work steps:
- Phase 1: Drawing in Thailand
- Phase 2: Animation in California
- Phase 3: Soundtrack in Colombia
The whole project gets accompanied by a documentary film as well and to give you an idea of what we did here in Thailand you watch this short teaser which has been shot during phase 1:
In case any artist is reading this and has interest in applying for the residency please visit www.thaillywood.org for more information.