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Hope and fear for Phuket's art scene

PHUKET: For many of the 10 members of the Chino Art Group, the opening night of the Abstract Art exhibition held at Jungceylon on September 29 was a night full of emotions – pride, recognition, trepidation and in particular for its one foreign member, anxiety.


By Jody Houton

Friday 5 October 2012, 04:27PM


Phuket resident of 11 years, Joe Delaney said it was great that the Chino Art Group finally had an exhibition space to show off their work, but that it was tempered somewhat by the particular location.

“As soon as the exhibition started I just wanted to go and take all of my paintings down, it’s ridiculous we’re out here.”

Joe was referring to the exterior location of the Spring Water Zone in Jungceylon and in particular its exposure to the elements.

“If it rains, I’m just so scared that my art will get damaged. This is a great first step for us, but I just wish it was indoors,” said Joe.

He said he was and still is extremely proud to have been asked to become a member of the Chino Art Group by its president Watcharin “Nui” Rodnit when it was started last year.

As well as delivering the opening speech Nui treated crowds of onlookers, tourist passerbys and, hopefully most importantly, Prasam Prateep Na Talang, a representative of the Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) to an incredible live art show.

It was a show with a difference – namely that the long-haired artist created the piece alongside, in harmony and in response to a stunning live guitar performance.

Although it sounds gimmicky, it was a sight to behold as Nui applied paint in scratches, dollops and flicks in tandem with the screeching and melodic solo of the guitarist. It was captivating, exciting, electric and enthralling.

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For every single tourist, art enthusiast and even Mr Prasam, it was something that was hard to take your eyes or ears from.

Nui, Joe and the Chino Art Group are therefore very hopeful that Mr Prasam, and by extension the OrBorJor, will see something in the performance and in the artists themeselves, and support the group and other artists on the island by opening an art museum in Phuket.

Nui said, “I think the government could help a lot more and promote local arts more. Krabi has its own museum even though it is tiny compared to Phuket.”

Joe agrees and said, “This Abstract Art exhibition in Jungceylon is a great idea, but it needs more planning. Phuket should have its own museum. There are lots of brilliant artists on the island, but where can people go to see their work?”

One of the main aims of the Chino Art Group is to create a cultural centre to exhibit different works of art.

“Art needs to be encouraged,” says Joe, “This is important for the next generation of artists.” Speaking to The Phuket News, Nui also said that it was important for Phuket and its visitors.

“It’s good to show something different to the tourists. In Phuket Town, there are so many talented artists, it would be good to be able to show them off and show what we can do.”

The Abstract Art Exhibition will run until October 7.

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