"I think the hand is a symbol of creativity, of giving, and creating good relationships with each other."
"I was born in Chiang Mai in 1980 and grew up there as part of a big family. There are aunts and uncle who built houses in the same fenced compound, so I had a warm childhood among my relatives. It was very enjoyable, especially when there was a traditional festival in the village.
"In addition, my house is right across from the village temple and my uncle had been ordained to study for a long time until he became an abbot – in the past, there were schools only for children from a rich or a royal family. If ordinary people wanted to study, they had to be ordained and live in the temple where the monk would teach them. I've seen my uncle in the yellow robe of a monk for as long as I can remember. I had a playground not only at my house but also at the temple. Some days I had to wake up early to follow him and help hold the alms bowl for the food offerings given by the villagers. When growing up, I'd volunteer to drive him sometimes when he had been invited somewhere for his monk's ministry. So I also had strong bonds with the temple.
"After graduating from high school, I studied design in college. We learned about all related fields, from the design of small pieces like a coffee cup to large pieces such as furniture and home decor. I was very happy and enjoyed my classes because they weren't boring. They were challenging.
After college, I worked for a sanitary ware company for a short time. Then I moved to Bangkok, where I worked for an interior design company in three-dimensional design and drafting. We did this so the customers could see the virtual reality prior to construction. It was a very challenging job because there was no instruction about the program of three-dimensional design. I had to study all the programs by myself. I combined this new knowledge with the basic design principles I had studied so as to meet our customers' requirements.
"I worked in Bangkok for several years until I started to feel unhappy with life there — the hustle and bustle, the stiff competition, and always racing against time. I worried city life could affect my health in the long term, and I returned to Chiang Mai where I work as an independent designer. We also craft furniture.
"While I don't earn as much as in Bangkok, living in northern Thailand has brought me more happiness. I have the opportunity to meet with my family and friends, and life isn't as hurried.
"Today I can see Chiang Mai from many different perspectives that I hadn't noticed before. Chiang Mai is abundant in local culture. It is beautiful and life can blend perfectly with modernity. Many times I meet people who graduated abroad but dress in folk costumes and cotton clothes, and speak the native language fluently. If you look at them only superficially, you won't realize how well they speak English and that they can use modern communications equipment very well.
"A teacher always said that 'Chiang Mai is a city with a rich cultural heritage. If we study it deeply, we'll find that we have the capital of original cultural which can be reproduced in product design. That is, the local materials can reflect the beauty of our culture and can be designed to conform seamlessly to contemporary living.'
"I've known about Novica for a long time and would like to present Thai craftspeople here. When I had the opportunity to meet with the family of wood carvers, I talked with them and learned how to carve, how to select wood that is not too soft, and got to know each step of carving. I was very impressed, so I tried this in my workshop. I then polish, fix the cracks or the wood abrasion, spray the foundation, and polish each piece again to get it smooth. As the last step, we paint and decorate them by hand.
"My hand sculptures carved from wood result from combining our traditions with the local arts. They represent the delicacy and beauty of the Eastern cultures and demonstrate the ability of local artisans. I think the hand is a symbol of creativity, of giving, and creating good relationships with each other."