“Thinking morally and ethically will lead to a positive life. I have always followed this principal in living and this is what I want to pass on to my daughter. Though she was only born in 2010 I think a child is never too young to learn moral and ethical ways.
“My name is Jakgrit Mooninta. I was born an only child in Chiang Rai province on April 10th, 1975. I grew up in a rural village—my parents are farmers—where everyone knows each other and helps out in communal life whenever necessary. As children we would run all over the village entering anyone’s house—no one would think anything of it.
“As a boy, going to village temples meant a lot to me as I would join in all kinds of rituals and ceremonies. There were so many little details to take care of and it all seemed so lively. The temple murals in particular would fascinate me. The Buddhist way of life in a rural village surrounded by animals and nature seemed like an open classroom. Watching daily life was like watching a way of life and culture— it was a great experience. It governed the way I behaved with others and helped me understand how they saw life. It was what I could bring into my world of art.
“I always enjoyed drawing, painting and making things of clay. It never seemed like it was any effort. My teachers encouraged me to enter competitions and I would sometimes win awards, but what was more important was that I enjoyed the participating.
“My parents supported me as an art major in a vocational college in Chiang Rai and then I came to Chiang Mai to study art at the Technology Institute. Though my major was printing I enjoyed painting more. I graduated in 2000 and got a job in a silk shop in Chiang Mai designing patterns and motifs on silk and painting silver boxes. I even designed the logo for the shop. However, I only stayed there for six months because I knew that doing what others wanted for eight hours a day was not for me. I resigned and started to focus on my painting. Something very good did come out of working in the shop, however, for it was where I met my future wife. We kept on seeing each other after I quit the job and eventually we got married in 2008.
“I focus on my work and my daughter. My wife works as a teacher in a government school in another district and is only home at weekends, so my mother helps take care of our child.
“I am happy with the way things are and cannot see myself doing anything else. I will always follow the path of an artist. I still enter competitions and I have gained some recognition. Through participating in competitions I am reminded of my childhood and my life as an artist is enriched—the struggle is the reward.”
Browse Jakgrit Mooninta‘s paintings.
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Text and image ‘Jakgrit Mooninta’ by EZISTOCK © Ezistock Co., Ltd., 2012 – All Rights Reserved.
Other images by Jakgrit Mooninta © Jakgrit Mooninta – All Rights Reserved.
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