In conversation with
Seated outdoors, surrounded by stacks of intricate, one-of-a-kind creative sculptures and extensive sculpting tools, Oo shared with us his journey in discovering his dream goal as an artist.
QA: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Oo: I was born in Phetchaburi and moved to Bangkok to study art and work in the film industry. I'm a family man - I live with my wife and daughter, and I try to live a simple, easygoing life. I avoid being too strict with myself.
QA: Can you tell us more about the project ?
Oo: About 10 years ago, I wanted some space and time to create my own art. I started experimenting with sculpting using recycled paper. When I ran out of room in my house, my wife suggested I sell the sculptures. I was surprised when people wanted to buy them, but it was an emotional experience I actually teared up during some sales as I felt that the crafts were leaving me for other people (Oo shyly laughed while sharing this story).. I put so much of myself into each piece. I never thought that my creations were sellable or had the potential to become something. After attempting to sell at the night market for months, I proved myself wrong and started developing a project from the crafts.
|'It’s craftsmanship, made and created by hand...
It takes each craft, despite its size, 10 to 21 days to craft.'
QA: Can you tell us what is special about your crafts and how durable are they?
Oo: I follow the Japanese concept of “Wabi-sabi” centred on the acceptance of imperfection. My sculptures are created by hand, and all my energy and expressions are put into the artwork.
The sculptures have a decorative function. They are meant to be observed and appreciated, they can last more than 10 years.
QA: What is the process to craft the sculpture?
Oo: It takes between 10 and 21 days to craft each piece, depending on its design. I collect paper from different sources and sort it by type, thickness, and function. Then I mix it with other ingredients and ferment it to turn it into clay for sculpting. The drying process is the longest part - I have to sculpt and supervise the drying process daily to make sure the form stays the way I want it to.
QA: The crafting process seems to be very long and tedious. Do you get any help?
Oo: My team is actually my family. They've been helping me since the workload started to increase. It's been fun!
CRAFTSMANSHIP & SUSTAINABILITY
QA: What is craftsmanship for you?
Oo: I love doing manual work - it helps me connect with my roots and embrace patience. To me, craftsmanship means putting all of my energy and expression into the artwork.
QA: What is sustainability for you?
Oo: When I started this project, sustainability wasn't a concept in Thailand yet. As the technique grew, I realized that my sculptures were eco-friendly so I developed the project further to be fully sustainable.
QA: What are your future plans with the project? What about you, personally?
Oo: I hope to pass the craft on to my daughter and build a studio in the countryside in northern Thailand. I believe that if you make something good, people will come to find it - just like a well-hidden noodle stall! if it’s good, people will come to find it.
A MESSAGE TO THE USERS
QA: How do you feel when people use your crafts?
Oo: I feel happy. People are giving more interest and being more open to accepting new materials and creativity.
A LITTLE BIT MORE PERSONAL
QA: What is your life philosophy/values and how do they relate to your crafts?
Oo: I don’t know if it’s a philosophy but as long as you don’t stop doing it, it will always work, it will get better. If you love it and you persevere, it will work.
QA: What is your favorite quote and music?
Oo: "Just keep doing, persevere.”
As for the music, I like Paradox “ฤดูร้อน” (translated from Tahi as "hot season"). To listen, click here.