Interesting stories

Watcharin's Happy Dreams

This week we would like to share a very nice written capture about Watcharin's work, written by our good friend Maciek Klimowitz, a talented writer living in Phuket.

This article is published within Exotiq magazine Thailand, so you can browse their website and find many more interesting stories there, especially if you are a fan of Thailand and art in its many aspects!

Here comes Watcharin's story seen from Maciek's Exotiq perspective :) :

"At first you only see splashes of colour, random brush strokes, impenetrable chaos. But take a moment, give it a second look and shapes begin to emerge. There are trees here, a whole jungle in fact; there are birds of paradise, horses in the sky…or a sport motorcycle at full speed. Wacharin Rodnit’s paintings are an ode to imagination, a happy dream.

Wacharin, a 46-year-old painter based in Phuket Town, is a man of joy.
A wide smile seems to never leave his face, always shining bright in the shade of his leather cowboy hat. But you don’t have to meet him in person to be able feel some of this joy, there’s much of it in his paintings. From between chaos and confusion, bright colours and movement frozen in time, his joy of life emerges and radiates on the spectator. Even the tiny humans hidden in jungle-like wilderness of one of his massive, wall-sized canvases don’t seem to be lost or scared. They are playful, enjoying their time out in the wild.

“Nature has been a dominant theme of my paintings since my university studies. And while I’m constantly looking for new techniques and new themes, nature somehow always reoccurs,” he tells me over a cup of Thai tea in his workshop, which is located in the heart of old Phuket Town. One look at his pieces, scattered around the atelier, proves his point. Even a painting of a sport motorcycle is full of life, infiltrated by natural chaos. Abstract, dynamic brush strokes barely suggest the main object of the piece, it’s up to the spectator to see through the tangle.

But while it was the natural landscape of the forest surroundings of his family home in Surat Thani that influenced Wacharin’s early work, the last 10 years he spent in Phuket Town has left a mark too.

“Recently I took to painting Phuket’s old architecture, with the thought of preserving its charm. I live in Phuket Town and I see the city changing form day to day, buildings being torn down, repainted, modernized. I want to save the old, authentic architecture in my paintings,” he says.

The sun-lit facades, the decorative window arches, the vibrant colours – this is Phuket Town at its finest and most authentic. But while these pieces are much more lifelike than his earlier work, they are by no means photo realistic. With the brush strokes heavy and wild and a thick layer of paint producing a 3D effect, these paintings not only want to be looked at, they want to be touched.

By Maciek Klimowitz. "




August 04, 2015

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Posted in The Island of Phuket

Meet the island where most of our artists live

"Phuket is one of Thailand’s most successful tourist destinations, and it certainly has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re after five-star luxuries or more frugal backpacker offerings, you’ll find businesses, accommodation and activities to suit your budget in Phuket.


The History of Phuket

The name Phuket is actually used in a couple of different ways. To begin with, the entire island, which lies immediately off the mainland, is called Phuket Island (or Koh Phuket). This is the largest island in Thailand and remains one of the country’s most sought-after travel destinations.

There is also a town called Phuket at the center of the island. This is where most of the locals and artists live, having their open space galleries in Phang-gna Road and close by. Here in the inland region, you could easily forget that you were on an island at all, though a relatively short drive in any direction delivers you back to the beach.

The island first gained international attention in the 1600s, when traders from Europe discovered significant tin deposits on Phuket. They established trade relations with Siam and developed mining facilities on the island to exploit these resources. In an effort to keep the English and Dutch (who were viewed as encroaching imperialists) at bay, the Siamese monarchy granted exclusive mining rights to France.

However, it didn’t take long for the local authorities to realize that they were better off exploiting their own resources. As a result, Phuket became a valuable asset to the Kingdom of Siam. The island’s history of mining combines with the advent rubber plantations and modern-day tourism.

Phuket’s wealth is far from evenly distributed across the local population. This is a community of haves and have-nots, and there is certainly room for social services and volunteer programs on the island.

In late 2004 when the tsunami struck and devastated coastal villages across the region, the prosperity gap widened. Many who were already living well below the poverty level suddenly found themselves without a home or a means of supplying for their families.

At this point, a generous outpouring of donations and willing workers rushed to Phuket and other communities along the Andaman coast. Thanks to their work and support, many people who were living in at-risk communities were able to pull through and survive this devastating event. Had it not been for these services, Phuket might look very different today."