“Nothing is certain in life. That’s why I take it easy, while living and doing the best I can every day. My name is Pipatpong Kandech and my nickname is Aeh. I was born in Phrae province on Valentine’s Day, the 14thof February 1977. I have 2 older sisters. My parents worked as school teachers for the government. They always wanted me to study any subject that would lead me to have a secure job. Working for the government, as they did, was in their opinion the perfect example of a secure job. So they never supported my wanting to study art. They couldn’t see how one could earn a living with art.
“I don’t know why I like art. But I remember that I always enjoyed drawing and painting when I was a child. There were activities that made me happy. I also entered competitions my teachers recommended and always got awards, which was motivating. The turning point occurred when I was 14 years old. One of my sisters studied in a university in Bangkok. There she had friends who studied fine art. During their vacation they came to my home in Phrae. They had several activities related to painting. That amazed me. I would study art!
“A year later was the difficult time to decide what I’d study next. My average grade was good so I could enter high school without having to pass any exam. My parents also wanted me to study in high school. But I chose otherwise and entered the vocational college. Later on, I continued to study art and graduated with a bachelor degree in fine art in Bangkok. I made lots of friends there. It was fun and a great experience for me. During that time, I came to Chiang Mai to work 3 months as a trainee for a few friends who studied art. I made quite many friends in this city.
“I had a few friends who worked in the entertainment business. After graduation, they proposed me to work with them in the same company. They warmed me that they were about to leave because of the pressure and because working for somebody else didn’t actually give any security in life. I decided to try regardless. It was actually interesting as I worked in the art department for their entertainment program. After 6 months probation I stayed another month and moved on. My friends and I created some artistic works for people and organizations for the next few years.
“One of my relatives got me a job in a casino located in the golden triangle in Chiang Rai province. I witnessed and learned so many things there. I was the artistic director. It was a great experience. It was interesting but odd to see people from all walks of life sharing that same passion for gambling. People can do so many things for money and power, both positively and negatively. I worked a year and a half there. Then one day the Thai-Burmese border closed because of political issues. It was complicated. I left the casino and never want to return there again.
“I went back to my hometown where I was ordained as a monk. It was to give good things back to my parents. According to one of our Thai beliefs, by being ordained monk, any man can pay back the good things his parents gave to him. I liked the monastic life of the Dhammayut order because of its simplicity. There were no rituals and nothing difficult. The way we lived was also very simple. For example we ate only one meal a day, we gathered the meal during a traditional alms round early in the morning etc.
“I came back to Chiang Mai in 2001 and met up with my friends again. Chiang Mai is a city of art and handicrafts where art and crafts lovers join together. The atmosphere and the personality of Chiang Mai are difficult to describe. Some people call it the business killer. Others call it the rose of the north. It surely has character. As for myself, because of all kinds of art and handicraft the artists and artisans have created for generations, I call Chiang Mai the city of art.
“Hundreds of Buddhist temples in the city make it a fantastic place that captivates people. Chiang Mai also has nice scenery that inspires. One of the most attractive destinations is Doi Inthanon. It’s the highest mountain in Thailand. But there are also other attractive mountains like Doi Luang Chiang Dao, Doi Pui and Doi Suthep. The nice landscapes that surround Chiang Mai and the richness of a culture that began in the 12thcentury are elements that really make Chiang Mai a very charming city to me.
“I enjoy life in Chiang Mai. The old and the new are intertwined, which creates a unique atmosphere in this city. Here I can survive, at times I do well, with my painting and other artistic works. I take it easy and I am laid-back. I enjoy meeting up my friends, hanging out with the artists and other interesting people. Chiang Mai is my city by adoption. I will live here for the rest of my life, doing what I love and getting involved with people I enjoy to be with … what else could one need in life?”
Browse Pipatpong’s paintings.
* * *
Text by EZISTOCK © Ezistock Co., Ltd., 2012 – All Rights Reserved.
Image ‘Pipatpong Kandech’ by EZISTOCK © Ezistock Co., Ltd., – All Rights Reserved.
Other images by Pipatpong Kandech © Pipatpong Kandech – All Rights Reserved.
* * *
If you enjoyed reading this article, share it via the Share button located below.