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Phuket artist emerges from the shade

PHUKET: Luxsana ‘Nok’ Charernsri’s childhood was the polar opposite to those of the children that she currently teaches at the Phuket International Academy Day School (PIADS), in Thalang.

By Jody Houton

Monday 24 February 2014, 11:38AM

Born in Singburi province, Nok studied art at Chiang Mai University, but actually getting to that point – where she was studying and doing what she is passionate about – she tells The Phuket News, was rather difficult and problematic.

“My relationship with my parents has never been good,” Nok says matter-of-factly, “I stopped living with my parents when I was around seven years-old, when I started going to state-funded boarding schools.”

It wasn’t until Nok moved to her second school, when she was around 11 years old, that she discovered art and quickly found that she had a talent.

“In my first art class, I knew straight away that this is what I wanted to do. I actually won the first competition I entered – it was a picture of the Queen Mother.”

From then on, she sought solace in art, at least privately, as despite her parents knowing that she was exceptionally talented, pursuing the creative arts was never really an option.

“My dad actually wanted me to be an accountant, and forbade me from studying art, or enrolling at university.”

When Nok was old enough, however, she decided to enrol anyway, and when the start of the first term came around and her parents ultimately found out, there were ‘problems.’

Nok, now in her 30s, says that relations between her and her parents are better now – helped greatly, she says, when she was awarded a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture (MOC) to put on an exhibition in Bangkok.

The Ministry also paid for Nok to visit the US, on a short trip to discover new art techniques and paint some ‘great American landscapes’.

Thai Residential

Nok’s work is wide and varied, from abstract to realism. She sculpts, paints and does ‘mixed media’, a process of combining different mediums to create a single artwork.

Looking on her work, it’s apparent that there’s a certain darkness in Nok’s pieces, many of which deal with the concept of loneliness and isolation. “I like to focus on emotion,” explains Nok.

Nok finds brightness nowadays teaching and making art – for her it’s a perfect balance.

“I work as a [teaching] assistant because I’m thinking of the future – art is like fashion and changes style routinely, so if I can’t sell my work I can, of course, teach.”

There’s a shyness to Nok, whether as a remnant of the little lonely girl from Singburi or as a show of an inherent modesty. Her work, however, is bold, ambitious and executed with flair.

Working at a private school and teaching one-on-one at the weekends means that Nok doesn’t have as much time as perhaps she should to dedicate to promoting and marketing her own exceptional work, so unfortunately her exhibitions are few and far between.

She does have an exhibition coming up though, which is perhaps her brightest collection yet.

“My exhibition’s theme is about love,” Nok says with a smile.

Nok’s exhibition will be held at Mom Tri’s VR Gallery in April. For more information, visit: facebook.com/pages/Luxsana-CharernsriNok/154637768027420

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