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Making a village for all

PHUKET: The Phuket Art Village, a sort of Nai Harn-based artistic commune inhabited by five Thai artists, has welcomed its first ever foreign artist, Tony Andrews.

By Jody Houton

Tuesday 14 August 2012, 01:04PM

And although the Australian sound engineer and sculptor has been resident at the ‘village’ for months already, he is yet to begin his first real art piece... He’s been too busy, building his room in Pui’s fabulous house.

Tony also created the fabulous mosaic flooring to the entrance of the house in order to welcome people with the same level of warmth and beauty that he said he had been treated to.

“I am honoured to be here. I am the only foreign artist but they have made me feel very welcome here.”

Tony added that although he had originally attempted to leave his 20 years of work as a sound engineer behind him when he arrived in Thailand earlier this year, he had found himself drawn back to production, because as well as being artists, the majority of the residents of The Phuket Art Village are also great musicians.

“I just want to help them. They’re very talented. They want to maintain something that is gradually being lost in Phuket. They want to make sure that Thai culture and Thai arts don’t disappear,” he said.

One way they are hoping to achieve that is by launching a regular Friday night Phuket Art Village social night.

Speaking on July 27 – the first of many shindigs – artist ‘Yen’ said, “We’re going to be having a party every Friday night from now on, with shadow puppets, music, art, food and drink.”

The atmosphere was very laid back, very amiable, unpretentious and cool. Because of this and so much more, it’s actually quite unlike anything that currently exists in Phuket.

For Tony and many of the resident artists, this is the main point, “It’s good to be doing something different. Somewhere the parents and kids can come and enjoy, feel safe and have a good time.”

Yen added that he and the other members of the artistic group had big plans for the future of the village, but wanted to finish the building of the rest of the village first. “Perhaps we will have art classes and music classes and even maybe homestays.”

Before anybody can some and stay at the village though, Pui and Tony need to make room for them. Literally.

The ever-smiling Pui who owns the fabulous art house, points out a space where he would like to build upon and said that regarding design, it would very much resemble the rest of the incredible looking property.

“I will only charge people about B200 a night though. I started building this a year ago, I built most of it using reclaimed beach wood. Art is everywhere, not just in paintings.”

“We are not just doing it to make money,” he says, and speaking with the other relaxed down-to-earth young artists, it’s quite easy to believe them.

“We want to promote Phuket art,” said Yen. “This village is great for tourists as they have lots of choice. If a visitor doesn’t like a particular form of art then there are lots of other artists to choose from.”

Phuket Art Village is located on Soi Naya 2, just past Da Vinci restaurant.



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