“Pod” Thanachai Ujjin is a musician who rose to fame in the 90s
and still remains relevant today. In addition to his music,
he is also passionate about art — drawing and photography, to be precise.
He’s had exhibitions, both solo and together with other artists.
STORY: SURANGRAT KANBUBPHA
As an artist, inspirations are important. For him, travelling fuels his inspirations, especially to art destinations where he can appreciate pop art by his favourite artists like Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“I travel quite often — this year alone, I’ve visited five countries,” he said. “I travel quite freely and my itinerary depends on the people I travel with. This way, I get to experience new things. If I make my own plans, I might end up going to the same places again and again, but if I go with other people, I get to see new places and enjoy new experiences, whether they are enjoyable or not. But when I travel on my own, I check out art museums because I love art. Besides, around art museums there are always cool places like shops and cafes.”
His favourite place is New York and Tokyo, which he has visited several times already. “As an art lover, when I travel I always visit art museums. If I go to New York, I visit the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I also visit Mori Art Museum in Tokyo quite often. I can check out the posters on the terrace to see past events and upcoming ones. Last time I was there, I realised that I had seen almost all the shows at the Mori Art Museum. Among all the exhibitions, I am most impressed with Andy Warhol’s art. I also like his show in New York, because I get to see his piss paintings, which are so abstract.”
He feels that New York and Tokyo are great destinations for art lovers like him, but London and Paris are also interesting choices because they are big cities with a lot of art places. You can check out classic masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci or contemporary creations by up and coming artists.
Beyond art appreciation, travelling inspires him in so many ways. He likened it to a businessman travelling to see other businesses, and when he likes something, he uses the inspiration to improve his own work.
“Every time I travel, I am so inspired I want to get to work right away. When I see a good show, my sleepy self becomes awake and alert, especially when I see artists who create art not just for the sake of making money or becoming famous, but to express their creativity. This sort of art makes me want to express myself too.”
This is why he is constantly travelling. His dream is to exhibit his work in other countries to inspire others as well.
“I went to Hong Kong recently and found that it’s an art hub with so many good pieces and galleries. If Thai artists can exhibit their works there, it means they have gone global. Last year, I had a chance to exhibit my work with a group of Thai artists, and I am very proud. It would be amazing if I could have a solo exhibition in Hong Kong, but I know I have to work harder and have more discipline.”
For those who are not exactly into art, he said all you have to do is open your mind to it, because everyone is an artist.
“If you go to a museum and talk about art with your friend, it can be more fun. I took friends to see an art exhibition, and told them fun facts about the artists, and that made them feel interested. I think it’s all about showing the fun side and explaining it the right way.”