I used to hate my name. “Lampu” was so outdated. I tried searching for new names with the idea that I would change mine when I grew up. But my dad said that one day my name would be unique. Now I really love it.
My dad was a pretty big influence in supporting my brother and I in expressing our imagination through art. He had wanted to study art but he was too poor to follow his dreams, so he studied to become a teacher.
Living in a rural area like Amphawa really brought me close to nature. My brother and I were always exploring the farm and digging up soil to mold figures. I’ve learned to be happy with my natural surroundings.
I didn’t really like art. I was just good at it and not good at studying. I knew that my life would be screwed if I continued at high school. I made my mind to study at the [vocational] College of Fine Arts at Ladkrabang in Bangkok instead.
Choose the life you desire. That’s what I thought when I was 14. But my dad wouldn’t allow me to choose my own life because he was afraid that I would end up like my brother. He was led astray when he studied at the same college and didn’t graduate.
I passed the point of no return. I ran away from home to live with my mom in Bangkok. I took the entrance exam and I finally got in. My dad later waved the white flag and allowed me to study, and I continued on to Silpakorn University.
People see artists as having no future. That’s the reaction I got from studying art. My neighbors even asked my dad why he let me study it. People thought I’d graduate and become a starving artist on the street.
It’s funny how some other people expect an artist to be rich. I can now make a living with my paintings. People expect that I must be rich, selling my pictures for hundreds of thousands of baht. That’s not true either.
Negative influences drive me to behave myself. People have always doubted whether I could be a successful artist as I was a girl from a broken family. So I was determined to prove them wrong.
Find your own way to get into art. I really admired Chakrabhand Posayakrit, the famous watercolor painter. His works are incredibly beautiful. I nearly cried when I saw them for the first time. I tried to paint like him but in the end I got bored. I started brushing away crazily with oil colors and it turned out I really liked the feeling.
I love to paint people’s faces. My friends inspired me to paint people with large distorted heads, which is my signature style. I noticed that many of my friends had villains’ faces but they had really good hearts.
Always see humor in distress. Parody allows us to make light of serious issues. My latest work compares a housewife concentrating on doing her laundry with parliamentary representatives, considered so important, sleeping on duty. The humor helps get the message across easily.
We deserve so much better than corruption. If corruption was punishable by execution, we’d have far fewer problems.
Lying is the beginning of corruption. Everyone lies and thinks it’s nothing. But when it becomes a bigger issue and you want to get away with it, you can just pay your way out of trouble.
It’s like we’re being trained to be corrupt. We won’t eradicate it over the next decade if we still see it as a small issue. Our law enforcement is also weak.
Social media helps people access art easier. I love that technology helps those who can’t come to visit an art gallery to see art, including my own. But the dark side of it is it’s a really big waste of time. Time goes so fast when you’re online! Anyway, I grew up in a world without it, so I know how to live without it.
It takes me about 4-5 days to finish one painting. I have a work routine as I wake up early at 6am and start working at 9am until 6pm then go to bed at 9pm. It matches the lifestyle of the countryside where everything finishes when night comes. I’m also afraid of ghosts, too.
I don’t like Bangkok. Everything is a mess. It’s like everyone is competing with each other for people’s attention. It’s annoying. I do love to meet my friends in town sometimes, but I wouldn’t want to move there. I love my space in Amphawa. It’s wide and open.
Don’t live in a place where you don’t feel you belong. I felt like I was on a path to suicide when my professor asked me to be a full-time instructor at university. I know that creating art is something I can do for the rest of my life and I thought being an instructor might destroy that. Well, I might change my mind in the future.
I live with art. I don’t know whether I really love it or not. I’ve just lived with it for so long that all I want is to keep creating it.