Philip Cornwel-Smith text & photographs John Goss photographs
• Acclaimed bestseller that explains the perplexing charms of Thai life.
• Definitive source on Thai pop, trusted by locals, experts, media, students
• Iconic style book for designers, authors, artists
This pioneering celebration of Thai pop and streetlife has been totally revised to reflect the dramatic changes in Thailand. With a contemporary eye and two decades’ experience, the author delves beyond the Thai clichés to reveal the casual, everyday expressions of Thainess that so delight and mail order bride from russia puzzle, from floral truck bolts and taxi altars to buffalo cart furniture and drinks in a bags. Full of savvy insights into the impromptu creativity behind the exotic image of Thainess. Like no other book, Very Thai captures the quirky vigour of the Thai street.
Thailand’s first ‘Ideas Festival’, Bangkok Edge, will feature talks, workshops, music, film, tours and an exhibition, along with food and other entertainment on Feb 13-14, 2016.
On Feb 14 at 1-2pm, Very Thai author Philip Cornwel-Smith will host one of the panel discussions, ‘Where is Bangkok’s Leading Edge‘, with three Thai figures who are moving the culture forward. the talk will be at the Rachini School venue in the Tha Tien festival enclave.
Philip will look at how Thai trends emerge, become hip and then get accepted into the mainstream.
Pongsuang ‘Note’ Kunprasop the founder of Dudesweet nightlife theme party phenomenon will discuss changing fashion in the context of music.
Kongdej Jaturanrassmee, the film director of Tang Wong and Snap, among other acclaimed films, will look at the situation of art film in Thailand.
Alex Face, one of Thailand’s most prominent graffiti artists, gives his take on creating artistic space in public view.
Bangkok will get it’s first “ideas festival” with the launch of Bangkok Edge on Feb 13-14, 2016.
It will be like a literary festival plus many other attractions, including workshops, live music by top stars, food, films and an exhibition. The talks will feature many top writers, but also other experts in fields from heritage to environment, cities to culture, community to personal stories. The theme of the festival space will be ‘Contemporary Temple Fair’, covering the neighbouring compounds of Wang Chakrabongse, MuseumSiam and Rachinee School in the Tha Tien district of Bangkok’s old town.
Very Thai author Philip Cornwel-Smith will hold a panel related to popular culture on Feb 14 at 1pm in the Rachinee School auditorium.
National Museum Volunteers Lecture series talk by Philip Cornwel-Smith about how popular culture artefacts have eventually come to be displayed, exhibited and treated as a serious aspect of Thai culture.
At the National Museum on Thursday morning of Nov 26, 2016, following a talk by Steve Van Beek on Thailand’s water culture.
‘Very Thai’ continues to spark media coverage. The latest is a podcast on TalkTravelAsia. The podcast is an interview with author Philip Cornwel-Smith by journalist Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates, who was co-founder of the bespoke travel agency Smiling Albino.
The podcast is available through the following channels:
As part of the TCDC exhibition ‘hello World’, Philip Cornwel-Smith gives a talk today at TCDC on 8 March 2014. Called ’Very Thai Cultural Filters: How Hybrids preserve and project a sense of Thainess’, the talk goes into the ways that Thais are selective about what they import and adapt into hybrids.
Various Thai values, tastes and taboos act as filters to let in only part of the import while screening out aspects that don’t suit. This leads the talk to consider what cultural filters are needed in order to create designs, products and services that can appeal to the outside world while projecting a sense of Thainess. This means looking at what aspects of Thainess appeal (or not) to outsiders and how Thais might go about the tricky task of filtering their own cultural traits so that everyone benefits.
Talk about Thai beliefs in Hindu gods and the spirit world at Gaysorn, in a preview of the TBEX Asia Travel Bloggers Conference.
An advance party of travel bloggers from the US did a preview trip to Bangkok on Feb 22, 2015. The city will host the first Asian edition of the world’s biggest travel blogging conference, TBEX Asia on October 15-18, 2015. Philip gave a talk to the bloggers about the famous Hindu shrines located around the Ratchaprasong Intersection where Gaysorn is located. The bloggers later visited the shrines, now with some background knowledge to understand the dynamics of the shrines, which are an internationally-famous draw for tourists, especially Asians.
Philip will give further talks as part of the TBEX Asia conference.
Philip Cornwel-Smith gave a talk to the IDEA Group, an informal gathering of expatriates who regularly meet to discuss topics about Thailand with a guest speaker. Philip spoke on the topic ‘Very Thai, Very Volatile: 20 years of change in Popular Culture’.