HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

CMIS celebrates its 51st year

17 year old wins Chiang Mai To Be Number One singing contest

GIS opens new primary school building

EGAT offers rural schools brighter future

Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Rirkrit Tiravanija Retrospective Exhibition

CMIS celebrates its 51st year

Kevin Morse

Chiang Mai International School kicked off its 51st year with a “Welcome Event” sponsored by the school’s Parent-Teacher Group (PTG) on Friday, August 27. A large group of parents, teachers and students enjoyed a relaxed afternoon of fun, conversation and food after school.

CMIS parent (and event organizer) Patrick Roberts serving drinks and ice cream.

Newly-appointed CMIS Principal Terry Gamble was in attendance and took the opportunity to welcome and get to know families in the school community. “The best schools are ones with strong parent support,” Gamble noted, “and it’s wonderful to see that CMIS parents are so involved.”

The crowd enjoyed the opportunity to meet new families and reconnect with old friends. Free ice cream, drinks and snacks were available in abundance, provided by the PTG and parents. The event was coordinated by parents Patrick Roberts, Muriel Schachtel, Dr. Ittisak Siamphukdee, Rudklow Patanaanunwong and Khunying Pimjai Kupadakvinij.

On Monday, August 16 CMIS opened its doors to its maximum capacity of 400 students, more than 80 of them new to the school. More than 26 nationalities are represented in the student body and the “Welcome Event” gave both new and returning families the opportunity to get to know each other, celebrating the school’s diverse community.

The Parent-Teacher Group has been a vital part of the CMIS community for several decades now, encouraging students and teachers and raising funds for various special projects. Their current fund-raising drive is for a new quarter of a million baht playground set for the CMIS Elementary School.

17 year old wins Chiang Mai To Be Number One singing contest

A star is born

Staff Reporters

The final of the ‘Chiang Mai To Be Number One Singer Contest 2004’ was held at the Lanna Music Hall in Central Airport Plaza. More than 500 spectators had come to watch and encourage the 12 excited youngsters who made it out of the initial 316 contestants.

(From left) Vice Governor Kwanchai Wongnitikorn, 2nd runner up Golf, 1st runner up Cat, winner Bae, Dr. Chao Duangduan Na Chiangmai and Khunying Pimjai Kupadakvinij, the chairwoman of the singing contest.

It was visible that these teenagers had gone through some serious practicing and training. The final was the day to give it their all, to make all that preparation pay off. From Thai country music, to well-liked pop and soft jazz, the variety was enjoyable and gave the jurors a hard time.

2nd runner up was Golf - she is being congratulated by the chairwoman of the event, Khunying Pimjai Kupadakvinij.

During the break when all votes were being counted, four famous Thai artists took over the stage of the Lanna Music, with strong voiced ‘Da Endo-phine’, sophisticated ‘Dice’, the soft ‘Saeksarn’ (Oh) who is adored by daughters and mothers alike and sweet Mint kept everyone’s attention during the agonizing wait for the final results.

Bae receives his cheque from Dr. Chao Duangduan Na Chiangmai.

Since it was obvious that all the finalists were “winners” in one sense, they all received T-Shirts and 1,500 baht from Voice Studio Chiang Mai. The three top spots were awarded to 2nd runner up, 14-year-old Golf, who favored ‘old time songs’ and who was overjoyed that she made it.

1st runner up was 16-year-old Cat from Chiang Mai, a student from Prince Royals College who had a distinctive jazz voice.

The winner was 17-year-old Bae, whose voice reminds one of Al Jarreau and you forgot that it was a 17 year old, singing these soft and jazzy love songs. Bae was the audience’s popular choice too, winning ‘Mr. Popular’ which brought him another 5,000 baht on top of the winning cheque of 30,000 baht.

There were others who recognized his talent, with RS Promotion already offering him a contract. We will be hearing more from this young man, in more ways than one!

GIS opens new primary school building

Saksit Meesubkwang

Grace International School held their Primary Building Dedication ceremony on August 27, attended by guests, parents, students, teachers, the local Hang Dong police and dignitaries.

It began with the national anthem sung by the GIS students, and opening prayers in Thai by Maranatha Luckanachai, English by Mark Perkins and Korean by Soo Jee Kim.

GISEF chairman Paul Utley (left), at the introduction.

Phrayad Cherdchoochart, the president of the Grace International School Education Foundation (GISEF), welcomed guests and dignitaries and introduced GISEF chairman Paul Utley.

Bill Hampton delivered the keynote speech, while Scott Hansen, vice-consul of the US Consulate General in Chiang Mai, congratulated GIS.

Uthai Khattiyod, superintendent of the 4th Education Area, presided over the opening ceremony, and Uthai and Chalerm Ratchanakul, assistant inspector of the Ministry of Education, cut the ribbon marking the opening of the building.

GIS primary school students and parents attending the celebration.

The GIS staff said that the public had become involved with and supported the development and construction of the new building. Chumley Eckerle was the master planner and facilities manager. He invested countless hours coordinating and overseeing the construction down to the most minute details.

Chumley’s goal was to make this the most comfortable and efficient building possible for the primary school. Throughout the design and construction phase, Jennie Garcia, the principal, provided creative details about how the needs of the 400 students could best be met with this facility.

EGAT offers rural schools brighter future

Autsadaporn Kamthai

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has helped the government by supporting 30 schools around the country to the tune of about 2 million baht over the next three years.

Students dressed in traditional clothes present their scientific projects.

This is in response to the government’s campaign of “One District, One School in A Dream” that aims to provide better educational activities and opportunities for students in rural areas of Thailand. It is also hoped that this would decrease the number of rural students who move into towns to study, by improving the standards in the rural schools.

EGAT is supporting five schools in the North - Wiang Haeng School in Chiang Mai, Chiang Kam School in Phayao, Mae Moh School in Lampang, Tar Klang School in Uttaradit and Sam Ngao School in Tak.

The financial support is going towards improving the schools’ educational activities, personnel and equipment, following input from the schools themselves.

A ceremony was held at Wiang Haeng School in Wiang Haeng district, Chiang Mai to show off the improvements to the school. EGAT has donated more computers, a sound lab and electronic learning library. Under this support scheme, the school is able to employ native English-speaking teachers.

As it is situated in a border district, the school previously lacked educational equipment and competent personnel. The school had only 18 teachers to teach 400 students.

It is interesting that the government education scheme has to rely on a utility provider to accomplish the educational aims.

AKamin Lertchaiprasert and Rirkrit Tiravanija Retrospective Exhibition

Another look at ‘Modern Art’ at CMU

Sasiwimon Wongjarin, CMU Art Museum Coordinator

There will be a retrospective exhibition at the Chiang Mai University Art Museum from September 10-30, when it presents ‘Nothing’: a retrospective exhibition by Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Rirkrit Tiravanija. The opening will be at 6 p.m. on September 10.

Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Rirkrit Tiravanija will present works that slip through institutional cracks with ideas that can be interpreted on a simple level. They draw attention to, and raise questions about, the daily experience of simply doing (only partially, if at all, related to art).

The artists’ works will be organized in reverse chronological order, starting from the decade of the 1990s and working back to the 1980s. Kamin will exhibit two dimensional mixed media works (Normal and Nature, 1997) and serial sculptures.

In contrast to Kamin’s more introspective process, Rirkrit plunges into the social sphere with ‘ready-made’ installations that seduce people beyond their mere viewing pleasure and operate beyond himself as a celebrated persona (move over, Warhol). For this exhibition sampling, Rirkrit will feed you (Pad Thai, 1999), he’ll shelter you (Untitled tomorrow can shut up and go away, 1999, 2004 copy edition), he’ll even rock you (Untitled (D), 1995).

The retrospective will also focus on the artists’ approach to collaboration, social consciousness, and the everyday. To what extent have the artists’ engaged their audience? What is their definition of the ‘everyday’? In what social contexts have they produced their works? Rirkrit is internationally known for his relational situations in gallery spaces. Kamin has provided the young art community in Chiang Mai an alternative space for discussion, activities, and exhibitions.

In tune with the artists’ support of the local community, the exhibition will also showcase paintings by art students from Chiang Mai University.

By holding this exhibition, the Chiang Mai University Art Museum hopes to build a greater awareness of contemporary art in the northern region of Thailand. It is a firm step in the museum’s engagement with contemporary art as a tool for building social consciousness and community.

Curator: Gridthiya Gaweewong, email: [email protected]

Assistant Curator: Karen Demavivas, email: cmuxhibition