Arts - Entertainment & It
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Tattoo art at MuMu

Bangkok mystery series hits the theaters

The Concert of the Year

Asia’s premier rehab centre achieves 96% completion rate.

Idol competition sold out


Tattoo art at MuMu

This Ganesha tattoo shows the skill and detail involved.

The exhibition Tattoism; My body is my canvas is running until May 15 at MuMu gallery on Nimmanhaemin Soi 7. The exhibition features photos of unique tattoo art, both Thai and western.

Chiang Mai University’s lecturer Kosit Juntaratip also features his unique tattoo art in an exhibition titled, “Where there is love there is pain” as well as those of Nidchai Ngeawkham’s ink on coffee dyed paper tattoos titled, “Lanna Erotic Tattoo”. The tattoos on display are in turns beautiful, interesting and unique.

This unique tattoo shows the shape of Thailand with the Thai flag and a Buddha image.

Bangkok mystery series hits the theaters

Vithaya Pansringarm plays the ex-cop turned monk
 in this Bangkok murder mystery series.

Mindfulness and Murder is a feature film based on the first in a series of Father Ananda mystery novels by former Bangkok Post writer Nick Wilgus. The project originated when Wilgus sent Tom Waller a copy of his screenplay adaptation, which was enthusiastically received. “The story immediately grabbed me, after all, how often do you come across a monk detective!” says Waller, who decided the story was perfect for him to turn into his first cinematic feature project as director. The first thought that came in to Waller’s mind was who to play Father Ananda. Waller turned to his friend and actor Vithaya “Pu” Pansringarm, who he envisaged was perfect for the role. Together with Pansringarm, he worked on the Thai language adaptation of Wilgus’ own English language screenplay.

After work on the screenplay was completed, Waller began planning principal photography, which was to take place in and around Bangkok in an old Buddhist temple in Nonthaburi and on the canals of Bang Yai. He assembled his regular collaborators from his production team at De Warrenne Pictures, finding a window in their schedules to mount the three week shoot. As to the production funding, Waller turned to his long time associate Michael Pritchett who quickly came on board as Producer.

After just 15 days, filming was complete. Waller then set about finding the right editor to help assemble his vision. At first he turned to renowned editor Lee Chatametikool (The Elephant King), who had worked with him before. But he was not available due to prior commitments on other Thai films. So Chatametikool suggested Sawit Prasertphan, who took on the project with much enthusiasm, working between his cutting room in Chiang Mai and Waller’s office in Bangkok. After Waller was satisfied with the cut, he sent the film to French composer Olivier Lliboutry to work on the original score. Finally the film Mindfulness and Murder was completed in late 2010, ready for film festival submission and fit for showing on the big screen.

“I was intrigued by the premise: a former cop who has become Buddhist monk, asked by his Abbot to investigate the murder of a boy in his monastery. Visions of Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose and Sherlock Holmes sprang to mind, albeit in a contemporary and exotic cultural and religious setting. Being from two cultures and brought up by parents with different religions, gave me a unique dual perspective on the story,” Mr. Waller said.

“I observed real life situations within the monastic world in Thailand - as hard and shocking as it may seem, nothing portrayed in the film is not supported by instances that occur in reality. Murderous acts and committing sins are the scandal of monasteries all over the world, with the Buddhist communities in Bangkok being no exception to wayward moral behaviour and bad karma, he continued.”

However, in telling this fictional story of a clerical detective, I tried to remain as un-exploitative as possible, letting Ananda meditate through his spiritual journey whilst unraveling the clues with relative calm and mindfulness. Only in this way does he solve the crime and catch the murderer with clear conscience of mind,” he concluded.
Mindfulness and Murder opened in cinemas April 6.

The Concert of the Year

By Jai-Pee

On Friday May 6th, Chiang Mai will host three of Thailand’s most prestigious musicians who will play a recital containing just one long work – the rarely heard Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor, Opus 50. The date of this recital coincides with the birthday of the late music-loving Princess Galyani Vadhana – and the recital is being dedicated to her memory.

This is one of the most important and prestigious music events in Chiang Mai’s performing arts calendar. Rarely do we get the opportunity to hear the marvelous musicians listed below playing in ensemble, and rarely do we get the opportunity to hear this unique piece of Tchaikovsky. The recital will take place in the newly refurbished and attractive ground-floor auditorium of the Rimping Condominium, standing as it does alongside the Mae Ping River and at the foot of the Nakhorn Ping Bridge. The recital will be preceded by a free cocktail reception at 7.00pm provided by the Samsen Villa Restaurant next to the auditorium. The restaurant will also be offering concert-goers a 20% discount on meals after the recital for those who wish to make this unique event something really special and an evening to remember.

The distinguished musicians for the evening will be:
Indhuon Srikaranonda, piano is one of the most accomplished pianists in Thailand; she is one of the very few Thai pianists to have established a national and international reputation and she has made many international festival appearances in New Zealand, Europe, the USA and Asia. She is in constant demand both as a teacher and as a performer. Indhuon lives and teaches in Bangkok and we welcome her wholeheartedly to Chiang Mai for this rare performance.

Tasana Nagavajara, violin needs no introduction to us in Chiang Mai. He has made numerous appearances for the Friends, Payap University, Chiang Mai University and at the Four Seasons Resort in Mae Rim as well as many other places in and around the city. Former concert master of the BSO, now deputy Dean of the Faculty of Music at Silpakorn University and deputy secretary of the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music, his immaculate playing has delighted audiences here for years.

Ekachai Maskulrat, violoncello is rapidly establishing himself as one of the world’s leading young cellists. At just 25 years of age he has already appeared internationally in New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and China; he is currently studying in Switzerland at Master’s level.

The Tchaikovsky Piano Trio was written in December 1881 and January 1882 and was given its first performance later in 1882 when in its original form it lasted an hour and a quarter. The composer subsequently took advice from players and other musicians and made a number of revisions which resulted in a shortened version lasting just over fifty minutes, the version that the musicians will perform on May 6th. The original score was dedicated “to the memory of a great artist”, Tchaikovsky’s great friend and virtuoso Rubinstein having died in March 1881. The piece is not generally well known so this recital will be a rare opportunity for music lovers to hear and appreciate this endearing piece of music.

This wonderful recital is being organized by The Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai (formerly known as the Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival) and a few seats are still available at 400 baht. The piano for this occasion is being transported from Bangkok and the ‘cello has a seat of its own on the aircraft which the musicians will be using! For enquiries regarding seats and for further details, contact the Friends group via JP on 084 868 1017 or email: [email protected].

This is not an event to be missed by any music lover living in or visiting Chiang Mai!

Asia’s premier rehab centre achieves 96% completion rate.

3The Cabin Chiang Mai, widely regarded as the premier drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Asia, reveals the potency of its programmes, recording an impressive 96% completion rate of all clients in 2010.
Though structured along the well-established 12 Steps rehabilitation lines, The Cabin’s drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes comprise highly progressive evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques and personalized counselling elements.
“Our clients greatly appreciate our intelligent approach individually tailored to each client’s personal needs. It’s an unusually intensive programme in which they become very engaged. Even while they are with us clients begin to enjoy significant life changes,” says Programme Director and Head Counsellor, Alastair Mordey.
Programmes are completely secular and involve no religious component, so are suitable for all races and faiths.
“We also focus on fitness and mindfulness components, making the most of our wonderful natural setting,” says Centre Director Peter Maplethorpe. “A great setting to kick-start a new mindset.”
The centre presents like a 5-star luxury boutique tropical resort with its riverside setting and comfortable teak-wood cabins in an area just outside Chiang Mai.
“Your privacy and anonymity are absolutely assured in our secluded riverside facility far from the prying eyes of family, friends and colleagues. Our clients are also far from their usual addiction triggers, and enjoy a vibrant group dynamic in a fresh environment, living the healthy lifestyle they dream of, even while still in rehab,” says Maplethorpe.
Despite the fact that The Cabin offers clients an industry-unique pro-rata refund should they choose to exit the programme at any point, no one has exercised this option yet. “It shows our confidence in the quality of our treatment programmes,” says Maplethorpe. “In fact, an unusually high proportion of clients actually extend beyond the minimum 28 days.”
As Asia’s leading rehab centre, clients can expect the same high level of care they would get in Western countries. The Cabin’s counselors are British and Canadian, but clients also enjoy the renowned added care and compassion of local Thai staff, too, especially in the areas of fitness, yoga, and massage.
Exorbitant cost is usually the stumbling block for recovery at international treatment centres, but not at The Cabin Chiang Mai.
“Our affordability comes not from sacrificing professionalism, treatment or accommodation standards, but rather in the low operating cost of our locale,” says Maplethorpe. “We are able to offer a world-class recovery programme at a price almost one third of comparable treatment in Western countries, even though we employ highly qualified Western professionals.”
Chiang Mai is highly regarded as a medical/ healthcare/ wellness hub. Furnished with a range of international hospitals, spas and wellness centers it is a beacon for those wishing to improve their health in a safe environment.
Chiang Mai is also one of the world’s great adventure travel destinations and The Cabin offers an attractive array of excursions including elephant trekking, zipline jungle canopy tours, white-water rafting, Thai cooking lessons, fishing or hot springs each Sunday.
“One advantage of our location and excursions is that you can return home from your programme looking happy and healthy, and show everyone great photos of your adventure holiday in Chiang Mai. No one would ever guess you’ve been here for rehab treatment,” says Maplethorpe.
The Cabin is an 8-unit drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment centre, established in 2009 by a group of Western rehabilitation treatment professionals, qualified and accredited with organizations such as the British Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals and the Canadian Professional Counselors Association. The Cabin has also created an alliance with the leading international hospital in Northern Thailand.
The Cabin’s team includes a clinical advisor (Thailand’s foremost addiction expert), fitness and yoga instructors, a masseuse, and an art therapist, with an enviable staff-to-client ratio of nearly 3:1.
The Cabin is located on the banks of the Ping River, Chiang Mai, and includes a pool and jungle gym. Clients reside in airy teak-wood cabins amid lush landscaped tropical gardens, with four-poster beds, luxury bathtubs, large flat-screen TVs and DVD, and wi-fi facilities. Communal facilities include a library (for books and DVDs), restaurant, and wooden deck overlooking the river.


Idol competition sold out

Tim McGuire and Sydney Moss (right) listen to David Shrubsole as he discusses the need for more media support at the press conference held at the Playhouse Entertainment Complex

David Shrubsole of the Playhouse Entertainment Complex was joined by organizer Sydney Moss to announce that the upcoming Idol competition to be held at the Playhouse was already sold out and thanked sponsors, Rimping, The Dukes, Butter is Better, Boutique Travel and others for their generous support in helping to put the show on.

Mr. Shrubsole then went on to note that local businesses and events needed more help and support from both media and residents in promoting and maintaining their businesses. He added that at a recent business networking event, very few Chiang Mai people attended but many people from Bangkok and other parts of Thailand came and saw the opportunities available.

Sydney Moss, the competition organizer, talked about how music education and support from schools is lacking and that the Chiang Mai Music Teachers organized this event, this year being the third time it has been held, with a goal towards promoting music and education among children. This competition gives kids an opportunity, usually for the first time in their lives, to be on stage, he noted. Adding that they would like to get more Thai schools involved but lack the networking to do so.

Next year, the hope to take the competition to the national level as the previous years have been so successful.