At 7 February 2011 we took down the exhibition „Pattern & Signs“ in the Jamjuree Art Gallery in Bangkok. The Thai artist Surachai Ekpalakorn (and also co-director of Jamjuree Art Gallery) dropped in for few minutes. At the whole time of our project, he never came closer to our group of artists. We guess, that something was wrong, but nobody knew, what it was. This is very sad and I feel very sorry about that. In Thai culture, usually people don´t speak about problems and tenses. For us western people this is always very difficult, and that makes us sometimes very tired.
After finishing the packing of the show, the group split and went to different directions to have some private days. We jumped in the night train to Trang in the deep south and further to the Tarutao National Park. There is one island called Ko Lipe which changed from a cozy place to an strange desert, full packed with expensive resorts, bars and excentric people. But the neighbor islands are still nice and quiet. We went to Ko Adang. More and more I like to make camping, it is very close to the nature and the sea. The under water landscapes are in a better shape than in the northern parts of the Adaman Sea, more corals survived, and that means more species are alive which can reproduce themselve. Every second day we went to Ko Lipe to check internet in case of questions connected with another projects. Alfred catched a cold in the last days in Bangkok and I also got it at my last day on Ko Adang. The aircondition in the night train boosted my cold. We had a short visit in Ratchaburi, a small town south of Bangkok. R. is famous for ceramic factories, especially for dragon painted water jugs. First we met Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch (nickname Buree), a ceramic artist and excellent photographer, in his new artcenter called D KUNST. When I stayed in Ratchaburi in 2006 as an artist in residency at his family owned ceramic factory he just had started to renovate a very old and traditional house in the center of Ratchaburi. It needed some years, and now, fineally was the opening of the new space. It is running with a very good concept: gallery, residency and cafe/meeting place for people.
We had breakfast together and Buree helped Alfred to find someone who could fix his photocamera, which was blocked with sand. It is always very helpfull to know someone like Buree, because of the language problems. Some years ago I tried to learn Thai seriously, but I gave up, the 5 tone language is very unusual for Europians. If you are not in the country for a long time it is impossible to get the experiences with that. In the evening we met the artist couple Pornpilai and Jiradej Meemalai called Ji and Yin (who invited us to come to there living space in the countryside) and the artist Sakarin Krue On (Ricefield at Documenta 12). We had dinner together and the discussions in this evening were very interesting. Ji and Yin came back from US some weeks ago. They spent 9 month there with scholarships, and there english is quiet good, which helped a lot to comunicate with Sakarin. Very seldom we had such a open minded discussion about art and globalization, studies and the future of art students worldwide, about life in Thailand and in the countryside…. Actually I wanted to go to bed early because of my cold, but I couldn´t go, so exciting…. At the next day we went to Bangkok by bus. In our guesthouse we took our stored belongings and started to sort out the stuff for the Banyan exhibition in Varanasi, India. I quit almost all meetings to bring my health into a better condition, but it was so hot, 33°C in daytime and 25 °C at night, and I couldn´t relax very well.
In the morning of 22 February we went to Bangkok Airport to fligh to Kalkutta with Air Asia. Some days ago, at the Bangkok office of the airline, I could buy some more weight for our lugguage for a very good prize. Sometimes it really makes sense to ask the air company for possibilities like this.