December 13th 2008 was a very special day for young Lahu artist
Winai is one of the students who entered the “Hill Tribe Ceramic Project”
early in 2006, a project initiated at Insii Thai House together with the
Rotary Club of Maechan. The educational phase of the project was achieved
with the help of French sculptor Paul Beckrich, who was invited to Thailand
to teach a special method of enamelling ceramics - a technique that “turns
clay into metal” by using a mix of various minerals with enamel and by
firing the sculptures at very precise temperatures.
one of the 3 sculptures especially done for H.M. King Norodom Sihamoni of
Cambodia and Their Majesties Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath
Sihanouk, the King-Father and the King-Mother of Cambodia.
Following the educational phase, Winai, one of the project’s most
enthusiastic and talented students, was offered a chance to continue in what
had become his new passion. With the help of the Rotary clubs of Maechan and
Lampang, as well as Taweeheng Leasing, a permanent workshop was able to be
created in Chiang Rai to enable the young sculptor to improve his skills.
After developing his new art form for nearly 3 years, Winai was ready to
present his work in a beautiful exhibition organized at Insii Thai House and
entitled ‘People of the Hills’.
party for around 300 guests was set up, and the whole event turned into a
celebration which ended with fireworks. Whilst it was a celebration of
Winai’s first exhibition, it was also an occasion to celebrate one of the
major successes of the projects held in the past several years at Insii Thai
Winai, who was a student for 12 years at Suksasongkroh Maechan School, comes
from a severely disadvantaged background and, in spite of his talent,
totally lacked any opportunity to make a better future for himself. However,
he belongs to those who are determined to fight to improve their lives and
those of their families.
With the support of Rotary and the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij
Foundation, and due to his own hard work and inspiration, Winai’s life has
changed and he is now on track to improve it still further. The first
exhibition of the work of this young hill tribe artist was a fine example of
how a life can improve when a person is given the chance to gain new
knowledge, and is also given all the necessary tools to use that particular
knowledge to reach a brighter future.
sculpture is done by hand by Winai. All of them have a different charm,
face, color and attitude
Governor Trisit Sinsomboonthong, who has been of great help to the Chao Phya
Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation, and H.E. Rudi Veestraeten, Belgian
Ambassador to Thailand, were among the guests of honour. Several members of
Belgian society were present, including Bart Kael and Luc Appermont, both of
whom are well known personalities on the Belgian show business and
television scene. Both flew in especially for the event.
Around 50 of Winai’s sculptures were presented to guests, including 3
special pieces which will take their place in the collection of His Majesty
King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. Whilst everyone is very proud of Winai’s
achievements, we all hope that, by working hard and by improving his
techniques further, he will reach his dream of becoming a recognized artist
in the future. The Chiang Mai Mail wishes this extremely talented
young man all the success he truly deserves.
Hill tribe members and other guests gathered
at Insii Tha House to celebrate Winai’s achievement.
Wilaiwan Phiriyakrit, director of the
Suksasongkroh Maechan School, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Chairman
of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation, and Police
Superintendent Prajak Awaiwanon.
Young Lahu artist Winai Chaso offers one of his
hill tribe sculptures
to Chiang Rai Governor Trisit Sinsomboonthong.
Saek Lacheku, a student supported by the
foundation, with some members of his family and Count Gerald van der Straten
Atmosphere on the way to the exhibition, held at
Insii ThaiHouse, the home of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij
Governor of Chiang Rai, Trisit Sinsomboonthong,
with the new Belgian ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Rudi Veestraeten.
Count Gerald, (3rd left,), pictured with guests
and a number of Winai’s pieces.