Hill Tribe Sculpture exhibition

People Of The Hills
Lahu student
Winai Chaso

Insii Thai House
13 December 2008

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December 13th 2008 was a very special day for young Lahu artist Winai Chaso.
Winai is one of the students who entered the "Hill Tribe Ceramic Project" early 2006, a project innitiated at Insii Thai House with the Rotary Club of Maechan.
The educational phase of the project was done with the help of French sculptor Paul Beckrich, who came to teach a special way of enameling ceramic. A technique that "turns clay into metal", by using a technique of mixing various minerals with enamel and by firing the sculptures at very precise temperatures.
Following the educational phase, Winai, who was one of the most enthusiastic students, was offered a chance to continue in what had become his new passion.
With the help of the Rotary clubs of Maechan and Lampang, as well as Taweeheng Leasing, a permanent workshop could be created in Chiangrai for Winai to improve his skills.

After practicing nearly 3 years, Winai was ready to present his work in a beautiful exhibition which was organized at Insii Thai House.

Young Lahu artist Winai Chaso (right) with (from left to right) Akha artist Ata Mayer, Wichien Noonrawd, Director Radio Thailand
Chiangrai, Chiangrai Governor Trisit Sinsonboonthong and
Dr. Akkares Saigrajange, advisor to the governor.

A party for around 300 guests was organized and the whole event turned into a celebration which ended up with fireworks.
While it was a celebration about Winai's first exhibition, it was also an occasion to celebrate one of the great successes of the work which has been done in the past years at Insii Thai House.
Winai, who was a student at the Suksasongkroh Maechan School for 12 years, is coming from a very disadvantaged background and totaly lacked opportunities to reach a better future.
However, he belongs to those who want to fight to make their life and the life of their family better.
With the support of the Rotary and the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation, and due to his hard work, Winai's life has changed and he is now on track for a better life.
The first exhibition of this young hill tribe artist was a good example of how someone's life can improve when given a chance to gain new knowledge but also when given all the necessary tools to use that particular knowledge to reach a brighter future.

People Of The Hills' exhibition was presided over by Chiangrai

Chiangrai Governor Trisit Sinsomboonthong with H.E. Mr Rudi Veestraeten, ambassador of Belgium to Thailand.

Governor Trisit Sinsomboonthong, who has been of great help to the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation.
H.E. Mr Rudi Veestraeten, ambassador of Belgium to Thailand, was among the guests of honnor.
Several members of the Belgian society were present, including Bart Kael and Luc Appermont, well known personalities of the Belgian show business scene and television, who especially flew for the event.
Around 50 sculptures were presented to the guests, including 3 special pieces which will take place in the collection of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
While everyone can be proud of Winai's achievements, we all hope that, by being hard working and by improving his techniques further, he will reach his dream of becoming a recognized artist in the future...


The Maechan Rotarians at the entrance of the party.

Thaiyai student supported by the foundation, Janfong Kumnuan, with Somjai Sasomsarp, Executive Director of the Government Public Relations Office, as well as board member of the foundation, and Poompichai Michael Tarndamrong, Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Finance.   Wilaiwan Phiriyakrit, Director of the Suksasonkroh Maechan School, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Chairman of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation and Police Superintendent Prajak Awaiwanon.
Poompichai Michael Tarndamrong, Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Finance, with Winai Chaso.   Sukanya Thaimana, director of the Chiangrai vocational school, Count Gerald and Winai Chaso.
Saek Lacheku (left), a student supported by the foundation, with some members of his family and Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz.   Belgian jazz musician Damien Campion with Mrs and Mr Bernard Tonnon.
Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz with H.E. Mr Rudi Veestraeten.   H.E. Mr Rudi Veestraeten with Wanida Jamieson, manager of Diethelm.
Belgian singer Bart Kael, Count Gerald and Pierre Swennen, with family members of a student supported by the foundation.   Past Rotary District Governors Anuwat Puwaset and Wiwat Sirijangkapattana, with Mrs Sirijangkapattana.
The 3 sculptures especially done for H.M. King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia and Their Majesties Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, The King-Father and The King-Mother of Cambodia.  

Belgian TV presenter Luc Appermont with students supported by the foundation, Banchong Mayare and Saek Lacheku.

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