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  • LIFESTYLE

    Molam's mass movement

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 07/11/2014

    » 'Molam can't be tamed," so the old saying goes. The years have certainly proven this true. From now until the end of March next year, the Jim Thompson Art Center presents "Joyful Khaen, Joyful Dance", an exhibition tracing the development of molam from its ritualistic roots in Isan, through its passage as anti-communism propaganda, to its current place in pop culture, where the once rural music is played to the cool or even international crowd of Bangkok.

  • OPINION

    Replacing statistics with narratives

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 05/11/2014

    » I spent my Halloween weekend shuffling between panels at the Singapore Writers Festival, listening to horror stories. I had been assigned to attend sessions on a variety of discourses, from jazz and poetry to writing about the female body. Instead, I found myself sitting front row at every session featuring Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector, Loung Ung, a survivor of the Pol Pot regime, and Mukesh Kapila, who was the UN commissioner in Sudan as genocide in Darfur broke out. 

  • LIFESTYLE

    The ghost of pop culture future

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 08/08/2014

    » Last month, Thai fans had their first Comic Con experience, when BEC Tero and TrueVisions hosted the Bangkok Comic Con at Paragon Hall, an event local devotees of all things pop culture welcomed with delight.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A journey through used jeans

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 29/04/2015

    » 'What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the president knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it."

  • OPINION

    It's time to talk about mental illness

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 31/03/2015

    » My family has a history of mental illness. My father has eight siblings. His elder sister and youngest brother were sick for a long time. They were not diagnosed or treated until much later in their lives. My aunt, now 61, lives with bipolar disorder. She is on medication. She works and she travels. She is strong. Years ago, she taught my brother and I to speak Mandarin. Years from now, she will teach my nephews and nieces to add and subtract. Now, some days are good. She gets up. Other days, she says she feels hopeless even in her sleep. We don't talk about it very much, almost not at all.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Space for God

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 15/12/2014

    » Charles Duke was only 36 years old when he walked on the moon. The Apollo 16 astronauts stayed there for 71 hours and 14 minutes. He and John Young spent 20 hours exploring the rough lunar surface on a rover, collecting rock and soil samples. The Apollo 16 took three days to return to earth.

  • OPINION

    Planes, trains and tragedies

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 25/07/2014

    » For seven years, I flew back and forth between the US and Bangkok twice a year, always with at least a three-hour transit at Tokyo Narita Airport. If I was lucky and sat on the right side of the plane, I got to watch the sun rise above the sea of clouds from the plane window. My skin would always itch from the dry air and my lips would chap. I often found myself sitting next to a Japanese businessman who drank Asahi after Asahi. I once cried so hard watching Up, I had to explain to the concerned passenger next to me that I was OK — I was just watching a very sad cartoon.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Found in translation

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 14/05/2014

    » Korean series Full House has been remade four times in four languages — Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai. Here, a decade after the original South Korean version was released in 2004, Pirat “Mike” Nitipaisalkul and Sushar “Aom” Manaying have eclipsed Rain and Song Hye-kyo in their stardom.

  • NEWS

    Viewing conflicted visions

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 09/04/2014

    » The WTF Cafe & Gallery has pitted “red shirt” sympathisers against “other-coloured Shirt” proponents in its art arena and until April 27, is set to play moderator.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Men down the lens

    Life, Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana, Published on 21/03/2014

    » As a form of mass entertainment, films play a complex role in both influencing public perceptions and opinions, while also reflecting the cultural shifts of society. Consider the state of Thai gay-themed films since the commercial success of Iron Ladies (Satree Lek) in 2000, as well as other homosexual-related movies that have won international prizes or scored at the box office, and the issues of identity, representation and cinema all come together. Recently, Nitchapoom Chaianun's independently produced Pi Chai, My Bromance, about the development of love between a boy and his new brother adopted by the family, filled cinemas despite its limited release.

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