"When I work, I draw what I perceive exactly and with great detail and then reduce it to feelings of suggestion only. This is, I think, the essence of beauty."
"Hello! My name is Innop Wonganan, or 'Nop' - my nickname. I was born in Isarn [northeast Thailand] on February 3, 1975. I am the youngest of six siblings. My mother brought me up alone because my father died when I was a child. Even though I left home to study in the north and live far away from my mother, we remain very close. We keep in touch and often talk on the phone.
"When I started high school, my mother did not agree with me studying art but my brothers – who have artistic skills but could not study art in their time – fully supported me and said they would help financially. In fact my brothers and sisters sacrificed so many things to support me in studying fine arts. So I moved and lived with my oldest brother in a large city and studied art in high school for three years. Then I moved up north to study for a bachelor's degree in fine arts at a technological institute.
"I live life according to Thai traditions of calmness and warmth. I follow the Buddhist dharma. I abstain from temptation and my life is consequently constant and my mind clear and calm. I follow my own philosophy: 'If we find a place where the mind is at peace, this is where we will meet with total happiness.'
"The most impressive times of my life occurred when I exhibited, sold and received good feedback about my works. I think it is not easy to succeed in life when you choose the path of art. Especially in my case, for I am an artist who uses all my time and body and mind to create artistic works. Artistically speaking, I am now successful.
"Art arouses my thoughts and imagination. Art allows me to convey things I find beautiful; most of my work is inspired by beauty. When I work, I draw what I perceive exactly and with great detail and then reduce it to feelings of suggestion only. This is, I think, the essence of beauty. Art is my science of appreciating beauty - it is my way of expressing emotions and feelings. Art is what I am. Art is my breath."
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