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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.

Arin Rungjang, an artist who revisits history through traditional craftsmanship

Many are afraid to aim high due to fears of disappointment. But Arin Rungjang always shoots for the stars far into the universe, and finds ways to manifest those goals later.

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.

T-Style: DEWA (DEsign from Waste of Agriculture) Craft designs from leftover materials

“In the kitchen, nothing is considered trash,” American world-famous chef Anthony Bourdain once mentioned while he was still alive in one of his last documentaries. Regarding managing food waste, he said, “I may be the old school type that was taught to never throw anything away. That means whether it is unprocessed meat or bits of fruits and vegetables, it can be made into menus and nothing should be trash.” This is not a trend that is only limited to the food industry, as there is a global effort in trying to create value out of leftovers in order to combat overconsumption and consumerism, which leads to depleting our natural resources.

T-STYLE: Giving flight to “Thailand Style” Building innovative and eco-products for the world market

T-STYLE or Thailand Style is a project by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, to develop and support innovative products and environment-friendly products for a global market. The project aims to develop Thai products so they can meet the demands of the global market better, especially in an ever-changing marketplace and what with consumers increasingly concerned with environmental-friendly products. To create innovative products under this project, the three traits incorporated are it must be eco-friendly, must showcase Thai craftsmanship and must show Thai culture. There are four main activities under this project which are:

The details and art of suit-making by Pinky Tailor

Pinky Tailor first opened its doors to provide specialized tailoring in 1980. Owned by Mr. Pinky, the gifted master tailor opened his first store in Udon Thani, which was the base of the American army at that time. Lots of Westerners and foreigners must report to that base, thus creating a large variety of tailoring customers. Once the American base has moved away, Mr. Pinky decided to continue his business in Bangkok, first at Daimaru Department Store, before moving to its current location at the Ploenchit area today. Writer : Editor Team Translator : Parisa Pichimarn Pinky Tailor first opened its doors to provide specialized tailoring in 1980. Owned by Mr. Pinky, the gifted master tailor opened his first store in Udon Thani, which was the base of the American army at that time. Lots of Westerners and foreigners must report to that base, thus creating a large variety of tailoring customers. Once the American base has moved away, Mr. Pinky decided to continue his business in Bangkok, first at Daimaru Department Store, before moving to its current location at the Ploenchit area today.

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.”

TIE & KNOT contemporary hammock of Morn community in Suphanburi balances traditional and modern worlds.

The look of contemporary hammock or new design hammock with colorful and eye-catching design brings interest to TIE&KNOT hammock. Apart from its urbanist style and colors, the material is also soft and neatly tied which makes all customers fall for.

Sukhothai gold jewellery: From ancient goldsmith techniques to contemporary lifestyle.

Srisatchanalai district, Sukhothai was famous for its ancient gold jewelry pattern. Its identity came from the skillful Sukhuthai goldsmiths whose works were delicate hence received reputations. “Somsamai Gold House”, was the original Sukhothai goldsmith group whose techniques had been developed and transferred from grandparent generation, Mrs. Chur Wongyai, to parent generation, Ms. Somsamai Kaohern and to current generation, Mr. Pramote Kaohern.

FolkCharm: A minimal fashion brand packed with folk charm

The name FolkCharm is most fitting for this minimal fashion brand—these simple cotton apparels which have been meticulously tailored exudes a local charm within every step of its production.

5ivesis: Luxury home décor brand made from pewter material “tin minerals”—for showpieces that are truly practical and show-stopping

From their family’s original business of producing pewter materials or crafting tin 10 years ago, five sisters who have returned from their studies to continue the business decided to build their own brand. The name 5ivesis came from that starting point, with designs forming out of things they loved. As women who loved to dress up, they decided to come up with home decorations—thus becoming 5ivesis Home Décor. As precious pewter pieces come from a mixture of silver and tin, it is also a premium gifting brand with handmade, delicate items that showcase Thai culture and beliefs.

Temporary Bamboo architecture ,Thor. Kaichon: From experiment to identity of “Thanapat Boosanan”

Thor. Thanapat Boosanan, an architect who was an expert in bamboo architecture, founded Kaichon six years ago. The name came from his name abbreviation (T) and Kaichon (Fighting cock), his favorite hobby.

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.

Chiang Mai boasts its local heritage with Chiang Mai Design Awards 2018

Chiang Mai Design Awards (CDA) is an activity initiated to support creative talents and to promote investment in design and strategic tools. Held to support the government’s Creative Economy policy, Chiang Mai Design Awards was first introduced in December 2011 as Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade (NAP), organized by Creative Chiang Mai (CCM) with partners including TCDC Chiang Mai, Science and Technology Park Chiang Mai University and the Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University.

“Phraevar Rujinarong,” textile designer who created Thai fabric for Elle Fashion Week 2018.

One of the highlights in Elle Fashion Week 2018 was “The Illusionist” collection show, the collaboration of fashion designer, Vinpattararin, and textile designer, Phraevar Rujinarong, from Termtem Studio. The collection reflected design process from the scratch so it truly gave new definition to Thai fashion.

MeamtarnArtwork – a world of colors

In case where you haven’t heard of it already, MeamtarnArtwork is a Thai brand born out of the creativity of a woman who loves to travel, Sithana Chuen-ankgoon, also known as Meamtarn. Driven by her passion in handicraft and a strong desire not to become one of the salaried people, and thanks to her previous job experience as advertising sales agent and media planner, her knowledge of handicrafts gathered while traveling to various countries, and her skills in knitting and weaving on a portable loom, she has been able to create unique handmade bags. The most amazing thing about them is that there have been no two bags of this brand that are exactly alike!

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.

Journey to the past: Tracing Siamese-Javanese relations through Batik textiles

During his reign, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) made three visits to the island of Java. The reason for the visits, according to Journeys to Java by a Siamese King, was that Java was modernized, and so the King wished to study Western statesmanship to prepare himself to rule and reform Siam. There, he learned about the educational system, military affairs, hospitals, and the art of Batik. In fact, he became so fascinated with Batik textiles that he bought a large amount of them on these trips. The number of these textiles in his collection amounted to some 300, which include his own purchases as well as those offered to him by others.

Tie-dyeing: ancient style making a comeback

Tie dyeing refers to a set of ancient dyeing techniques used universally. Thailand and its Southeast Asian neighbors –Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar– all inherited the techniques from India, though each has refined the processes in their own unique ways, and their products are known by different names. Japan and China also have their own tie-dyeing techniques, so does Mexico, located half the world away.

Dhanabodee Ceramic and Lampang’s iconic “chicken bowls”

Lampang is well-known to most Thais for its “chicken bowls.” Manufactured and made famous by Dhanabodee Ceremic, the first ceramics factory in the province which is currently managed by the second generation of the family. A portion of their factory has now been turned into a museum open to visitors interested in their story.

Nuaynard: Contemporary Isan : Live in nature, rejuvenate in a Thai style

We are living in an age where consumers are more conscious about healthy living. Demand for natural and organic products is ever-increasing. As people are becoming more concerned about chemicals commonly used in everyday life, it is only natural that more are returning to nature. This consumer behavior change results in the boom of natural products, particularly in the health and beauty industry.

Making space… making a difference : Design + Art + Craft + Space

Aterlier2+, a new design studio born out of the ideas of a designer couple, Worapong Manupipatpong and Ada Jiragran, is fast becoming one of the top studios in Thailand. Its expertise lies in the incorporation of handicrafts into architectural structures and furniture items. Their works stem from the way of thinking characterized by openness, compromise, and cooperation, as indicated in the “2+” part of the studio’s name.

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).

Black Day by Ekkarat Punyatara, photo book as a work of art

Photographers take pictures. When a photographer publish a book, it must be expected to be a photo book. But that is not the case for Ekkarat Punyatara. His book ‘Black Day’ is not a photo book, but a work of art.

Out of Comfort Zone: textile alchemy by Ausara Surface

We can say that right now, Ausara Surface is one of the rising stars in the global interior decoration milieu. Founded four years ago by textile designer Jarupat Achawasamit and Choson Tatawakorn, former CFO of Alexander Lamont, this Thai industrial craft brand has grown significantly throughout the years. From a dream to combine experimental craft with industrial weaving techniques, Ausara Surface has thrived as a leading provider of ‘innovative materials’ with highlighted products like metal fibers and an image of a luxury craft brand.

‘Last life I must have bon an Indian’, a craft book that reflects India at its best

When we got our hands on ‘Last Life I must have born an Indian’ by Pattrica Lipatapanlop, a writer we know, the first thought that came into our mind is that “such an interactive book it is!” And the interactive quality doesn’t come from flashy technological features, but from every offline element that has constituted into this book. From cover choices (fabric and Tyvek covers) to Gandhi postcards and crafted bookmarks. Flipping through the book you might be interrupted by train ticket copies hidden in some pages. Every detail invite us to touch and experience it in the simplest way.

Wasinburi...Remaking Ratchaburi as City of Art

Ratchaburi has been known for its ceramic water jars (also known as Dragon Pots) for more than 60 years. However, 18 years ago, the iconic Dragon Pots nearly became something of the past, due to changing ways of life and economic factors. In particular, rising labor costs drove several factories to close up shop.

Lamunlamai in Paris

There was a time when they were wondering what to do with their lives after graduation. Then some time later, their small Lamunlamai Craft Studio celebrated its fourth anniversary. And not long after, they found themselves as far from home as in Paris, France, taking part in the Maison & Objet Paris 2018, one of the largest trade fairs in the world. Most recently, the brand was selected to participate in one of Thailand’s biggest design and craft projects hosted by Icon Siam.

Lightning-patterned woven scarves - How soccer scarves help create sustainable communities

The founding of Buriram United Football Club has “awakened” and “changed the city’s economy completely. All sectors have responded positively to this new chapter of the city’s history, with an aim to create sustainable communities - for local people to achieve economic sustainability and feel proud of their native town.

Mowaan Bamrungchat Satsana Yathai Pharmacy - Keeping heritage of herbal Thai medicine alive

Thai people have been familiar with yahom (traditional herbal powder) for more than three centuries. It is believed that yahom recipes were first brought into the Kingdom in the Ayutthaya period. At that time this medicine was exclusively used in the royal family, as several ingredients were imported from overseas. The making of yahom also required thorough grinding and winnowing, meaning many people were involved in the process. Therefore, it was regarded as a highly valuable item and was so expensive that ordinary citizens were hardly able to afford it.

Khon Kaen, the Madmee City of the World

Madmee is a local weaving craft that is popular in the northeastern region of Thailand. When not working in the fields or harvesting, villagers spend their free time weaving textiles for use in the household or at cultural events. In recent years, villagers have begun to sell their unused textiles. In many areas, the craft has come to replace farming as their main source of income.

COTH STUDIO: A community inspires a new language for craft

The “COTH Studio” is short for the “Creative Collaboration Thailand Studio,” and as its name suggests, the studio is focused on working with others and collaborating on ideas. The studio was founded by Chalermkiat Somdulyawat or “Ton,” who holds a Master's degree in Product Design from Silpakorn University, and Kawisara Anansaringkarn, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Interior Architecture from Chulalongkorn University. The two design buddies combined their different skills and opened the COTH Studio.

“Apiwat Chitapanya” and the Beauty of Metal Welding

At the “maison & objet” event in Paris, France in January 2018, MASAYA’s brass armchairs, designed by Apiwat Chitapanya, were well received by the guests at the event. Working within the concept of “branches,” the designer used special welding techniques that gave this armchair set a natural look through a structure of airy lines resembling branches.

Chairs and Changed Perspectives, A New Chapter for World-Renowned Designer “Apirat Boonruangthaworn”

Apirat Boonruangthaworn’s name may not be widely known to the general public, but in design circles and among the industrial design community, Apirat is far from a nobody and mostly recognized for his furniture designs.

Jai, Art for the Retired

Would it surprise you if we told you that the beautiful art in chic frames and colorful new products from the JAI brand have made their way into Icon Siam and are serving as opportunities for collaborations between the new generation and the retired?

Maitree Siriboon: Now, what’s next and the new dreams of “Isan Boy Dream”

Maitree Siriboon, also known as “Isan Boy Dream,” is an artist from Ubon Ratchatani that has garnered praise for his practical skills of incorporating delicate art with creativity.

Suwan Kongkhunthian: Yothaka 4.0 When there’s no ready-made formula for how handcrafts must apply to the world

If Thai brands like Jim Thompson are considered a turning point for Thai brands and for adding value to weaved products after the second World War, a turning point during Chatchai Choonhavan’s government, where a battlefield was turned into a field of commerce, then there can only be Yothaka, an export furniture brand made from water hyacinths that was founded in that era.

ANUROJ New Batik designs

Anuroj Tantiyapong is a name that is well known and usually associated with his artistic creations of batik fabrics. His eponymous brand, ANUROJ HANDPAINT, is also well recognized as a brand that produces batik art on natural fabrics. Not only that, but ANUROJ HANDPAINT has also changed of the face of batik from its original roots as Southern craft into a fashionable and globally-accepted product through the use of contemporary art and a knowledge of art history that have been applied to batik.

DYE Dee, a Thai organic denim brand with local wisdom

Since the first pair of denim jeans born in the 19th Century in America, the denim fabric has come a long way and has evolved significantly, especially in the modern times. Once regarded as an industrial product, denim has become more crafted and customized. Some premium denim pair of jeans from Japan, or even Thailand, can cost almost 10,000 Baht.

Maison Takuya’s handcrafted leather products: The code behind Maison Takuya’s premium leather

“Maison Takuya” (pronounced May-Song Ta-Ku-Ya) was named by its French founder, Francois Russo. Maison Takuya was the only one Thai leather brand which was ranked among world luxury leather brands like Hermès and others. Its sales volume was comparable with the big names like Tom Ford, Dunhill, Bulgari etc. It also won the Best Leather Item In Japan price which was awarded yearly to the luxury brands by Japanese TV show. In that same year, Rolex received the Best Watch Item price.

Thai Silk Couture Highlights the Beauty of Thai Silk in Chiang Mai Design Week

When it comes to silk, Thai silk has been known to be one of the world’s finest, and this notion was highlighted again in Chiang Mai Design Week 2018 which featured a special fashion show entitled Thai Silk Couture.

Eggarat Wongcharit: Going against the current for the future of crafts, AI and Thai brands

Eggarat Wongcharit is considered a master of contemporary design who has been instrumental in putting Thai works under international spotlight. Even more so is his role as a curator for the highly successful exhibition “Slow Hand Design,” which presents Thai products on the international level by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce. Now in its 8th year running, he has brought “Thainess” to global stages such as Milan Fair, one of the most recognized fairs that showcases design products and creativity from all around the world.

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.

Kad Kakoa: Thai craft chocolate that takes Thai cocoa to the international spotlight

When we think of chocolate, the first image that comes up takes from Western culture, thanks to its longstanding and widespread availability in Europe and America. It’s also a sweet that does not withstand our nation’s heat, which makes it even harder to imagine it as part of our eating culture.

“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.

Chiang Mai rises as a design hub with Chiang Mai Design Week

For several years, it has been a pilgrimage up north for designers and design enthusiasts, since Chiang Mai Design Week has been held annually at the end of the year.

Likay Bindery turns papers into thought objects

Since day one ten years ago, this little book-binding studio in Sukhumvit 35 can be considered one of the first ‘designer-maker’ people in Thailand. Some might have heard their name ‘Likay Bindery’. Today, what used to be a book-binding studio has turned into paper craft studio with a collection of more diverse and sophisticated works.

Wilai Paijitkarnjanakul: Upcycling Designer, the trend leader, whose products are “effortlessly simple.”

In environment glossary, “Upcycle” has recently been introduced to Thai people. Even in designer and architect world, Upcycling Design had once been only discussed among limited group who was interested in “Sustainable Fashion” It later became well-known by the fashion icon, Eileen Fisher, who brought the world of fashion and design more attention to this term.

Perfumers and the art of perfume making

The word perfume derives from the Latin per fumum, which means “through smoke.” Perfumery is an art form dating back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and was further developed by the Romans and the Persians. Archaeologists have recently uncovered evidence of the world’s oldest surviving perfumes, created some 4,000 years ago.

THEATRE: a Thai brand that interprets haute couture

Photo caption: Designer and owner of THEATRE brand Sirichai Daharanont’s collection “From Vienna to Vientiane Couture Collection” at “The Pop Couture Club” event, the first global-level, couture fashion show in Thailand.

Jitsing Somboon redesigns Surin silver, crafting an identity into wearable art

In the design world, Jitsing Somboon may be one of the most versatile freelance fashion designers. His portfolio contains everything from clothes, bags, shoes, leather to jewelry. Even so, it is not often that we get to see his silver designs.

Bhukram, Continuing Sakon Nakhon’s legend of kram through contemporary designs

In the past few years, products that have been dyed with kram or indigo have received raving popularity to the point that you could be sure that any craft or handiwork fair is likely to have indigo fabrics or clothes on sale too. Most of these products usually come from Sakon Nakhon or use indigo from Sakon Nakhon to be dyed, as this Isan province possesses full-circuit knowledge—from how to grow indigo, how to harvest it, how to export indigo for sale and how to dye clothes with indigo so that it is long-lasting.

Sakarin’s local silk: From the root of culture to catwalk

Ikat silk weaving was Surin province’s identity. This silk fabric was a famous product of the province’s Yang Krajab community, Promthep sub-district, Ta Toom district.

The life of Pisek Khetsanthia, a carpenter at P. Tendercool

P. Tendercool’s showroom is hidden in the nooks of Charoenkrung. Various grand types of tables fill the space and the team behind all of these luxurious wooden tables is the carpentry team P.Tendercool. Comprising of ten faces we’ve just seen for the first time at the Meet the Makers exhibition the brand held at Warehouse 30, which is right across from their own showroom, head carpenter Pisek Khetsanthia says, “We are really proud when customers see and like our work.”

Carry forward the southern legacy, YanLiPhao products, by thinking out of the box

To attract new generations of customers, manufacturers needed to create new ideas and products. In other words, carry forward the ancestors’ local wisdom required adaptation to match new generation.

Thai Local Wisdom Trend Book 2020/19

“Any efforts to safeguard traditional craftsmanship must focus not on preserving crafts objects - no maCer how beautiful, precious, rare or important they might be - but on creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue to produce crafts of all kinds, and to transmit their skills and knowledge to others.” UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003