Saturday: 28 January, 2017

Day one of Maker Party! I spent the day checking out all of the booths, talking to all of the makers, trying out all of the electric vehicles, and spreading the word about Makerspace Thailand and the Artisan’s Asylum. Everyone is really excited about the prospects of future Maker Exchange programs and about the creative and cultural benefits that could come along with them. It’s been really interesting being the ambassador for a program like this and for the US maker scene. When people here about the program, it makes perfect sense and they start talking about how they can totally do similar things on a local and national level.

In the evening the festivities turned toward the first night of award ceremonies and a big communal meal with live music. I got to meet all of the robot teams who came from around the country to battle it out at Maker Party. I told them about Mass Destruction, Stompy and the Megabots Project. Rob, you would love these guys!

When Maker Party was over Goong, Pak and I hit the arts district for night two of Galleries’ Night. We scootered around to the C.A.P. (Chaing Mai Art on Paper) Studio, Gallery Seescape, Minimal Gallery, and the Art Mai? Hotel gallery. I’d been wanting to check out the C.A.P. Studio since I read about it in the Creative Chiang Mai book that I borrowed from Nati, and had made one unsuccessful attempt to check it out last Saturday night.

They have a print share business model. This means that they work with artists to create original works in pencil, oil, acrylic, pen, etc. These pieces are then etched into one or more large zinc or copper plates using any of several acid etching techniques. Then an initial run of the print is made. The artist pays for none of this, however, the studio keeps half of the prints to sell in its’ own gallery. If the first run of prints is successful more prints can be made at the artists’ discretion. In this way large-scale printing and large volume production are made accessible to young artists and others who would not otherwise be able to afford them. The owner/artist, Kitikong, is super friendly and has in this way helped to foster young talent and bring a lot more attention, both domestic and international to the Chiang Mai art scene.

The studio was running a one night print giveaway for Galleries’ Night. Visitors could pay 300 baht (about $8.50USD) for the chance to win one of over one hundred prints of different sizes by fishing one a small plastic egg out of a kiddy pool with a little net. Each egg hid a small piece of paper with a number on it which corresponded to a specific print on display in the gallery space. I took the chance and won one of the ten large framed prints! I met the artist and photos were taken. It was awesome!

Gallery Seescape is a two stage indoor/outdoor gallery and coffee shop. It is a favorite hangout for many young artists and students and a pillar in the arts community here. We met several notable artists and new friends here; Mit Jai-Inn, prominent Thai abstract painter and political agitator, Dejan Dukic Bosnian/Austrian painter, and Kan Natee a Thai interior designer.

Minimal is a tiny alternative Japanese restaurant by day and an underground non-spray art gallery by night. The owners are two young artists/musicians who run the restaurant to support their art and music interests. They are super nice and hilarious. Art Mai? Hotel is a boutique art hotel. One guest-room on each floor was designed by a different notable Thai artist, and each floor has a gallery space devoted to a different artistic style. We met back up with Mit Jai-Inn, Dejan and Kan here. Kan designed the interior of the hotel itself and all of the rooms outside of the special rooms on each floor. She took us on a tour of several of the special rooms and the rooms that she designed. All-in-all a pretty wild day. Made a lot of new friends and I’m finally getting into the arts and maker scenes here. After the tour Goong dropped me off at home. Good night!

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