Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thailand Island Time: part two

For those of you who may not follow my blog often or know me well, I have been known to go extreme distances to see what I suppose is most easily called "outsider art". I don't really think about what I call it, to me it's more about the nature of people to cross a line of creating something wild. This spot takes the cake.

Island of Kho Mak: Somchai's sculptures

I made it out to Koh Kood. The next objective on the list was to wake up the next morning, take a speed boat that was arranged to pick me up at the guest house dock at 10am and make it to neighboring island Koh Mak. Sandy & Logan told me about a sculpture garden (dare I say sexy sculpture garden?) made by a self taught artist that had motivated this entire island adventure. It was a little complicated to get there, Sandy had helped me along with the guest house to arrange for the boat and then driver to pick me up when I got off the boat to take me there.

I hadn't thought through the experience of the visit entirely. Meaning, arriving solo and wanting to go see a sexy sculpture garden as a single-female-white-tourist could have the potential to be a little weird. And , it honestly it was a pretty awkward exchange with my driver who was so sweet. He definitely wasn't into the spot- or perhaps being there with me taking 1000 photos of naked ladies wasn't his ideal Saturday. I could think of a worse work day.

All the weirdness, if I didn't just imagine it, was worth it. If you find yourself on Koh Mak, you should go here. The island is tiny and even though it's not on maps, everyone knows where it is. Maybe you will be lucky and Somchai will be home. This is his yard where he eats at his lady table. His bathroom (see below) where he is surrounded by women holding his toothbrush, soap and towel.The lady-shower that shoots water out of her nipples. Oh and we can't forget the important woman holding the satellite dish. Pretty epic spot in the middle of the ocean on an island.

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Sign at the entrance reads (in both English & Thai):

The kingdom of Somchai's affection: artist and art to immortal sculpture

With extraordinary ambition and affectionate inspiration, the nude woman sculptures of Somchai- the Mon artist around his domicile reflect his perception about affection in art and individual freedom. Using his own financial resources, these continuous artistic works were created from his own inspiration and profound imagination, without artistic pattern from any renowned school. A number of sculptures in Somchai's kingdom of affection are still there for visitors who come to view them. The artist stated this desire was that "my art still remains though I die".

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures
Pathway into the yard. You can't tell but this is shaped like a dome, difficult to walk on but is apparently made this way to make you focus on your steps forward. I was told it was a meditation path.

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures
which then turned into turtle shaped stepping stones.

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Kho Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Kho Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Kho Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Kho Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Kho Mak: Somchai's sculptures

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures
this is in fact a picnic style table with 2 benches with a table that happen to be pouring you a drink.

Island of Koh Mak: Somchai's sculptures

"my art still remains though I die" -Somchai

Read, Thailand Island Time: part one here

Full Island Time photo set with additional shots here.

4 comments:

stephanie claire said...

i need to see this someday!

Vanessa Samp said...

amazing!!!

Unknown said...

I have been living on Koh Mak for a month now, and I became interested in Somchai as well. I studied Outsider Art too (in art college - BTW have you ever been to the Outsider Art museum in Switzerland?... amazing!). Anyway, I saw Somchai's place, and met the ol' salty dawg while there, and I took a ton of photos and 2 short video clips. Are you aware of another set of his sculptures located even further into the jungle? Because I can't speak Thai I haven't got a straight answer about it yet. OK, adios!

BTW I want to go to Koh Kut while I'm in this region. Do you recommend the place you stayed at?

B (originally from Toronto)

Faythe Levine said...

I didn't know there were more sculptures further in! I would love to revisit and meet him- I had a guide who was uneasy taking me there solo.

The place I stayed in Koh Kut was amazing. Totally recommended.