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"Nature is our best friend. This means we shouldn't disturb nature because it's important for life. We must use what we need and preserve the rest."
"I was born amid nature. Nature is my life forever.
"I was born in Chumporn province, known as the Gateway to the South. It is an old province with a long history and a 200-kilometer coast with 50 small islands. Its tropical climate makes it popular with Thais and foreigners as well, and rainfall throughout the year encourages agriculture, especially mangosteen orchards.
"I grew up with my brother and sister in a small house surrounded by durian and mangosteen, trees and my childhood was spent helping my parents look after the family orchards. Our income from selling the fruit came only once a year, so we had to plan and budget carefully. We also planted vegetables beneath the big trees, and sold some of them. At harvest time, we'd wake very early to pick the fruit to sell to merchants, then I'd hurry back home to get ready for school.
"We attended the village school through grade three, the highest level offered. When I finished, I asked for permission to continue studying in Bangkok. My parents were understanding and said yes, but I had to help pay for it because the money they could give for expenses was limited.
"At first, I worked in a restaurant, then later went to work for convenience store or grocery where I gained experience and money. I learned how to plan in my life because we had to follow the rules of company – work should be on time and not be late. If I worked late, someone who continued working after me finished late, too. I enjoyed this job because it taught me how to help myself and family. At least my parents didn't worry because I was able to support myself.
"When I saved enough, I applied to an old and prestigious art college in Bangkok. I chose arts because I didn't like academics, which are highly competitive in technology companies. On the other hand, I thought that with art I would also have a profession forever to support myself.
"At the beginning, I worked and studied, so sometimes I was quite tired. Sometimes I wasn't able to do my homework and or send my contribution on time. The teacher called me to come and discuss my problems. When he learned I have to work hard to pay for my studies, he employed me to be an assistant of art. My duties involved artwork at government venues and the Royal Palace, and I could work all year. I quit the grocery to have more time to work with my teacher and also practice art at the same time.
"I studied at the university for three years, learning basic knowledge in the arts such as drawing, watercolor, oil painting, sculpting and graphic art. After graduation, I continued working with the teacher and followed him to Chiang Mai and other provinces, too. But I was most impressed with Chiang Mai province and chose to move there. Did you know that Chiang Mai has a winter season? I had never experienced that before when I lived in Bangkok and Chumporn.
"Whenever some asked me why I chose to study in Chiang Mai, I'd answer, 'Because Chiang Mai has winter.' I decided to take the entrance exam for the university school of arts.
"I mainly chose to study the woodcut technique to create prints in black and white, because supplies aren't too expensive. My friends and I would sell some of our art very cheaply in the streets on Sundays, and used that money for materials to create a new woodcut print, which we'd turn in to our teacher.
"When I graduated in Chiang Mai, I returned to Chumporn to bring the success of education to my parents. For long time, I was away from home and rarely got back to visit them because the distance was too far and travel expenses were high. I stayed for six months, and spent the first three months in the middle of the sea on my cousin's fishing boat. It was my first time living on a boat at sea, and it was challenge because I had to fight with the mind and feelings.
"On the boat, I felt lonely. I feared the storms and when I looked around, I saw only the sea. Because I practice positive thinking, I saw my smiling cousin pull in the fishnet. It was very exciting! I saw lots of fish in the net. My cousin's smiles meant income and a living for his family. The fishermen were never afraid even when though they stayed at sea for a long time. Immediately, I felt less lonely.
"I spent the rest of the time there absorbed in the delicate environment around me. I watched the fish swimming and the wind blow across the surface of the water. I was impressed with what I saw at sea, and this was my inspiration for works of art. When we returned to the coast, I seriously began to work on pen and ink drawings. My parents saw and appreciated them. The told me, 'Even though it's in white and black, we can tell it is a view of the blue sea and sky.'
"I was thinking that nature is wonderful and also, that every one can imagine it. This is fantastic for the world. Even though I work in black and white, it makes everyone feel it, imagine, and think of nature's beauty quite well.
After three to six months at home, I return to Chiang Mai, but I go back every year to help my family harvest the mangosteen.
"I am creating woodcut prints in black and white that depict the natural world around me. I print on paper and sometimes I print on other materials such as tee-shirts or bags.
"At the present, I leave my prints in galleries and also work freelance. I don't make much, but I'm able to support my family and myself.
"One day, a customer suggested Novica to me. I searched the website and was very happy to be able show my work here. I thank all of you who are interested in my work, and thank Novica for displaying it.
"Nature is our best friend. This means we shouldn't disturb nature because it's important for life. We must use what we need and preserve the rest. I believe if we protect and love nature, surely she will protect us and provide a beautiful atmosphere for us as well. Sawaddee krab."
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