HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

‘Into the Sun’ - another Lannawood movie?

New Moon - New Gallery

‘City - a record of life in Chicago’

Century old photographs brought to life

Aromatherapy - Essential oils and their use and strength

‘Into the Sun’ - another Lannawood movie?

Steven Seagal looking at some local locales

Marion and Michael Vogt

Hollywood comes to Chiang Mai? Even if not the full-blown Lannawood studios, at least there is continuing interest in film making in the north. The latest movie that will be (partly) filmed here, is ‘Into the Sun’ written by and starring Steven Seagal.

Steven Seagal and a friend at Saen Kham Terrace with Marion Vogt, Chiangmai Mail.

Chiangmai Mail had the opportunity to talk to Steven Seagal when they had dinner at Saen Kham Terrace. Steven Seagal, the 6’4” action movie actor who has spent much time in the north of Thailand over the last few years, said that the shooting of his new movie ‘Into the Sun’ by a major film studio (Warner/Franchise) will be mostly done in Bangkok, but will also bring them to the North for a couple of days on location.

In ‘Into the Sun’ he will play a retired special agent who is drawn into the treacherous world of the Yakuza to protect his family. The movie was written by Steven Seagal and Joe Halpin, and others in the movie will include Ray Sefo, Rapper Kurupt and Louise Elion.

Seagal is a true devotee of the martial arts and has had a long acting career. He says that he is still as fascinated with movies as he was in his first movies, like “Hard to Kill”, or “Under Siege I and II”.

Seagal fans can look forward to ‘Into the Sun’ and the real movie buffs are looking forward to seeing another glimpse of Hollywood in Chiang Mai.

Seagal also confirmed the rumors of his singing career and he told us proudly that his new CD will be released in France in two weeks time.

New Moon - New Gallery

‘La Luna Gallery’ - a new center for contemporary and abstract art open to the public

Linda Ratchai and Autsadaporn Kamthai

A new moon started shining on Chiang Mai’s art scene. It belongs to ‘La Luna Gallery’ a new centre for contemporary and abstract art. At the opening, sixteen artists were featured in the gallery.

Postcards and pictures on display

Both Thais and expats were present at the opening. The three partners who run the Gallery, Sommai Lumdual, Joanna MacLean and Lasse Norgaard introduced the artists who cut the yellow-blue ribbons to officially open the gallery.

The artists were Trinh Tuan, a famous Vietnamese lacquer-painter; Christian Develter, a painter from Belgium; Thaweesak Srithongdee, Charles Cham, Nueng, Bogie, Therdkiat Wangwatcharakul, Tee, Kritsana Chaikitwattana, Supachet Bhumkarn, Myint Soe, Thanh Van, Chann Nyein Kyaw, Louise Truslow and two young Chiang Mai artists, Jittiwut Sriyang and Wanna Kumsombat.

Part of the newly opened exhibition

“The idea behind the gallery is to promote art from Asia and the Pacific. Simultaneously it encourages and supports the local contemporary and abstract art scene as well as features international posters and framed photographs from the region,” said Sommai Lumdual, director of the new venue located on Charoenraj Road, between the river restaurants and Rimping Condo. The new moon is shining!

‘City - a record of life in Chicago’

An American cultural exhibition

Marion Vogt

‘City - a record of life in Chicago’ is a photographic exhibition to promote art and expand cultural exchanges between USA and Thailand. The content of the exhibition comes from 200 photographers who spent 366 days in Chicago in the year 2000 to produce a photographic record of the residents, places and personalities. The end result is an exciting mix of styles and approaches, ranging from photojournalism to fine art photography.

Consul General Eric S. Rubin during his opening address. (Photo: Supattra Suttilagsana, U.S. Consulate Chiang Mai)

The exhibition has been on tour since January 1, 2001, and before arriving in Chiang Mai has toured Europe, the Middle East, Central America, Africa and Asia, including Bangkok, and Pattani. It is presented by the Cultural Programs Division and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and is funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

U.S. Consul General Eric S. Rubin officially opened the exhibition at Central Airport Plaza’s Lansilapa Art Gallery on March 17, saying in his address, “Many of you may have come here tonight with a particular image of Chicago in your minds. For a long time, Chicago was America’s second largest city, although that title now belongs to Los Angeles. It was known as The City of Broad Shoulders in honor of its noble heritage as a manufacturing, railroad and construction center. It has been the meatpacking capital of the United States, the commodity trading capital of the United States, and a beacon of hope for immigrants from throughout the world. It is also home to one of the world’s busiest and most important airports, O’Hare International. It is a center of academic study and research. The secrets of nuclear fission were unlocked in a small lab underneath the football stadium at the University of Chicago. Chicago also has some of the world’s best food, from deep-dish pizza to southern barbecue, from Polish sausage to Ukrainian dumplings. And a growing Mexican-American population has given Chicago some of the best (guaca)mole and fajitas to be found anywhere north of the Mexican border.

Cutting the ribbon are U.S. Consul General Eric S. Rubin and Chiang Mai Vice Governor Parinya Panthong. Orachorn Chanwiwatana, General Manager of Central Airport Plaza, and Jumpol Chutima, President of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce look on. (Photo: Supattra Suttilagsana U.S. Consulate Chiang Mai)

“The most important thing about Chicago, however, is its people, whose ancestors came from nearly every country on earth and every state of the United States. They came together to make the metropolis on the lakeshore one of the most exciting, diverse and beautiful cities in the world.”

The Mount Carmel High School Rugby Club practices a ‘line out’ as they warm up before their match against Kankakee. (Robert A. Davis, April 5, 2000 at the Hyde Park)

The exhibition is a photo documentary on living the American dream in Chicago. It features the multicultural face of the city, including its civic pride. A visit to Central Airport Plaza’s Lansilapa Art Gallery will show you if your preconceived ideas of Chicago, and the ‘real’ Chicago coincide.

(Footnote from Harry Flashman Chiangmai Mail’s photography writer : This concept is a well-tried one, and was similarly carried out in Thailand in 1987 with 50 of the world’s top photographers invited to Thailand for one week. The result was published in a book edited by William Warren, entitled ‘Thailand, Seven Days in the Kingdom’, ISBN 0-920691-37-4.)

Century old photographs brought to life

Astounding Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient exhibition

Reinhard Hohler

30 restored portraits from North-Eastern Cambodia taken in the years 1890-1906 by Frenchman Adh้mar Lecl่re are being displayed in the Chiang Mai branch of the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient (EFEO).

Thomas Baude, French honorary consul and director of the Alliance Francaise Chiang Mai, opened the photo exhibition on March 20, in front of an international audience of 50 distinguished guests.

The three guest speakers at the opening of the exhibition (left to right): Gregoire Rochigneux, Dr. Mathieu Guerin and Dr. Andrew Hardy.

Dr. Louis Gabaude, currently the supervisor of the EFEO in Chiang Mai, introduced the three guest speakers regarding the photographs taken of the Phnong, a group of highlanders living east of the Mekong River town of Kratie in Cambodia.

The rare photographs were obtained by Gregoire Rochigneux from the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia in Bangkok from the Museum of Alencon in Western France, the birthplace of the former journalist Adh้mar Lecl่re (1853-1907).

One of the 30 pictures taken of the Cambodian highlanders at the turn of the 19th century.

For the first time since they were taken at the turn of the century, the rare photographs have been shown in Phnom Penh, Bangkok and now in Chiang Mai.

Dr. Mathieu Guerin, a French researcher and co-author of a newly published book about the ethnic minorities in Vietnam and Cambodia, carefully selected the photographs out of the collection of more than 400.

One of the other co-authors, Dr Andrew Hardy from the UK, gave an interesting talk later that evening at the Informal Northern Thai Group meeting in the Alliance Francaise, on his research on the Montagnards of the Central Highlands in Vietnam.

The Adh้mar Lecl่re and the Phnong exhibition is at the EFEO Chiang Mai on 131 Charoen Prathet Road opposite the Alliance Francaise until April 8. Entrance is free.

Aromatherapy - Essential oils and their use and strength

Part 3

Chitra Klanprayoon, Ban Sabai Spa
President Thai Lanna Spa Association

Everybody talks about Aromatherapy. But what does it mean and how is it used? Here is a little insight on what it means and how you can select the best for yourself.

Essential oils are the vital life essence of aromatic plants and flowers in a condensed form. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for their therapeutic effects. Essential oils have been revered for their fragrance and their restorative effects on the body, mind, and spirit for thousands of years.

But when to use what? Here are some examples of essential oils and their use and strengths.

Chamomile (Wild)

Botanical Name: Ormenis multicaulis

Common Origins: Europe and North Africa

Aromatherapy Use: relaxing, replenishing, soothing, nurturing

Suggested Use: Bath, massage, diffuser, skin and hair care, compress

Fragrance: a light sweet-herb and slightly fruity scent; gives perfumes a sweet undertone that is long-lasting

Blends With: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Neroli, Geranium, Cinnamon, Rose

Medicinal Information: Chamomile has anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, soothing, anti-allergenic. and sedative properties due to the complexity of its natural components; chamomile has long been used alleviating a wide range of ailments, including headache, stomach problems, painful and irregular menstrual periods, joint and muscular ache, and difficulty sleeping. Chamomile herb tea is widely available as a pre-bedtime drink. One of the gentlest of oils - diluted, it is considered safe for children.