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Phuket Arts: Young artists on show at BIS

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Arts: Young artists on show at BIS | Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket has been showing the signs recently of a burgeoning art scene that is maturing rapidly. Many resorts offer art displays in their gift shops or lobbies and Phuket Town has a number of galleries that host various media covering a wide range of genres. Keeping art alive and passing on the visual expression of culture to younger generations is an important consideration in our modern, globalized world.

British International School Phuket (BIS) is doing their part to provide their students with an outlet for creative self expression. With a Grand Opening set for March 24 at 2:45pm, BIS is proud to announce their IB Year 13 Visual Arts Exhibition. The exhibition will be open to the public from March 24-28 at the school in Koh Kaew and will feature works from Inthu-on Lueangworaphan, Jooyeon Shon and Nathanon Khanijow.

Inthu-on Lueangworaphan, whose work examines ideals of beauty in modern society, said many of her pieces were inspired by a visit to a Karen Village in Northern Thailand.

“After my journey to the hill tribe village in Northern Thailand, particularly to see Karen Long Neck Women, I was inspired to look at different cultural customs associated with bone deformity and the reality of the concealed pain underneath.

“I investigated Karen Long Neck, Victorian Corsets and Chinese Lotus Feet. From here, I began to look at a wider perspective of modern society, people’s perception of beauty, as well as the way we uncontrollably value appearance while under the influence of media,” she said.

Jooyeon Shon’s pieces, while employing a range of media, typically feature bold colors, which she says were influenced by the modern art she has examined as part of her course.

“I researched Kang Ik-Jung, a Korean illustrator, and incorporated his style to reflect the concerns I have about myself, showing my thoughts throughout IB [International Baccalaureate]. I enjoyed using paper and wood as media for these pieces, with vivid colors to create a positive mood.”

Nathanon Khanijow says that during the course he discovered a passion for illustration, and many of his intricately detailed drawings bear this out.

“Being raised a Sikh in Thailand, there was a broad opportunity to investigate religion in terms of culture and tradition. With visits to Buddhist and Sikh temples, local artists, exhibitions and the vegetarian festival, I was taken on a spiritual journey that led me to produce a range of pen studies, detailed dot work in particular,” he said.

The featured students’ artwork will include: acrylic pieces on canvas, clay sculptures, photographs, digital prints, embroidery, collages, charcoal works, plaster casts and various other mixed media.

In addition to the 48 original pieces displayed by the 17-year-old students, the exhibition will also include Year 2 students’ Elephant Prints, and Expert Media will be showcasing their ‘Children of Karen’ photo exhibition.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV’s ‘Phuket Today’ show (daily on True Visions channels 85 and 59) are proud sponsors of this exhibition.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Entertainment

Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws

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Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws | Thaiger
PHOTO: In Thailand, sex toys are very popular and very illegal.

While Thailand is a conservative country with conservative laws, the underground sex trade and sex toy economy is a thriving not-so-well-kept secret. Thailand is famous for its LGBTQ acceptance and red-light districts, but many don’t realise that most drugs, gambling, soliciting for prostitution, sex toys, and even vaping are against Thai law.

The customs department confiscated more than 4000 sex toys just last year, and owning or selling these toys carries a 60,000 baht fine or up to 3 years in jail. The strict laws are in place to align with the traditional Buddhist Thai society but seem very contrary to the underground sex industry Thailand is known for.

The need for sexual privacy rights and relaxed laws governing sex has been gaining popularity for years with the juxtaposition of strict laws and hedonism creating a very profitable black market. Bangkok’s red-light district is estimated to be worth US $6.4 billion, and in districts like Soi Cowboy, Nana, Patpong and Silom, sex trade and sex toys are sold openly even though it violates the law. The sex industry is thought to comprise up to 10% of Thailand’s gross domestic product. Then there’s Walking Street in Pattaya, Bangla Road in Phuket, etc, etc.

Still, Thailand is a Buddhist country with traditionally conservative values so laws are unlikely to change anytime soon. Even sex education in Thailand is geared towards the negative consequences of sex and not open to sexual rights or embracing sexuality, according to a UNICEF report in 2016. Those who oppose decriminalising sex toys and the sex industry believe that embracing it legally would lead to a rash of sex-related crimes.

Others argue that decriminalisation would be liberating and empower women by reducing the stigma of being sexually free. It would allow a modernized view on sexual well-being. It would also likely reduce teen pregnancy rates, by removing the negativity towards those who need or use contraceptive.

Nisarat Jongwisan has been fighting for the destigmatisation and legalisation of sex toys since 2018 when she appeared on a TV program speaking out against the Ministry of Culture. She now intends to use the Thai parliamentary mechanism for creating a petition and gathering 50,000 signatures, which would allow her to submit a bill to the parliament for a vote.

With strict laws, the black market will continue to grow. While sex toys and the sex trade can be criminalized, sexual desires are not easily quashed, and people will find ways to satisfy them. Without any regulation, black markets can profit freely, selling sex toys with no concern over fair pricing or quality control. The global sex toy industry sold nearly US $34 billion dollars last year, and with continued lockdown and the closures of entertainment venues, these sales are set to only increase, even in the face of Thailand’s conservative laws.

SOURCE: Vice

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World

Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS

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Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS | Thaiger

2020 IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award. In the past 8 years the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award has been given to Ed Sheeran, Adele, One Direction, and Taylor Swift and Drake. BTS are backed up by ARMY, their huge fanbase.

The power of ARMY. The IFPI represents the recorded music industry worldwide. It’s not a Grammy or a popularity vote. The award is calculated according to an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the past year. Everything from streams to vinyl, CDs and downloads…. and covers their entire body of work. The award was announced last week at the culmination of the IFPI Global Artist Chart, which counted down the top 10 best-selling artists of the past year.

And it’s certainly been a great year for music… not so much for going to live concerts but we’ve certainly had a lot more time to listen to our favourite artists and stream their clips on YouTube.

The group that won this year, based on their pure sales, actually came second in 2018 and 7th in 2019, so it isn’t some statistical blip on the music radar.

The win also represents somewhat of a quantum shift in world music… the sort of thing that only happens once in a generation. Rather than the popular cross-over style shift represented by the George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924, the brith of rock with Bill Haley in 1955 or the rise of British pop in the 1960s, personified by The Beatles, this year’s IFPI signals another generational milestone in tastes, method, world reach and engagement with fans.

In all the right-hand turns of the popular music genre, there has usually been a technological breakthrough that has accompanied them, or at least been a key aspect of their success.

In the case of the the Great American Songbook, the foundations of the pop music genre, it was the recorded record and the start of radio-as-entertainment in the 1920s that provided a method to reach a huge audience with the new sounds and tunes for the first time.

Then it was the 7” single that made music cheaper and easier to play, that revolutionised the radio music formats of the 1960s and provided the perfect vehicle of the British pop revolution to spread around the world.

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Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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