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Profile: From penniless to priceless

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Suriyan ‘Romadon’ Kos-anea, 41, originally from Phang Nga, is currently an art teacher at Phuket Vocational College. He also owns a tea shop and art gallery in Rawai. The special thing about him is the way he uses his body for painting. In 2012, he was chosen as one of the last six contestants in the show Thailand’s Got Talent for his body painting performance.

At the age of 24, Mr Suriyan graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Silpakorn University, and started travelling all over Thailand. He first lived in Koh Chang and Pai before finally settling in Phuket.

“Art is life, but I just never realized it. I would wake up and brush my teeth. Then I noticed how the toothbrush was designed. It’s art, it surrounds us. I believe art is unlimited it has no frame, Mr Suriyan said.

“Art can be one way to help us to think outside the box. It can open up opportunities and new ways of thinking. We can present our life through art,” he added.

“Art gives us life. We can use art to make a better life for ourselves. I started from scratch, but now I have a family I can support. I used art to open up my tea shop and to impress the judges on Thailand’s Got Talent. It always comes down to how you apply art in your real life,” Mr Suriyan said.

“My house is not big, but I can make use of every part of it. It serves as a place to live, a tea shop and an art gallery,” he added.

Mr Suriyan does not sell his art everywhere at present, as his main income is from teaching and the tea shop. However, when he does sell paintings he charges anywhere between 2,000 to 80,000 baht. Most of his customers are foreigners.

His life changed from a homeless artist who used to draw pictures on the walking street, to a respected teacher at the Phuket Vocational College, and then a contestant on a popular television show.

“Why did I move to Phuket? I had to find a place where people found my art interesting. There are many foreigners here in Phuket who understand and value my art.

“I have liked art since I was a child. I loved painting the school logo, climbing up trees and always doing something different. At university, my teachers never liked my art. They always asked me to follow a set procedure, but I did not care about other people’s words. Why do teachers try to frame children’s minds? They want children to think just the way their books tell them to.

“I have reached this phase of my life because of my unique philosophy. I do whatever I want, as long as it is permitted by law and religion. In my opinion, all occupations are equal.

“This philosophy is what made me decide to participate in Thailand’s Got Talent. My life has gotten better; I have become well known and am enjoying a happy life with my family,” he said.

— Kongleaphy Keam

 

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