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Update December 18, 2014


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Arts - Entertainment
 

Gardens of Eden at 137 Pillars House

Artist Tsaja Iris is joined by General Manager of 137 Pillars House Manfred Ilg who encouraged Chiang Mai residents to visit the restaurant and view her paintings and noted that Tsaja is the first overseas artist to exhibit in the restaurant.

By Shana Kongmun
Newly resident to Chiang Mai Slovenian born artist Tsaja Iris always knew she wanted to be an artist. “It was my secret dream growing up,” she said. Adding that the very few people she did tell tried to discourage her from pursuing her dreams stating “It won’t get you anywhere.” However Tsaja was not to be deterred and has since traveled and lived in numerous countries including Italy, where she studied art, to France, Singapore, the United States and others.
Her latest collection is titled “Gardens of Eden” and features tropical gardens in South East Asia with a focus on Chiang Mai and the many fabulous gardens here. The selection of paintings on display will be changed regularly to keep it fresh but visitors to the Palette Restaurant at 137 Pillars House can be assured that the artist’s vibrant and colorful style will be the focus. With roots in Expressionism and Pop Art Tsaja’s paintings evoke the colorful tropical gardens vividly.
The exhibition is on display until March 15, 2014 and can be viewed daily from 9 a.m to 10 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to come and visit, and view her delightful paintings on display.


Duo proves that 1 and 1 equals one

Thaijiwit and Kitikong with one of their collaborative pieces at the new My Secret Café in Town.

By Shana Kongmun
Thaijiwit and Kitikong, two of Chiang Mai’s internationally best known artists are holding a month long exhibit titled 1 + 1 =1 at the newly opened My Secret Café in Town in the Wat Phra Singh area, down the small soi next to Akha Ama Coffee.
The duo, who work collaboratively on their collage style works laughed when asked if they argue over the direction of the work, noting that they have learned to work together quite well. Sometimes one works on a piece with the other taking over and sometimes together at the same time. They added that they don’t always start out with a specific idea in mind but work together to come up with the theme.
Their imaginative and interesting works are multi-layered and multi-faceted, encouraging viewers to look deeply at the piece, as the dimensions and depth draw one in.
The artists are on view through the end of the year at My Secret Café in Town, located just off Ratchadamnoen Road near Akha Ama Coffee and the bank.


Street art covers the walls of the U.S. Consulate

U.S. Consul General Michael Heath tries his hand at spray painting the walls of the Consulate – General.

The young street artists explained the meaning of their works to the Consul General and the media.

By Shana Kongmun
The U.S. Consulate General, as part of their efforts to promote creativity and design in Chiang Mai, in conjunction with Chiang Mai Design Week, held a wall painting exhibit on both outside and inside walls of the Consulate and a reception for artists, designers, and other people involved in the creative scene in Chiang Mai.
U.S. Consul General joined artists in painting the U.S. – Thai Creative Partnership logo on the wall before viewing art and meeting the artists who painted them. Street art is more than simply graffiti these days, with many artists taking to beautifying the walls of abandoned buildings with imaginative and colorful works of art.
The walls along the river side of the Consulate were painted by local artists, both transplants and native. Visitors are encouraged to come and view the walls and take pictures as well, the helpful security guards may encourage you to step a bit further out for a better view so don’t be discouraged if one talks to you, said consular staff.


A Rare Treat at Payap

By Jai Pee
The annual Christmas Concert held on Tuesday December 9th at Payap University contained, among the usual hot chestnuts brought out for airing at this time of year, a rare treat for the audience. The whole of the first part of this concert was devoted to one work – the ‘Oratorio de Noel’ by the French composer Camille Saint-Saens. And what a luxurious treat it was. With a string orchestra of 20 players including a harp, which has a significant role in this work, and a massed choir of just under 90 singers including the 6 soloists, not forgetting the organ delectably played by Remi Namthep, how could this fail to make a huge impression? And it was a huge impression, too. This rarely performed piece, written by the composer in just 2 weeks, was first performed in Paris in December 1858. It followed hard on the heels of one of the other great seasonal Oratorios, ‘L’Enfance du Christ’ of 1854, written by Saint-Saens’s close supporter and friend Hector Berlioz. The Oratorio owes much to the delicacy and lyricism of the Berlioz and I would not be in the slightest bit surprised if the idea for Saint-Saens to write this came from hearing the version of his friend and contemporary. So it was 156 years later that the music lovers of Chiang Mai had the opportunity to revel in this wonderful music which was performed with gusto, respect, dignity and enjoyment by all musicians present. Remembering that these performers are amateurs, this really was a fine effort. The choir under the directorship of Ajaan Ayu Namthep never drowned the orchestra or soloists and yet they captured the eloquence and lyricism of the work magnificently. There were occasional wavering notes from the soloists – only to be expected with their challenging parts, and the odd groan from the lower strings – but this did not detract from a very highly polished and enjoyable performance adeptly conducted by Apirat Praphanwong. Of the 10 separate sections of the Oratorio, based on two celebrated seasonal Masses, and using a Latin text from the Vulgate Bible, the ones which came across as most enticing were the ‘Benedictus’ Duet with its beautiful lyrical melody and forceful harp accompaniment, expressively played by Ajaan Judith Utley, and the Quartet ‘Laudate Coeli’ which united the soloists, choir and orchestra in a great display of strong melodies and powerful statements. This was excellent team work all round. What a pity we only get to hear these pieces once a year – they merit far more attention than a seasonal airing! The remainder of the concert was an admixture of Christmas carols, featuring the harps and bell choir, popular seasonal songs and a final blaze of glory from 2 brass bands. And the hall was packed to overflowing – a great and memorable occasion.


No Borders

Thai and American art exhibition at Baan Tuek

Artists and representatives from the U.S. Embassy join U.S. Consul General Michael Heath and curator of the display Pichai Pongsasaovapark at the opening.

By Shana Kongmun
The U.S. Consulate General and the U.S. Embassy joined with Baan Tuek Art Center under the umbrella of the Fine Arts Faculty of Chiang Mai University to present the works of Thai and American artists in a show titled “No Borders”.
Featuring photography, sculpture, paintings, etchings, and silk screenings, the show offered a broad cross section of different styles and viewpoints. The artists featured are Chonticha Sawini, Duangthida Luemuang, Pichai Pongsasaovapark, Bucklee Bell, Nicholas Luna, and Trevor James Foster.

Artist Bucklee Bell with some of his latest works and K. Pichai who also has photography on display.

U.S. Consul General Michael Heath welcomed the artists and friends who had come to the exhibit opening at Baan Tuek Art Center on Tha Pae Road on December 1, noting the importance of not just art but respecting the artist’s work and the need to protect their ownership rights of their own works.
The event was part of a series of events launching Chiang Mai Design Week to celebrate and focus on the creativity that makes Chiang Mai so unique.

Nicholas Luna with some of his recent pieces.

 


Famous German Musicologist In Chiang Mai

By Jai Pee
The eminent musicologist and dramaturg, Dr Ralf Eisinger from Berlin visited Chiang Mai last month. He had come by arrangement with Chiang Mai resident musicologist, Jean-Pierre to help in the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary since the birth of renowned composer Richard Strauss. Jean Pierre held two evenings of Strauss’s orchestral music on DVD at his Sansai home before introducing Dr Ralf to a select audience at the apartment of the Opera Club President, Dr Howard Graves.
The evening was arranged in the format of a series of questions as Jean-Pierre drew out from Dr Eisinger many of the features of this great composer whose works and operas have formed part of the backbone of Dr Ralf’s work over the past few years. Dr Ralf spoke enthusiastically and authoritatively about Strauss, his early career as a conductor, song writer, tone poem composer and writer of many fine operas in his later life. There were musical excerpts from some of Strauss’s compositions including the beautiful song ‘Morgen’ and parts of the operas Salome, Arabella and Capriccio. With delightful refreshments kindly provided by the host Dr Howard the event was a huge success. Many in the audience asked for a repeat in the future, and complimented the German dramaturg (someone with overall responsibility for opera productions in Germany) on a fine evening and for enlightening them on some of the techniques used by Strauss in his compositions. We all hope that Dr Eisinger will grace Chiang Mai again next year – he is a regular visitor to the city and has held voice workshops and opera seminars here in the past. It was an honour to be in the presence of such a knowledgeable authority which helped many of the music lovers of Chiang Mai to remember with great affection the music of this great composer in his 150th anniversary year.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Gardens of Eden at 137 Pillars House

Duo proves that 1 and 1 equals one

Street art covers the walls of the U.S. Consulate

A Rare Treat at Payap

No Borders

Famous German Musicologist In Chiang Mai


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