‘Tuk Tuk’ marry off to Korea

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The embassy of the republic of Korea (Ambassador: H.E. Mr. Moon Seoung-Hyun) and the Korean Cultural Center in Thailand held the ‘Tuk Tuk’ donation ceremony at the center on 27th June at 11 AM.

'Tuk Tuk' marry off to Korea

The ASEAN Cultural House (ACH) in Korea asked ‘Tuk Tuk’ donation to H.E. Mr. Moon, to promote Thai culture. As Ms. Marisa Chearavanont, CP Group’s special advisor to senior chairman, accepted H.E. Mr. Moon’s suggestion for donation, Tuk Tuk finally goes to Korea. On the ceremony, Thai-Korean original dance performance on the basis of both countries’ traditional dance showed to express Thai-Korean soft power exchange: the bride, ‘Tuk Tuk’ marry the Korean groom.

'Tuk Tuk' marry off to Korea

The ceremony started with ‘Samulnori’, Korean traditional percussion music by four musical instruments, playing by 12 students from the Korean International School in Bangkok. Then, Acting Sub Lt. Saksom Panthong and Ms. Kasama Thongaram, official performance artists from the Ministry of Culture, performed ‘Taepyeongmu’, which is the Korean dance wishing peace and prosperity, and ‘Ram Thai’. Saksom learnt the Korean dance during the five months when he stayed in Korea in 2018 as the CPI (Cultural Partnership Initiative), supported by the ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, and he perfomed ‘Taepyeongmu’ and ‘Khon’ together last May in the center.

'Tuk Tuk' marry off to Korea

The plot of the performance was Saksom, the Korean groom, meet the Thai bride and marry her, with the help of his father (H.E. Mr. Moon) and bride’s mother (Ms. Marisa).

'Tuk Tuk' marry off to Korea

H.E. Mr. Moon said “Today’s event was hosted as Ms. Marisa gladly accepted the donation request of Tuk Tuk, which is a symbol of Thailand to Korea. I hope that many Koreans watching this Tuk Tuk at ACH in Busan, recall good memories in Thailand or get to know about Thailand. As recently Thailand seek to promote its own soft power, this event will be one of the soft power cooperation cases between Korea and Thailand.”

'Tuk Tuk' marry off to Korea

Ms. Marisa said, “By this opportunity, I wish the relationship between Thailand and Korea strengthen and it will be the milestone of both countries’ exchange. As a Thai businessman, I would like to give help to Korean companies which has interest or expand their business to Thailand.”

'Tuk Tuk' marry off to Korea

ACH, opened in 2017 in Busan, promote various culture of 10 ASEAN countries including Thailand. Especially, Thailand and Korea have the great human exchange. For example, before Covid-19, almost 1.9 million Korean visited Thailand and 0.5 million Thai travelled Korea. The donated ‘Tuk Tuk’ will be the symbol of the friendship and recovery of the human exchange between Thailand and Korea and promote Thailand in ACH in Korea.

Published : June 28, 2022


Immersive, or not—that is the question

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Two very different immersive theatre productions this month

Immersive, or not—that is the question

The never-ending pandemic has greatly affected performing arts. A charm of it is the fact that the artists and audiences share the space and time but the physical distancing means that theatre venues, where strangers sat closely together for a certain period of time, needed to shut their doors.

Here in Thailand, over the past few months the number of theatre performances has started to pick up but it’s still far from what it was pre-pandemic. Plus, we still haven’t heard when large playhouses like Rachadalai Theatre and Siam Pic-Ganesha Center of Performing Arts will welcome audiences again. 

And now that the audience has an option of watching theatre, either pre-recorded or live, anywhere anytime, on their communication devices which has satisfied many theatregoers, do we still want to go to theatre venues to be part of that temporary community, to feel that vibe of liveness?

Immersive theatre makes full use of the audience’s physical presence and offers them experiences they will never get from online theatre. 

Immersive, or not—that is the question
Immersive, or not—that is the question

Trance Studio’s “Me and My Little Prince” described itself as “multisensory immersive musical theatre experience” and was based on one of the most beloved novels of all time “Le petit prince”. Seated in front of screens at a studio in Warehouse 30, the masked audience saw projected images through a specially designed eyeglasses that was claimed to filter certain hues while listening to pre-recorded play with some musical numbers which did not provide a new interpretation to the all-familiar story. That’s why the show could be presented four times a day and that’s where the audience wondered, given the ticket price and the ‘theatre’ label, why the actors’ performance was not live.

As two members of the production team were seen hurrying into the studio with two sprayers before the show, there were later occasional rain and heat that we could feel inside. “Here we go again: the first one isn’t dry yet!,” complained an audience member behind me who didn’t seem to feel that she was magically transported to the Sahara.

Earlier, another staff member suggested we close our eyes from time to time to exercise our imagination. An obedient theatregoer myself, I followed her advice but then realized that it was like me sitting outdoors in my home lawn listening to a sound clip of the show sent to be by the production team. Mother Nature could make it immersive with desert-like temperature and occasional rain too.

Immersive, or not—that is the question
Immersive, or not—that is the question

Meanwhile, at Chang Chui, a creative park now celebrating its fifth anniversary with more local-friendly atmosphere than before, STUDIO11206 and Throw BKK collaborated in “2046: The Greater Exodus.” Billed as “Bangkok’s first immersive theatre dining experience,” the show took audiences, and diners, on a trip to Utopia on board the plane-turned-fine-dining-restaurant Na-Oh Bangkok. It’s a storyline that fit the décor of this unique restaurant, to begin with, and the team of costume, set, sound and lighting designers deftly enhanced the atmosphere to make it even more theatrical. 

On board, we were allowed to go mask-free while enjoying delectable food and drinks served by masked wait staff at our table in designated section in accordance with the ticket price. Seasoned stage actors, also mask-free, portraying charactersfrom many professions running for the upcoming electionstopped by to explain why we should vote for them and not the others. In the meantime, a singer, a pianist and a mime also delighted all passengers. Some of us also received special invitations to meet other characters in the cockpit and cargo hold. In other words, each audience would not get the same experience.

Immersive, or not—that is the question
Immersive, or not—that is the question

In short, it’s a rather busy few hours and sometimes we didn’t even know what to focus on—the food or the performance. As we were about to order another drink, our waiter hurriedly arrived with the bill and we found out later that this was to clear the aisles for the last scene in which 

Then, all characters roamed the spacecraft with a musical number and shortly after the chef, masked and apparently not portraying a character, skillfully showed us how to make a dessert. Invited to join the final walking parade in celebration of this journey, some diners declined and chose to stay at their tables enjoying more drinks and conversation with peers, and taking photos on their phones.

With two immersive experiences in the span of few days, I couldn’t help compare it with Punchdrunk’s “A Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable” and Look Left and Right’s “You Once Said Yes” and realized that both of these works by UK artists allowed each audience to fully immerse themselves into not only the performance but also the environment—solo, almost at will, on foot and mobile-phone free. 

Immersive, or not—that is the question

“Me and My Little Prince” finished its run last Sunday (June 19), but the offstage drama beyond our imagination is on. A Facebook group has been set up by some audience members who felt that they were ripped off by this work whose ticket costs Bt 1,800 (or equal to 4 4DX movie tickets) and are planning to file a complaint to the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB), probably the first time in the history of Thai theatre. Visit www.facebook.com/TranceStudio.co

After last weekend’s cancellation due to COVID cases among the production crew, “2046: The Greater Exodus” continues from Friday (June 24) to Sunday (June 26), 7pm at Na-Oh Bangkok, Chang Chui, 10-minute walk from Bang Bamru station (SRT Red Line). Tickets (dinner included) are from Bt 2,750 to 6,380. The performance is in Thai but some actors are willing to talk to you in English, if you can’t speak Thai. For more details, www.facebook.com/2046TheGreaterExodus

By Pawit Mahasarinand

Published : June 23, 2022


Facing off with wild boars in Singapore, unmasked

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Memorable work provided a truly immersive and collective experience, democratic as well

Facing off with wild boars in Singapore, unmasked

In my dozens of trips to pre-pandemic Singapore, I could not recall seeing a stray dog or cat. And so when three wild boars, natural inhabitants of Palau Ubin just off the northeastern shore of Singapore, made a cameo performance to 40 audiences of Drama Box’s ubin—intentionally in lower cases— at around 8pm, it’s a shock for an old city boy and the phrase “Unseen Singapore” flashed in my mind. 

This work was commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2022, organized by Arts House Limited, commissioned by National Arts Council and supported by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth—in short, it’s run by taxpayers’ money. Under the helm of new festival director Nathalie Hennedige, this year’s theme is “The Anatomy of Performance—Ritual” and SIFA attempts to rid works of genre tags as they discuss contemporary issues with the audience.

Prior to that so-called magical moment—unrepeatable in live arts which we dearly missed during the pandemic—, we had been given a bottle of medicated oil for insect bite relief before taking a bumboat ride during which we saw flights landing at Changi Airport. Later on the island, we were walking in four groups and mask-free—at a much slower pace than our normal one in this bustling city-state—to different sites on this serene natural habitat, quite the opposite to the much more famous Sentosa. 

Facing off with wild boars in Singapore, unmasked

Most of the time, we were listening, through earpieces, pre-recorded interviews with island inhabitants in Malay, Hindi and Chinese languages, with English translation. They told us the past and present of the island and, with the rising number of local tourists and its uncertain future among other issues, voiced their concerns. I was suddenly reminded of partially torn signs that read “Use your head: Wear a helmet” on rusty doors of a shop next to rows of rental bicycles on my way to the village centre.

These interviews were edited, for time and content, of course by the playwright and director of the first act of ubin, former member of parliament and Drama Box founder Kok Heng Luen. Still, they sounded unscripted and it’s as if we were listening to them in a town meeting.  

Short contemporary dance performances, the subject matter of which was in correspondence to that specific site like the ground of the former Chinese school, were also staged: good moments for walking audiences to take a physical break to fully take in the environment and exercise our imagination. One performance next to the Pekan Quarry deftly took advantage of the natural light when dusk slowly turned into dark.

The walking tour only covered about one-tenth of the island although we had heard aplenty and before our tiredness kicked in, we were led back to the village center, almost empty as the last regularly scheduled boat had left at 6pm. At an open-air restaurant, we engaged in lively discussion among our group members on the possible future of Palau Ubin. Active facilitators who might have had training in acting made sure that each and every audience member had their say and a 3D map of the island on the table was much more than a stage prop but what we could actually work on. 

Facing off with wild boars in Singapore, unmasked

I was in the same group as a young couple, a mathematician, a physicist and an environmentalist and the diverse discussion was like that of an integrated force assigned to tackle a major issue, a democratic experience. Before our group’s conclusion was presented to the large group at the end, we’re told that our suggestions would also be presented to relevant government and private agencies.

Evidently, ubin made sure that this collective experience was not merely voyeurism or immersive performance. It took advantage of the audience’s presence to the fullest and reminded us that arts could, and should, be a two-way communication, in which the artists also listen to our thoughts, and have aesthetic merits as well as social and even political functions. In fact, this second act was not repeatable too as a new group of audiences with different backgrounds and opinions arrived the following evening. 

Back at the Changi Ferry Terminal after four hours of ubin experience, the last surprise was that all of us needed to put our bags through a scanner, like that in the airport, to make sure that we hadn’t picked any fruits from Palau Ubin trees, an illegal act. An exception, bags of jackfruits given to ubin audiences by Palau Ubin locals as souvenirs on our way back were allowed if they had not already been enjoyed on the boat.

No surprise they say a festival is that special time when you get to experience what you usually don’t at other times of the year yet are relevant to your daily life. A festival is not when a UFO lands with aliens who have nothing to do with our everyday, no matter how talented they are, and who leave shortly after our excitement fades.   

On-site works of SIFA 2022 have finished, but now that the pandemic has taught us to explore new options in almost everything, we can still enjoy filmed performances of four SIFA works anywhere, with their house programs and education kits online, until July 10 at www.sifa.sg/vod 

By Pawit Mahasarinand

The writer’s trip was supported by Arts House Limited and Tate Anzur. Special thanks to Eileen Chua and Hilary Tan.

Photo: Debbie Y./ Arts House Limited 

Published : June 21, 2022


Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

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The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is showing off the city’s allure with a virtual tour of museums and stores in West Kowloon, recently developed as a cultural hub.

Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

Authorities launched the tourism push as authorities seek to restore an image left battered by democracy crackdowns and some of the world’s harshest Covid-19 restrictions.

Press from around were invited to sample the sights on Monday via “Arts in Hong Kong”.

The virtual tour started with the M+ museum, one of the largest showcases of modern and contemporary visual culture displaying 1,500 works across 33 exhibition halls and other spaces.

Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises
Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

Virtual visitors were then guided to Tung Nam Lou, a heritage building converted into a boutique art hotel in Yau Ma Tei. This Hong Kong landmark was a neighbourhood seafood restaurant and office building before being transformed into a hotel celebrating arts and local culture.

Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises
Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

Next stop was Sindart, a family-owned shop where people have bought traditional embroidered shoes since 1958. Third-generation owner Miru Wong inherited the delicate skills of embroidery from her grandfather and continues to add new spins to these silk-brocade slippers.

Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises
Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

The cultural tour moved on to Biu Kee Mah-Jong, where “Uncle King” has been offering his carved mahjong tiles for over five decades. He also makes custom tiles bearing anything from names to cartoon characters.

Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises
Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises
Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

HKTB’s executive director Dane Cheng also gave a simple lesson on how to play mahjong, which is traditionally played at family gatherings and during big festivals like Chinese New Year.

The virtual tour ended at the Hong Kong Palace Museum, which aspires to become one of the world’s leading cultural institutions.

The museum is dedicated to the promotion, appreciation and study of Chinese art and culture. It combines a Hong Kong perspective with a global vision, according to the tour.

Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises
Hong Kong opens doors to tourists after Covid, democracy crises

Published : June 20, 2022


Francesco Tristano is back in the City of Angels

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3 breathtaking classical and electronic concerts for music lovers

Francesco Tristano is back in the City of Angels

This will be the third time that Luxembourgish pianist, composer and producer Francesco Tristano will be in Bangkok for a set of genre-defying performances from the 10th to the 13th of June that will no doubt be among the highlights of Bangkok’s cultural agenda this year.

Francesco’s career really has taken off since he first played in Bangkok in 2012. He has recordedtwo more albums with Deutsche Grammophon including one with Alice Sara Ott, who made her first spectacular appearance in Bangkok in February this year, and that have propelled Francesco’s ascent as a concert pianist of international acclaim. Alongside his fascination for Renaissance and Baroque music, hecollaborated with Detroit techno legendsCarl Craig and Derrick May, and created upbeat projects such as Aufgang and worked with German label Get Physical. 

Francesco Tristano is back in the City of Angels

“Music is music” said Alban Berg in 1928 as to whether there is a distinction between what we consider “educated” or “popular” music. Francesco has certainly endorsed this quote over the last decade of his career, working simultaneously in areas as disparate as they are complementary. His work is widely recognized today as a brilliant example of the ability of classical music to excite audiences today.

On Early Music Tour 2022 

“I am thrilled to come back to Bangkok, especially now that we have been deprived of live concerts for so long – music is an art form with human interaction at its center”. For this special come back, he will be performing in three different yet unmissable shows for fans of both classical and electronic music alike. His tour in Bangkok will kick off with his Piano 2.0 show at the AUA Learning Center on Friday 10th, followed by alive electronic set at Bangkok Island on Sunday 12th before culminating on Monday 13th with his concert On Early Music, showcasing his latest record, at the Thailand Cultural Center, organized in collaboration with the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.

Luxembourg’s National Day is just around the corner as well “and what better way to celebrate this than with one of Luxembourg’s most famed musical talents”, told us the Ambassador of Luxembourg, Jean-Paul Senninger. Colleagues and friends in Thailand often think of Luxembourg as a country with fairy-tale castles and a powerfuleconomic hub and financial center. “But there is so much more to it, especially a young and thriving creative industry that encompasses widely published authors in different languages, architecture and design, music as well as performing, digital and visual arts!”

Francesco Tristano is back in the City of Angels

A buoyant and multifaceted arts scene at the heart of Europe 

If you happen to travel in Europe this summer, make sure to stop over in Luxembourg for Esch2022 – Luxembourg’s second largest city currently holds the title of the European Capital of Culture. The Embassy regularly supports the screening of critically acclaimed Luxembourgish co-productions, for instance at the upcoming Cinema Diverse organized by the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) mid-June as well as at the Beyond Animation Festival in September. The Embassy is actively working to bring more artists form Luxembourg to perform in Bangkok throughout the year. Arts and culture enthusiasts can get an easy overview of Luxembourg’s diverse and ebullient landscape on the website of KulturLX (www.kulturlx.lu), Luxembourg’s newly established Arts Council. 

“Francesco embodies so many characteristics that are inherent to Luxembourg’s DNA: an open and innovation-drivencountry, a melting pot of cultures with an energetic and modern spirit”. In return, now that thecultural scene is finally blossoming again after a pandemic-induced break, the Ambassador also really hopes to enjoy one last Thai Classical Dance before bidding his farewell this summer after three and a half fascinating years in Thailand.

Francesco Tristano is back in the City of Angels

The concerts are supported by Cargolux, King Power, Siam Music Yamaha, B. Grimm, Indorama Ventures, B Medical Systems, Paul Wurth, Muang Thai Insurance, ThaiBev, Villeroy & Boch, Rotarex, SET and OSM. Tickets and information on the concerts at the AUA Language Center (Piano 2.0, Friday 10th June) and the Thailand Cultural Center (On Early Music, Monday 13th June) are available at rbso@bangkoksymphony.org or 02 255 6617 – 18 / 02 255 9191 – 2. The live electronic set on June 12th will be free entrance, more information available on the website of Bangkok Island (www.bangkokisland.com).  

Published : June 09, 2022


UNHCR Thailand launching special film fest to commemorate World Refugee Day

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To commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, UNHCR Thailand has teamed up with the US Embassy in Bangkok, the Canadian Embassy, the Embassy of Denmark, Paragon Cineplex, Documentary Club, TV Burabha and PlanToys to organise the 11th Refugee Film Festival.

UNHCR Thailand launching special film fest to commemorate World Refugee Day

The festival showcases refugee stories with award-winning movies and documentaries from around the globe.

The number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights abuse and persecution has now crossed the staggering milestone of 100 million, propelled by the war in Ukraine and new waves of violence or protracted conflict in countries including Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

UNHCR Thailand launching special film fest to commemorate World Refugee Day

“These numbers are staggering and troubling,” said UNHCR representative in Thailand Giuseppe De Vincentiis. “We all share responsibility in protecting people seeking safety in a country other than their own and to address all causes of forced displacement. It is our collective responsibility to ensure they have a chance to rebuild their lives and to contribute to the search for long-term solutions.”

The film festival for World Refugee Day will be screened from June 17 to 20 at Theatre 11, Paragon Cineplex. Feel free to register with no admission fee for the following 5 movies and documentaries:

1. “Captain of Za’atari” from Egypt

2. Disney’s “Encanto”, supported by the US Embassy Bangkok.

3. “Flee”, supported by Documentary Club

4. “Life Overtakes Me”, with special screening permission from Netflix, and

5. “Wandering: A Rohingya Story”, a powerful documentary observing the incredible resilience from inside the world’s largest refugee camp, Kutupalong.

Register at https://linktr.ee/rff11th.

UNHCR Thailand launching special film fest to commemorate World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. It is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognise their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

Published : June 08, 2022

Teochew opera keeps Chinese culture alive in Thailand

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A group of performers are struggling to stop the curtain coming down forever on Teochew Opera in Thailand. “We are trying to translate operas into Thai to make them easier for the local audience, and also plan to establish an opera school in Bangkok,” said Zhuang Meilong, founder of the Thai-Chinese Dramatic Arts Institute.

Teochew opera keeps Chinese culture alive in Thailand

On hot and humid night in northern Thailand, a group of performers in colorful costumes, accompanied by crashing gongs and drum beats, draw crowds to a makeshift stage.

It’s a performance of Teochew Opera “Luo Shen” (The goddess of the Luo River) staged by a professional troupe Qing Nang Yu Lou Chun which has enjoyed over 80 years of history in Thailand.

Thanks to a vast number of Chinese immigrants who brought Teochew dialect across Southeast Asia, Teochew Opera used to be a favorite entertainment in Thailand.

Xu Qing’an, 54, a veteran performer, has seen the troupe’s peak. “When I first came to Thailand in the 90s, the troupe had over 100 actors with thousands of visitors every show.”

As one of the best-known Teochew Opera troupes in the Southeast Asian country, the troupe was once invited to perform for the Thai Royal family.

“But now, things are completely different,” Xu said while looking at the sparse audience.

Actors perform Chaozhou Opera in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)Actors perform Chaozhou Opera in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

The audiences of Teochew Opera are mostly older Thai-Chinese. As time goes by, the community of both actors and fans has dwindled. According to Xu, the troupe has only about 30 actors now, and sometimes the audiences are fewer than the actors on stage.

Dressed in a red cheongsam that night, Yierkun stood out in the audience of barely 20 people. Influenced by her father who moved from southern China decades ago, the 75-year-old Thai has been exposed to Teochew Opera from an early age.

Unlike her, nine-year-old visitor Suphakorn Nirungrang doesn’t understand the Chinese Teochew dialect, but was fascinated by the artists’ glittering headgears and elaborate costumes. “They are beautiful on the stage, like angels,” he said.

Combo photo shows a Chaozhou Opera actor before (R) and after making-up in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)Combo photo shows a Chaozhou Opera actor before (R) and after making-up in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

Behind the scene, actors huddled in a small, crowded backstage filled with their costumes and props, and spent nearly two hours applying layers of makeup before the show.

Nearby, tents were set up as their temporary accommodation during the performance. Not far from the stage, a six-wheeled truck loaded with all the belongings of the crew, also carries the life of the troupe, which is currently in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Actors perform Chaozhou Opera in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)Actors perform Chaozhou Opera in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

“The average number of performances was 300 per year before the pandemic, but now it is less than 100,” said Wu Guide, vice chairman of the Thai Teochew Opera Association and head of Qing Nang Yu Lou Chun.

The loss of actors is also putting the preservation of Teochew opera in Thailand at risk.

At 66, Suluan Chen is in her final year on stage. She is the oldest actor in the troupe, and was sent to be a performer by her parents at the age of eight. The troupe paid her parents and she was indentured for eight years.

Chen still wears a necklace with photos of her parents. Even though they sold their daughter, she didn’t hold a grudge against them because they gave her a career she loves.

A Chaozhou opera actor puts on costumes backstage in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)A Chaozhou opera actor puts on costumes backstage in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

Zhuang Meilong, 81, the founder of the Thai-Chinese Dramatic Arts Institute, is struggling to stop the curtain coming down forever on Teochew Opera in Thailand.

“We are trying to translate operas into Thai to make them easier for the local audience, and also plan to establish an opera school in Bangkok,” Zhuang said.

Around midnight, when the lights went out on the stage, Xu took off his costume and crawled into a tiny tent. In a couple of days, the company will be back on the road and the opera will roll into another village, and the curtain will rise again.

A Chaozhou Opera actress puts on makeup backstage in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)A Chaozhou Opera actress puts on makeup backstage in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

A Chaozhou Opera musician plays an instrument in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)A Chaozhou Opera musician plays an instrument in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, March 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

Published : April 06, 2022

By : Xinhua

The Nation loses indispensable World Film Festival director ‘Victor’

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Nation colleagues are mourning the death of World Film Festival of Bangkok director Victor Kriengsak Silakong, who succumbed to a heart attack on Sunday afternoon.

The Nation loses indispensable World Film Festival director ‘Victor’

[The Nation expresses condolences over the departure of our former colleague and talented director World Film Festival of Bangkok. May he rest in peace with his God.]

Adisak Limprung-patanakij, deputy CEO of Nation Group, said Victor had already proposed a budget and plan to revive the international festival for its 15th edition under The Nation, and his departure had saddened Nation colleagues and the Thai film community.

Victor’s family announced on Facebook that Victor had departed to be with God at 1.25pm on Sunday.

The post said Victor was rushed to Synphaet Ramintra Hospital in Bangkok after suffering pains in his chest and leg. He was still conscious when he reached the doctors but slipped into unconsciousness and died shortly after.

Victor was known as a film guru as well as a talented and devoted director of stage plays.

For The Nation, Victor was an indispensable resource for arts activities, said Adisak.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden departure of Victor, my colleague at the Nation Group for a long time,” he said.

Adisak recalled that Victor always enjoyed his work as director of Bangkok’s world film festival.

Initially, The Nation launched the Bangkok Film Festival, but when that was taken over by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Nation Group organised the World Film Festival of Bangkok – with Victor as the main driving force and director.

Victor took over the Bangkok Film Festival after Pimpaka Towira directed the first edition in 2001. He had played a key role in organising international film festivals and events in Bangkok ever since.

Adisak said Victor helped Thailand’s main film festival gain acceptance and success for five years before passing the baton to the TAT.

The Nation then decided to launch its own independent event, the World Film Festival of Bangkok, in 2003 with Victor devoting a year to selecting the best movies from around the globe.

Victor worked hard to choose about 80 top films, both mainstream in independent, for screening each year. His final selection was for the 14th World Film Festival of Bangkok in 2017.

Adisak said Victor liked to highlight the ground-breaking work of Thai independent directors, choosing their films to kick off the festival in the hope they would be selected for other international showcases.

Victor is also remembered as a stage play director, an actor, and a stage set designer.

He passionate and devoted when it came to his work in the theatre. He directed two stage TV plays for the Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), “Reya The Musical” and “Empress Dowager Cixi The Musical”.

The Nation loses indispensable World Film Festival director ‘Victor’Victor also devised the idea of MangoTV, an NBC satellite channel airing cultural and entertainment programmes.

Adisak said he asked Victor late last year if he would direct the 15th World Film Festival of Bangkok. He agreed and had submitted his budget and plan earlier this month.

Adisak said Nation Group would do its best to hold the World Film Festival of Bangkok Comeback to honour the memory its beloved friend.

Pana Janviroj, former Nation editor and co-founder of the Bangkok Film Festival (World Film Festival of Bangkok), said Victor would always be remembered by those who worked with him.

“Victor was monumental in establishing the Bangkok and World Film Festival on the global cinema map. From Hollywood to Bollywood, from Berlin to Pusan, London to Tehran, Buenos Aires to Tele Aviv, he built a network of hundreds of global independent film-makers through the Bangkok and World Film Festivals. They will all surely miss his passion, artistic integrity, and aspiration to keep the art of cinema at the forefront of his responsibilities as the festival director. All of us who worked with Victor will forever remember him, dearly.” Pana said.

Veena Thoopkrajae, former Nation features editor, said Victor would be missed for his knowledge, artistic taste, his love and expertise for all things related to cinema, his wit and humour, but most of all for his genuine friendship.

“I came to know Victor when he first set foot in The Nation as a new film festival director,” she recounted.

“Soon after that, Victor became a good friend to all of us on the desk. He was also a new source when it came to art, culture and gossip! He’d sit by my side and tell me a story in his lively way. On one occasion, he broke the delightful news of receiving an honour from the French Embassy – deservedly so. He said I should be the first one to write about it,” Veena said.

“At one period, we co-hosted short videos on the Nation TV website together, talking about cultural events like the Cannes film festival and musicals in Thailand. With his background in drama, he was so good in front of camera and his voice, pronunciation and tone were flawless.

“We shared a common love for culture – Indian culture and the singer Prince in particular. He’d talk endlessly about the beauty of India and the charm of Berlin – two destinations that we both love.

“Victor impressed many people in a variety of ways. To me, and I guess for my colleagues at The Nation, he was a dear friend. His vivid personality and artistry will always be with us.”

Nithinand Yorsaengrat, who worked as project director for the World Film Festival of Bangkok, said Victor was remarkable for both his intelligence and his passion.

“For a long time, you and I were a team. As soon as I first met you, I felt you were the right person to lead The Nation’s film festival as director,” she said. “You were an intelligent person with great enthusiasm,” she added.

“Regardless of how you did it, you made the world a better place. … Until we meet again, my brother. I’ve always loved you and will always adore you.”

Victor’s family said a memorial service will be held from Wednesday to Friday (March 30-April 1) with the venue announced later. A cremation service will be held on Saturday April 2 at the Methodist Church Rangsit at 4pm.

Published : March 28, 2022


Korean culture on full display as Thai-Korean pair get married traditional style

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A Korean-Thai couple got married in a traditional wedding ceremony that was replete with traditional Korean culture and costumes.

Korean culture on full display as Thai-Korean pair get married traditional style

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Thailand and the Korean Cultural Centre in Thailand held the ceremony at Korean Town in Bangkok on Friday.

They aimed to showcase Korean culture through the traditional wedding ceremony and promote closer relations between Thailand and South Korea.

The wedding ceremony began with the groom, Shin Yun-sup, entering behind a procession of Suljanggu (Korean double-headed drum) performance and lit-up candles. Upon arrival, the groom presented a wild goose to the bride’s mother, as they symbolise fidelity in Korean culture.

Soon after, the bride made her entrance and the couple bowed before each other. The bride and groom took vows to live happily and promised to be each other’s better half. They then shared a cup of traditional liquor.

The groom’s aide tied a red thread on her left hand and the bridesmaid tied a blue thread on her right hand. This ritual in Korean culture symbolises two persons from two families finally becoming one.

After the Korean ritual led by South Korea’s ambassador to Thailand, the couple took part in the “Rod-Naam-Sang”, which is the Thai wedding ceremony of pouring water on the couple’s hands and uttering words of blessing.

After the ceremonies, Kim Hyun-ji, the Korean Cultural Centre’s instructor, and members of the Korean traditional music club sang “Gasibesi Sarang” to celebrate the couple’s wedding. The song is full of wishes for the couple to live together for a long time.

The couple, Shin Yun-sup and Natcha were selected from numerous applications for the first Korean traditional wedding.

The bride Natcha revealed that they had a registered marriage in March 2021 but they wanted to have a traditional Korean wedding. They both wrote 30 pages each to make their case to the centre, including their love story.

She said the most exciting part was when their mothers threw a couple of chickens up in the air. She added that Hanbok, the Korean traditional costumes, were beautiful.

She thought the Korean wedding ceremony focused more on the parents and senior relatives.

Natcha said that they also planned to hold the ceremony in South Korea for the groom’s parents and relatives.

Moon Seoung-Hyun, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to ThailandMoon Seoung-Hyun, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Thailand

Moon Seoung-Hyun, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Thailand, said, “It was the first time, but I would like to say that there will be many more of these kinds of ceremonies so that we can bring people closer together.”

Moon added that Thai and Korean ceremonies are similar. The “Janchi-guksu” (banquet noodles) are traditionally eaten at Korean weddings, which symbolise longevity in life and marriage. Meanwhile, sticky rice is usually eaten at Thai weddings, which symbolise that new couples will be closer together throughout their lives.

Cho Jae-il, Director of Korean Cultural Center in Thailand Cho Jae-il, Director of Korean Cultural Center in Thailand

Published : March 25, 2022


Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok

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The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Thailand and the Korean Cultural Centre in Thailand on Friday organised a traditional wedding ceremony at Korean Town in Bangkok.

Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok

The couple of Shin Yun-sup and Shin Natcha were selected by the Korean Cultural Centre in Thailand to showcase Korean culture and costumes at a traditional wedding ceremony to promote closer relations between Thailand and South Korea.

Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok
Thai-Korean couple get married Korean style in Bangkok

Published : March 25, 2022