The Art

Thailand

Title

Princess papaya pok pok.

Technique

Acrylic painting on canvas

Size

80 x 100 cm

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Artist Statement

It would be a world where Isaan women have dreams and Thai women married to foreigners are not stigmatized. Princess papaya pok pok. Som tam poo plara, the northeastern dish that I miss the most when I'm abroad.

This artwork is inspired by the lives of many strong working-class women in Thailand who struggle to survive in a society that oppresses them, both in terms of gender and cost of living. Many times, marrying a white man is another way for them to escape poverty in a country plagued by repeated coups, aiming for a better life for themselves and their future family, whether it's parents, siblings, or future children.

Thai women married to foreigners are often stereotyped and looked down upon, especially those from rural areas, particularly Isaan (the poorest region of Thailand), where basic welfare is lacking, incomes are low, and they are often perceived as having low status. They are often criticized and shamed for their appearance and lifestyle choices.

But in being married to a foreigner, it reflects the yearning of society, the lack of freedom to pursue dreams, and of course, the pain of being stigmatized and not being accepted, both from fellow Thais with higher social status and from the people in the community where they have to move to, being foreigners in their own hometowns and new homes.

During my internship in Berlin, I felt the most warmth when I went to the Thai park and ate authentic "farang" (foreigner) papaya salad. It had a familiar, vibrant, and genuine taste, representing the resilience of those who fight for their lives.

If one day women have equal opportunities across the world, we should be able to call foreigner wives by their own names, with the dreams they have the opportunity to make come true in this life. The complex spectrum of power, including gender, politics, and economy, that suppresses individuals in every way, should be dismantled, allowing freedom. No woman should have to go to the far corners of the world just to survive and access basic welfare.

About The Artist

Juli baker and summer (Phaan Chanaradee Chatrakul Na Ayudhya)

About the Artist: juli baker and summer or “Phaan” Chanaradee Chatrakul Na Ayudhya is an artist, writer and traveler. Once an aspiring fashion designer, she studied Fashion and Textiles in the Creative Decoration Department at Chulalongkorn University, but later discovered that painting– that is, being an artist– is her true calling in life. juli baker and summer’s career as a professional artist commenced in 2015.

Her work is inspired by David Hockney and Henri Matisse, two European artists with colorful oeuvres that privileged emotional expression over verisimilitude, the cardinal rule of juli baker and summer’s own art-making. Her paintings are distinguished by color palettes as vibrant and bold as the summer sun, and young women with strange– almost abstract– bodies sprawled at ease and awash with the emotions discharged through each brushstroke.

Each of juli baker and summer’s paintings are grounded in her lived experiences: personal memories, everyday conversations, globetrotting, favorite books, pop culture, society and politics. In a way, her art-making is another form of journaling, on a larger canvas. Notably, juli baker and summer’s works bear extracts of her own handwriting, which calls attention to the other registers of her identity as a storyteller and diarist.

Juli baker and summer has collaborated with numerous leading brands, including Nike, Vogue Thailand, Lamy and Marimekko. Her works have appeared in a host of solo exhibitions, “I’ll Follow the Sun” at Virus Space & Cafe (2017), “Please, Make Yourself at Home” at The Jam Factory (2017), “Nowhere Woman” at VS Gallery (2021-2022), “Coming of Age” at Spiral Tokyo (2021), “She’s too much” at River City Bangkok(2023) and “I Said Goodbye To me” at Art Is. Tokyo gallery (2023)

julibakerandsummer

The Process

The Interview

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