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Celebrated artist dies in Phuket surfing accident

PHUKET: Celebrated graphic and street artist Pharuephon “Tum” Mukdasanit, 34, better known as “Mamafaka” died this morning after a surfing accident at Kata Beach on Saturday.


Prapaporn Jitmaneeyaphan

Monday 9 September 2013, 12:21PM


Mr Tum was rescued by beach lifeguards after getting into difficulty, and was taken unconscious to Patong Hospital, and then transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket.

As doctors tried to bring him round, messages of condolence poured onto his Facebook fan page, which has 30,000 “likes” by admirers. Video clips were posted by well known singers Pongsit “Pu” Kamphee and Toon Bodyslam.

According to the Facebook page, Mr Tum graduated from Rangsit University in 2004 and was immediately hired by international advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the start of a career littered with awards for his advertising work.

His art started to appear in large circulation Thai and international design magazines such as Wallpaper, Territory and CG+ and he became involved in a wide variety of artistic events and projects including Tiger Beer’s Tiger Translate art events, the Bangkok Design Festival and the motorbike-related Ride a Life art project.

Most of his fans know him, however, as “Mamafaka B.O.R.E.D”, convener of the country’s most celebrated crew of graphic artists, which he founded in 2002 while still at university.

In 2011 Mr Tum went freelance. He was in huge demand, working on advertising campaigns for brands such as Converse, K-Swiss, Billabong, Preduce Skateboards, M150, Isuzu, Smirnoff and Yamaha.

He still found time to work on his own projects, including street art. Even people who do not know his named would probably recognise his cartoon creation, Mr Hellyeah, who has one large eye and a body covered in mustache hair, and who spawned a whole clan of similar characters which appeared everywhere from the walls of derelict buildings to Champagne bottles. Mr Hellyeah was even turned into a monster toy.

Mr Tum’s funeral will be held in Khon Kaen, in Thailand’s northeast.

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