Tribal Trappings – Asian Ethnic Art, Artifacts, Textiles and Folk Art Tribal Trappings – Thoughts about Thailand, Chiang Mai, things tribal including textiles, ethnographica and folk art <data:blog.pageTitle/>

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

High on Chiang Mai - Day 2

till high on spray paint fumes, we ventured back to the graffiti scavenger hunt on Sunday. The party was over, but a few diehards and gawkers, like us, were there. Here is some of what we found:

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High on Chiang Mai

O how I love the smell of spray paint in the morning! So began a two-day visual adventure that was none other than a graffiti scavenger hunt. The venue was a massive, multi-story, abandoned concrete edifice just off the road going north to Maejo. The organizer was an international group called 'Meeting of Styles'. This was their first event in Chiang Mai, but not in Thailand, having had one last year in Hua Hin.  Artists from a long list of countries, plus lots of Thai artists from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, came for the two-day romp which had an 'A' list of sponsors who provided free paint, wet wipes, libations, etc. Corporate sponsors... who knew? I guess graffiti isn't just for rebels anymore...

Upon ascending to the main floor we were greeted by this handsome fellow in grisaille; a perfect welcome.

After that things got more colorful - here are some of the amazing works in progress that we witnessed:

Tones from Geneva

Artist from Oz & Friend

Thai artist

Seeing graffiti artists at work is rare: the ability to witness them working allowed us to marvel at their creativity and study their various techniques: spraycan, brush, fingers, masking tape, stencils... all were in use. The outcome was something to behold. Here is  a collaborative effort by five artists from five different origins. Below is a composite photo (by Robert) of the final manifestation, followed by the parts in progress.

OneTruth from Zurich
Group effort

Belgian artist

Man with cans
Jean Arp, call your office...

Caveman from San Patong

Tones (later) with his alter ego

CPSDude from Chiang Mai using stencils

Gobland (from Bangkok) and his portrait of a northern grandma

Gobland and giant paint can

..."Always High..."

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Long Live The King!

Happy Birthday to Thailand's King!
Long Live The King!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fresh Threads

Currently on show at Studio Naenna's gallery is a display of sculpture for the wall, or 'architectural functions in textile', as the invitation provocatively states. Comprising sticks, seed pods, mud-dyed woven hemp, felted wool, silk, and using natural dyes, the exhibition lives up to its title: 'Voice of Nature'. Alfa Hugelmann, the artist, has created these pieces during her artist-in-residence tenure at Studio Naenna and has made good use of the strengths of this famous Chiang Mai textile resource. Her use of natural dyes is fresh and creative: especially interesting are a trio of continuous-warp hemp weavings which she has dyed with indigo, orange, and finally purple on the open warps, allowing the background to peek through.

Several pieces utilize woven hemp with a continuous-warps; such textiles are often considered sacred in parts of the world that still find meaning and power in textiles for ritual use. She honors this concept with her thoughtful use of natural color.

Brilliant red from sappan wood colors some panels of silk overlaid with felted wool in a loose grid, and rich grey felted wool contrasts handsomely with white silk that becomes silvery under lights. Several of the pieces were designed to not just hang on a wall, but to move with the slightest breeze, creating shadows and shimmers that enliven the space.

Her use of felted wool is a surprise here in the tropics. Brought from Europe, the wool has been dyed with natural color and in another piece is combined with slim black sticks in different lengths. It evokes many things: from a backbone and ribs, to a native American ceremonial chest plate. The shadows created by its movement are an added visual bonus.

Another piece incorporates long seed pods which form the weft for a warp of thick threads bunched together. It's natural, tribal, and architectural all at once, as well as being quite sculptural.

Alfa shifted gears a bit, and geography, with a trip to Africa and the result is a handsome, mud-dyed piece with tribal resonance. In keeping with her theme, it incorporates natural elements of sticks and odd bits of bone, in addition to the beautiful 'terra' coloration.

Although small in size, the gallery is full of inspiration with this 'mixed-media' show: fresh use of materials and coloration is the major theme, and the viewer leaves with new thoughts on the idea of textiles for display, the space they inhabit, and meaning imparted. This was a welcome jolt out of our usual textile world.

The exhibition will continue on Saturdays from 10am - 3pm, or by appointment (085/707-7008), through 16 August at Studio Naenna Textiles Gallery in Changkhian.