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.
Here is the full schedule of Bangkok Edge, Thailand’s first Ideas Festival.
Among all the talks and events, look out for Very Thai author Philip Cornwel-Smith, who will head a panel on the ‘leading edge’ of Bangkok’s popular culture on Sunday Feb 14 at 1-pm.
For details see:
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.
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’.
Thailand’s ‘indy’ subculture now spans two decades. Its impact on film, music, fashion, media and the arts have been tracked throughout by writer/editor Philip Cornwel-Smith, in Bangkok Metro Magazine, Time Out Bangkok guidebook and his book Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture. The ‘From T-Pop to Indy’ chapter from Very Thai was reproduced in a book by MTV about Cool Asia; the chapter’s revision in Very Thai’s 2nd edition shows how indy has changed over time. In this talk, Philip addresses the status of Thai indy as a cultural movement, and questions whether it has declined or matured.
The talk is in Lecture Theatre 762, Top floor of building 7 above BUG (Bkk Uni Gallery), reached by the entrance off the intersection of Kluaynamthai with Rama IV Road.
It’s open to the public but within a fixed student time slot, so it’ll start promptly. See you indie fans there!
His talk will look at how streetlife, everyday pop and even some cultural taboos have gone mainstream and even become regarded as heritage. The Creative Bangkok event runs Oct 12-17 with 50 talks, 10 workshops, 6 creative team challenges, and related events. Philip will speak on Oct 15, the day focusing on Creativity in Tourism and Heritage. So the talk will be held at MuseumSiam in the old town at 1.30pm.
Other speakers are from Google, Nasa, Walt Disney, Le Cordon Bleu, duPont, Cirque du Soleil and dozens of other Thai and international companies and organisations.
Bangkok-based British writer Philip Cornwel-Smith will give an illustrated talk about the dramatic transformations in Thailand he has witnessed as author/editor of Bangkok Metro magazine, Time Out Bangkok guidebook, and the influential bestselling book Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture (www.verythai.com). Instead of the sensational oriental clichés, he views Thai ways through the lens of its hybrid pop, social tensions and quirky urban culture. There’ll be time at the end to discuss how Thailand’s transformation compares to Bali.
Recent upheavals in Thailand have brought world attention to new stories as ordinary people express themselves and as Bangkok went chic and became the most visited city on the planet. The tropical rural idyll has urbanized and globalised, and taboo things gone mainstream, from yaa dong tonic whisky to magical tattoos. Yet everyday life in Thailand continues to beguile with its wacky hybrids, sense of fun, and unexpected quirks.
A resident of 20-years, Philip Cornwel-Smith has had an insider vantage point to see these changes. His book Very Thai, now in an updated and expanded 2nd edition, has become to the go-to reference and style guide on Thai popular culture.
Very Thai is published by River Books. Copies will be on sale, which Philip can sign.
verythai.com has full details and streams social media by followers of the book using #verythai on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.
Philip can be contacted via verythai.com , phone +62-821-4444 2022
The author of Very Thai will talk about the book and the current situation of Thai popular culture in Bar Luna at Casa Luna, Jalan Raya Ubud, in the cultural centre of Ubud on the Indonesian island of Bali. The talk will be on September 29 at 7.30pm and copies of Very Thai will be available for sale and signature. The talk is behind held by the organisers of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, which starts a few days later on Oct 1-5.
For festival details see http://www.ubudwritersfestival.com
Philip Cornwel-Smith will give a talk on July 1 at Thammasat University to the students of its to the International Programme. Very Thai is one of their set texts. The talk will be a variation on the phases of Thai popular culture that Philip has witnessed during the past two decades in Bangkok.
Bangkok’s oldest Rotary Club hosted a talk by Philip Cornwel-Smith called ‘Very Thai Thai: How Pop Became Culture’. Held at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in Bangkok, the after-lunch speech marked the first time in nearly a year that the author was spotted wearing a suit and tie.
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The talk ‘Very Thai Cultural Filters: How Hybrids preserve and project a sense of Thainess’ by Philip Cornwel-Smith at TCDC on March 8 2014 sparked the Thai blogger GeekJuggler to write a post that then went viral.
Geek Juggler was animated by the idea that it is socially easier for non-Thais to do Thai-style design than for Thai designers, whose creativity is constrained by social pressures and taboos about secular use of forms related to Thai beliefs. He and most of the chat thread responders seemed to regard this as probably true and a sad situation in which it is hard to reconcile tradition and modernity. Many in the chat thread reposted the review to other blogs.
The blogger Geek Juggler gave a positive response in his Thai-language blog to my talk ‘Very Thai: Cultural Filters’ at TCDC (Thailand Creative & Design Centre) in Bangkok on 8 March 2014. The 80-seat venue was booked out . The blogger took up aspects of the talk to expand upon with his own views, focusing on the cultural factors that make it socially difficult for Thai designers to filter out aspects of their culture that won’t appeal to outsiders, while foreign designers of Thai-style things have more social freedom to deconstruct and reinterpret Thai traits for contemporary designs.
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‘Very Thai Cultural Filters: How Hybrids preserve and project a sense of Thainess’
As part of the TCDC exhibition ‘hello World’, Philip Cornwel-Smith gives a talk today at TCDC on March 8 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.
See the talk here:
Philip Cornwel-Smith will give a talk on 6 March 2014 at The National Museum for the National Museum Volunteers’ postponed Lecture Series. The talk was about the phases of Thai popular culture that Philip has witnessed during the past two decades in Bangkok.
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Bangkok. Philip Cornwel-Smith is giving a talk about “Very Thai Cultural Filters: How hybrids preserve and project a sense of Thainess” this Saturday, 8 March, at Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) at the Emporium. I am sorry to miss it since I am going abroad tomorrow. Cornwel-Smith is the author of Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture which I have recommended ever in Bangkok von innen since I came across it for the first time.
In his now famous book, Cornwel-Smith tries, among great other reading material, to explain the way how very ordinary things can acquire and produce a common sense of “Thainess” in Thailand. You might get answers to the question how everyday goods and services can be imbued with a marketable “Thai” character during his talk on Saturday,
Quoted from the advance notice:
Thai culture has for centuries been highly porous to outside influence, yet Philip shows how Thais have maintained their culture by localising imports in distinct ways. This can be done through applying traditional materials, techniques and decoration, or by keeping the import’s form whilst replacing its original philosophy with one that resonates to Thais. Instead of direct copying, inventions from elsewhere have been riffed into hybrids that involve a shift in meaning. Thais have even turned Thai-foreign hybrids into icons of Thainess to be reprojected abroad as symbols of the country.Cultural filters that make Thai consumption of imports selective draw from instinctive cultural values. Now that Thailand faces increased global competition, the challenge is to create cultural filters that select aspects of Thainess appropriate to outside consumers.
In short, this talk is going to be about international mainstream and how to impose a Thai identity on it.
I offer a personal view on this subject or perhaps, as I probably should put it more accurately, a comment.
During history, people in Siam at times quickly lost their heads, if they were not mainstream. Still today, some may spend 18 years or more in prison and may loose everything they have including their social recognition), if they are not mainstream.
It is only my personal feeling as a foreigner, that this fact might add to various forms of “typical” Thai behaviour (with strong foreign elements in it), that most of us would regard as outdated? Or, in some cases, even regard as undignified?
For instance, I do not believe that, 68 years after Nazi-Germany has been buried in the abyss of history, any of us youngsters under the age of 60 is capable to imagine, how a person feels while being forced by strong social constraints to stand to attention twice a day in public while listening to the national anthem which everybody is forced to hear on every public place in the country. A practice, which has been introduced in a time, when European fascist leaders’ personality cult was widely seen as a great role model für Siam.
Possibly apart from devout Christians, most Europeans also can hardly imagine how it feels to seriously “wai” a spirit house in which a strong spirit is known to stay. And very few of us can imagine to cringe in front of persons which are not more human than we are. Finally, how does it feel sharing a great love with all my friends and family for cheaply-produced plastic items that everybody simply “has to have” just to be socially recognized? Do you know? I don’t.
All these “typical” Thai habits have a very strong froreign taste, they are no typical Thai specialties or inventions, despite the fact that some people like to think so.
As for me, for instance, I simply cannot imagine how it feels to stand to attention in public places like a pillar of salt, having to listen to some extremely old-fashioned sounds, which do not really represent my favourite music style and, above all, looking statesmanlike while doing so. This is just because I never did so and I will probably never do.
However, recently at the beginning of my fourth decade of Thailand-experience, I actually started to ask myself once, how I could actually love my own country without having to stand to attention twice a day and moreover, sadly, not even having a king anymore in my country who would be like a father to me? The answer was: I love my country, for instance, precisely for the fact that I am not being urged to stand to attention at any place or to crawl in front of anyone or listening to any music that other people want to put on me.
What I can imagine, however, is this: How a schoolboy would feel if he is the only one in his class without an amulet (or any other fetish) around his neck, or a yellow (or any other) bracelet around his wrist with some magic or special formula printed on it. A magic or a formula which at the same time would be propagated in school, on TV, on public places, just everywhere.
I can imagine the feelings of such a schoolboy, because I might have been this boy myself if I had been born in Thailand. Simply because, as a matter of fact, I am medically allergic to many things, like raw hazelnuts (fortunately I can eat them after they are once heated up for cakes and chocolate…), jackfruit, cantaloupes, latex, and some pollen.
Moreover, I have been also socially allergic to things that “everybody has to do” since I was a lttle boy.
In my fifth class in school, there was a teacher who even wrote this into my school report, of course without any serious consequences except some raised eyebrows in the family. But what would have happened in a mainstream Thai school? Can we rule out that they would not have tried to beat out such a socially unacceptable behavior from me at an early time?
Enough. Please do not miss Philip Cornwel-Smith on Saturday, 8 March at the TCDC, 6th Floor The Emporium Shopping Complex, 622 Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok 10110. If his talks on Saturday are only half as interesting as his writings, it has to be a great lecture.
The talk “Very Thai Cultural Filters: How hybrids preserve and project a sense of Thainess” starts at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but it is recommended to register for a seat at the Online Reservation System or at TCDC Information Counter, phone (02) 664 84 48, ext. 213, 214.
January 19th @ National Museum, BKK: “The Thai Hybrid”
If I was still in Bangers I’d surely hit this up! Anybody read ‘Very Thai’? What an excellent book. As a member of the National Museum Volunteers (I trained as a museum guide) I get these bulletins. This one caught my eye and I thought I’d share it on the various forums.
Posted in: Reviews,
The Graphic Design Association of Thailand held a 2-day symposium on Thainess in graphic design, called Somewhere Thai. One of only two western speakers among the Thai program at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, Philip Cornwel-Smith spoke about ‘Tools to Untie Thainess: How I Wrote Very Thai’, translated by Thai typographer Anuthin Wongsankakon.
IMTGD®FORUM 2010: SOMEWHERE THAI
Initiated by Santi Lawrachawee
10.30 am – 7 pm
Organized by Practical Design Studio
in associated with Thai Graphic Designer Association and Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture
ThaiGA in corporation with Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC), Ministry of Culture, Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC), and Practical Design Studio has launched “I’m a Thai graphic designer project 2010” under the topic of IMTGD®2010 : Somewhere Thai.
– See more at: http://en.bacc.or.th/event/IMTGD%C2%AEFORUM-2010-SOMEWHERE-THAI.html#sthash.yI720b37.dpuf
IMTGD®Forum will be held on September 25-26, 2010 at Auditorium Hall, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). More than 60 guest speakers will join the event. Somewhere Thai is the first conference where more than 60 outstanding graphic designers, academicians, cartoonists, editors and musicians will openly share their ideas on Thai identity in design works. Foreign guest speakers will also be invited to exchange their ideas on the same topic in order to provide primary data for future research and forthcoming creative works. Speaker List: Anusorn Tipayanon Anuthin Wongsunkakon Be Our Friend Studio Chatchaval Khonkajee Chaiyot Itworaphan Craftsmanship studio DesignLab Ductstore Ekaluck Peanpanawate Farmgroup G49 Kelvin Wong Koichi Shimizu (Japan) & Thanaraj Vangsiripaisal LIKAYBINDERY Nutjarus Eangmahassakul Nuts Society Opas Limpi-Angkanan Pairoj Pittayamatee Philip Cornwel-Smith Pichaya Suphavanij Pongtorn Hiranpruek Pongprom Sanitwong na Ayuthaya Practical Prinya Rojarayanont Roj siamruay Rukkit Kuanhawate Sethapong Povatong Siam Attariya Slowmotion Songsin Tiewsomboon Surat Tomornsuk Thanaboon Somboon Vichean Tow Vip Buraphadeja Waroot Phanyarachun We too are Stardust Wee Viraporn Xavier Comas (Spain) Zeongklod Bangyikhan
*Admission is free. **For more information, please visit www.imtgd.org or Facebook I am Thai graphic designer. ***Person reserving a seat via firstname.lastname@example.org will get a special premium gift.
for more information: Tel. 02 9382300-4 ext.1003 Fax. 02 9389522 Email: email@example.com
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A talk at Siam Society on 15 September 2005 by Philip Cornwel-Smith
The author will give an insight into the value of everyday contemporary things in building a more inclusive, up-to-date picture of Thai culture, society and history. Exploring his passion for all things Thai, Philip Cornwel-Smith traces the origins of what you find in the street, the home, the shop and the bar and on TV.
Admission B150, or free to Siam Society Members.
When Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture was released last year, the book was a sweeping success. Tracing the origins of mundane items like the taxi dashboard, the menthol inhaler and pink tissues, Bangkok-based British writer Philip Cornwel-Smith explained many of the oddities and nuicances of Thai culture. Now the author will share some of his insight at the Siam Society in a talk aimed at building a more inclusive, up-to-date picture of Thai culture, society and history. Take this chance to look anew at the ordinary at the Siam Society.
Thai Day was an English-language Thai newspaper
Posted in: Reviews,