OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Eight English women artists exhibit at CMU

Chiang Mai Expat Club up and up

US Ambassador presents 2 million baht to restore Wat Baan Ko murals

Will Chiang Mai form a ‘ballet society’?

A show of support for the Gymkhana Club

‘Music from an Unknown Source’, Sigmar Polke exhibition

Eight English women artists exhibit at CMU

Preeyanoot Jittawong

The WE exhibition is a collaboration between the West, as represented by the artists, and their sponsors - the University of Hertfordshire and the British Council in Chiang Mai - and the East, as represented by Chiang Mai University Art Museum.

(From Left) Hagen E W Dirksen, German honorary consul; Assoc. Prof. Surasawat Suksawat, dean of the faculty of fine arts at Chiang Mai University and Jon Glendinning, director of Chiang Mai British Council.

The eight artists are Wendy Briggs, Regina Elliott, Rydal Hanbury, Siripan Kidd, Helen Mastrandrea, Jackie Lancaster, Lisa Novelli and Nanthapa Cooper. They are currently living in the southeast of England, and this exhibition presents them in a new context with the aim of stimulating intercultural discussions and understandings.

Their works offer an exciting diversity of practices, imagery, themes and materials, relating to their differing individual interests. Although the majority of the group is connected through shared experiences of graduate and/or postgraduate study at the University of Hertfordshire, what predominantly links their works loosely together is a shared engagement with a conceptual approach to art practice.

An attendant views art by the eight women artists from England.

For curator Nanthapa Cooper, it also represents a return of the prodigal daughter to her cultural roots, and an opportunity to invite a group of artists to visit her family home.

The exhibition runs from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday until October 21, on first floor of Chiang Mai University Art Museum.

Jon Glendinning, director of Chiang Mai British Council, presided over the opening ceremony of the WE Contemporary Art Exhibition together with Hagen E W Dirksen, German honorary consul in Chiang Mai.


Chiang Mai Expat Club up and up

Lucy Coombs

The first October meeting of the recently formed Chiang Mai Expat Club showed another good turn-out. Since the club was established, the number of visitors is increasing steadily which shows that it does fill a perceived need in the local community.

The top floor of Art Café could hardly hold all the people who showed up for the club’s first October meeting.

The latest meeting was moderated by Tom Matty, the vice president who praised Jim Cox who is currently spending some time with his family in the States for his work in getting CEC started.

Tom introduced Horst Bruch and Corien Schuurmans who took over the club’s information with regards to local current events. Tom recommended that checking the Chiangmai Mail for the latest on events would also be beneficial and asked members for their information or ideas on what is happening around town.

The first guest speaker of the day was Sumalee Jennapa, an attorney.

How to become a member and the fees were discussed. A one year membership is 250 baht while a lifetime membership is 600 baht and it gives members discounts at expat merchants.

The first guest speaker was Sumalee Jennapa, an attorney. She spoke briefly about visas saying, “Don’t send just your passport to the boarder and don’t overstay. If it happens that you overstay for whatever reason, it costs B. 200 per day but it all can be done in ‘a legal way’ at the immigration office.” She also advised for people buying property to make sure that they read the contracts in English or to have a co-signer understanding both English and Thai plus to make sure to do it with a lawyer and a good broker. She explained for newcomers that condominiums can be bought outright but that buying land and house needs a Thai buyer and that there will not be a change in the near future as land is supposed to stay with the Thai people.

Second guest speaker was Supaluck Promkuntha, a banker from Bangkok Bank who spoke about her bank and the services. She described the branches, then spoke about housing loans. Her bank has safe deposit boxes, internet banking and you can pay bills through the bank. They offer investment banking and you can transfer money from abroad. She informed that they will also issue letters to immigration for a visa.

The next breakfast meeting will be on Saturday, October 22, again at the first floor of Art Café at 10.30 a.m. and will feature Michael Vogt from Chiangmai Mail as speaker. The Chiangmai Expats Club is a non profit organization – all fees go into the general running of the club – More information and news on the Chiangmai Expats Club Website www.chiangmaiex patsclub.com


US Ambassador presents 2 million baht to restore Wat Baan Ko murals

Preeyanoot Jittawong

US Ambassador Ralph L Boyce has presented 2,112,000 baht from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation towards the renovation of mural paintings at Wat Baan Ko in Wang Nuae, Lampang.

Dr Pongsak Angkasit, Chiang Mai University president (left) receives the budget from Ralph L Boyce, US ambassador in Thailand (right), witnessed by Bea Camp, US consul general in Chiang Mai and Withi Panichapan, lecturer at the faculty of fine arts, CMU.

The program to save the murals will be conducted between the faculties of Fine Arts of Chiang Mai University and Naresuan University Phayao Campus.

Ambassador Boyce presented the budget for the program to Dr Pongsak Angkasit, president of Chiang Mai University, and Withi Panichapan, lecturer of the CMU’s faculty of fine arts.

Before the budget presentation, US Embassy officials along with Withi Panichapan traveled to Wan Baan Ko to view the murals. The renovation program of the century-old paintings is expected to be finished within 18 months.

Withi Panichapan, lecturer at the faculty of fine arts, CMU takes media and officers to look around Wat Baan Ko temple in Lampang.

The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation was set up by US Congress Council in 2001 to support the conservation of cultural heritage seen to be at risk through deterioration.

This year the fund has supported 87 projects in 76 countries worldwide with 2.5 million US dollars. The mural renovations at Wat Baan Ko has one of the highest budgets in East Asia.


Will Chiang Mai form a ‘ballet society’?

As many now know, the Opera Society of Chiangmai is now in its second season. For about eight months, an opera is presented on alternate Thursdays. There are over seventy-five members in the society.

It would seem that there may also be a considerable interest in ballet. The number of ballets is not as large as that of operas; however, there is a sufficient number that a “season” could be opened with regularly scheduled presentations. The society would be open to ballet lovers sixteen years of age (16 and 17 year olds accompanied by their parents) and older.

This notice is an attempt to determine the extent of interest in viewing ballet on a fifty-three inch plasma screen; also, in determining the interest in pot luck suppers during an interval of the ballet.

If you are interested in becoming a member of such a society, please email Dr. Howard C. Graves, Jr. at [email protected] or telephone him at 053 219 683. Please include your telephone number. Should the number of members in the society exceed 20, it will be necessary to employ a system of invitation to be explained later. If by any chance you possess ballet DVDs and would be willing to have them used for a performance, please include that information.


A show of support for the Gymkhana Club

Adam Head

What do you do when your golf course is flooded out three times in six weeks and is rendered unplayable by a thick layer of mud up to 30 centimeters deep in places? Not sure? Well, neither are we, but you could start by inviting your friends and acquaintances to a weekend lunch to talk things over and give a show of support, and that’s exactly what the Gymkhana Sport’s Club did last Saturday.

The mud, which looks a little like Khao Soi in places, used to be the beautiful Gymkhana Sport’s Club.

Many local folk turned up for the traditional Chiang Mai staple Khao Soy lunch, added to the menu for this special occasion, and music performed by the charming Too. No doubt the organizers would have been heartened to see such a show of solidarity from the local community, and such social events will hopefully generate the energy and determination to overcome the devastating effects of this year’s floods.

Like many in Chiang Mai, the Gymkhana Club will need the support of its members and general public, so keep an eye out for opportunities to lend a hand. The clubhouse itself remains an oasis of peace and calm in the heart of the city, graced as ever by the breathtaking beauty of its imperious trees, and the restaurant and bar are open as usual. Likewise, we are sure that you would like to join us in wishing the oldest sports club in Chiang Mai the very best of luck for a speedy rehabilitation and a return to all its verdant glory.


‘Music from an Unknown Source’, Sigmar Polke exhibition

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Chiang Mai University Art Museum, in co-operation with the Goethe-Institute Bangkok, is presenting ‘Music from an Unknown Source’ exhibition of Sigmar Polke, a German artist who has provided 40 artworks to display from now until October 28.

(From left) German Hon. Consul Hagen Dirksen and his wife Wanphen Dirksen, Japanese Consul General Katsuhiro Shinohara and his wife Tamiko, CMU Art Museum officer Pornthip Chaiphimansri, British Hon. Consul Jon Glendinning and VIP guests at the exhibition.

In the gouaches of this exhibition, Polke makes the dripping and flowing of paint his theme, originating from the character of the watery gouaches.

German Hon. Consul Hagen Dirksen talking to Holger Heinze from Hamburg and Heather Glendinning.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition on October 4 was presided over by Hagen Dirksen, German Hon. Consul in Chiang Mai. Hagen Dirksen, an art lover, added that the important thing was that theses 40 paintings would make the northern audiences understand various shapes and pictures and symbols through the artworks. He hoped that this exhibition would be an inspiration for the audience and to understand Polke.