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The King of Art focuses on HM the King

This unusual portrait of HM the King was created by Naret Boontiang and hangs on the top floor of Nacha Artists’ Residence.

By Shana Kongmun
Nacha Artists’ Residence is tucked away around the corner from the White Chedi but features some incredible Thai artists, both local and from other parts of Thailand. Their most recent exhibitions, The King of Art and Lanna Buddhist Ways, focused on two topics dear to Northern hearts; HM the King and Buddhism in Lanna.

Akkhaphop Phruekpiti (2nd right) and Waranan Pongcharoenkul (left) present one of Akkhaphop’s portraits of HM the King to Tarrin Nimmanhaeminda.

Twelve artists from Thailand offered up thoughtful and loving portraits of His Majesty King Bhumibol on the top floor gallery of Nacha Artists’ Residence. Ranging in mediums and styles the portraits covered the life of HM the King in different stages, from youth to now and the many different aspects of his life; from his love of music to his relationship with the people of Thailand. Some of the portraits of HM the King were not traditional but rather showed a scene in which a picture of His Majesty played a role; from hanging on a wall in someone’s house to pencil drawing of a medallion with his profile on it.

Thitiprom Onpium took first place for her quilt titled Ancestor Worship No.1

The second exhibit, Lanna Buddhist Ways, was held on the second floor and saw artists compete to portray Lanna Buddhist life in a myriad of ways, from quilts to prints, and paintings. First prize went to Thitiprom Onpium for her mixed media presentation of a beautiful quilt titled Ancestor Worship Number 1.

(From left: Tarrin Nimmanhaeminda, Austrian Honorary Consul Nikolaus Prachensky, Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii, Waranan and Preecha Ponghchareonkul.

Former Finance Minister and Chiang Mai notable Tarrin NImmanhaeminda joined the exhibition launch and award presentation, who noted that he hoped Nacha Artists’ Residence would continue their efforts to inspire artists to continue their pursuit in perfecting their art. He encouraged the public to share the joy and admiration for art and help strengthen arts creation in Thailand so that artists can achieve greater recognition.

Nacha Artists Residence is located on Thaiwang Road and is open Tuesday through Sunday to 7 p.m. Preecha and Waranan Pongcharoenkul are the driving forces behind Nacha, and their goal is to create a space enabling artists to exhibit in a large variety of mediums and styles.

The winning quilt on Lanna Buddhist life titled Ancestor Worship No. 1 by Thitiprom Onpium.

Hill tribes children shine at Small World Festival in Mae Hong Son

Kids dressed up in their traditional finery for the Festival.

By Maria Miller
Hill tribe children from around the North were given their chance to shine on Christmas Eve at the 4th annual Small World Festival was held in Mae Hong Son on December 24, 2013.

The Small World Festival saw an estimated 750 children from 12 tribes and 30 different schools take part in the festivities at Jongkum Lake in Mae Hong Son during the day and evening. Local schoolchildren also joined the Festival to take part. Lahu, Lisu, Long Neck (Kayan), Lawu, Karen, Shan, Big Ear Padong (Kayan), Yue-man, Akha, Wuu, Hmong and P’oa were all represented at the Festival which is sponsored by Toys for Thailand, in partnership with the Mae Hong Son Education Development Association and the City of Mae Hong Son.

Children from 30 different schools from around Northern Thailand performed traditional dances and other performances onstage at the Small World Festival held on December 24, 2013.

The all day festival promoted a greater awareness of the rich cultural traditions of the Hill Tribe children while providing a venue for the schools to raise funds by selling items at their booths. Toys for Thailand provided each school with “seed money” to develop products to sell at the festival. Handicrafts included hand woven scarves, wood bowls and bamboo baskets, knitted hats and gloves, cards, paintings, and embroidery. Specialty items such as organically grown coffee, cabbage, mushrooms and ghost chili peppers were sold. Each booth took in between $60-$300 from sales and donations. The children were thrilled to learn about “selling” and speaking Thai (and English) to the visitors to their booth.

The children were glad to be given the opportunity to introduce their traditional cultures to other tribal people and the public at large.

The Small World Festival gives the hill tribe children a once in a lifetime opportunity to share their culture and talents with Thais, tourists and members of other hill tribes, as well as meet fellow students from far-flung schools throughout Northern Thailand. The Small World festival was created to inspire hope for children to express their tribal traditions and to be rewarded for their talents. Over the past four years the Small World Festival has grown and now receives support from local resorts and businesses in Mae Hong Son. The goal of the Small World Festival is to become a major tourist attraction in Thailand and to be included in the calendar of major festivals in Thailand issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

A khom loy was released at the festival, something the kids always enjoy.

Toys for Thailand is a group of international volunteers who have provided basic need items to orphaned, abandoned and refugee children in Thailand since 2005. For more information about Toys for Thailand see www.toysforthailand .org or contact Maria Miller at [email protected] (All photos courtesy of T.J. Bouma)

Countdown to New Year 2014

Roaring success as tourists flock to Chiang Mai

Royal Park Rajapruek put on a spectacular fireworks show impressing over 10,000 visitors.

Nopniwat Krailerg
New Year’s Eve was a huge success for local businesses as tourists poured into the city to celebrate the New Year. The Walking Street Market was packed with visitors and hotels were reporting 100% capacity. Huay Kaew was plagued by traffic jams after police re-opened the road to Doi Suthep under pressure from local vendors. Many visitors came to enjoy the cold winter temperatures as well as the New Year’s party, camping in Mon Jam in Mae Rim, and traveling to the top of Doi Inthanon.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Office said that the 5 day long holiday brought in around 1 billion baht in revenues to Chiang Mai. A large Countdown Festival was held at Tha Pae Gate and many other places held their own festivities including Central Festival Chiang Mai, Promenada Resort Shopping Mall, Royal Park Rajapruek and the Chiang Mai Night Safari. Top hotels held gala balls and parties for guests with live music, costumes and performances.

An estimated 10,000 tourists gathered at Royal Park Rajapruek to count down to New Year, 2014 at the Flora Festival 2013 and enjoyed concerts from Chiangmai All Stars, Aj. Aad Panutat, San Sai Folk Band by SansaiWittayakom School, cultural shows by “Leela Lanna Club”, and a finale by Toni Rakkaen and 2014 fireworks.

Chiang Mai Night Safari held the “Countdown Hat Party Safari Night”, party and welcomed the Year of the Horse with a parade featuring the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac and a gala fireworks show with 460 different fireworks. The opening ceremony was presided over by Gen. Chaiyasit Shinawatra. During New Year Festival the Night Safari had around 3,000 visitors a day.

The Chiang Mai Night Safari held the Countdown Hat Party presided over by Gen. Chaiyasit Shinawatra.

Imperial Mae Ping Peter Schnyder joins guests to the hotel’s New Year’s Eve ball.

The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel Chiang Mai held a New Orleans style masquerade ball with extravagant costumes and shows.

Holiday Inn guests were entertained with dancers and other performances during the evening.

Holiday Inn Chiang Mai held a gala masquerade party for residents and guests at the river side.

Rachamankha Hotel guests released Khom Loy just before midnight.

Rachamankha Hotel’s owner Rooj (2nd right) and a friend welcomed German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen and his wife Wanphen Sakdatorn to the New Year’s Eve Party.

Singing star Toni Rakkaen is joined onstage for the finale at New Year at Royal Park Rajapruek.

Royal Park Rajapruek offered concerts, dance performances and more for visitors on New Year’s Eve.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

The King of Art focuses on HM the King

Hill tribes children shine at Small World Festival in Mae Hong Son

Countdown to New Year 2014