Introducing Chumpon Apisuk
We have invited Chumpon Apisuk into our call centre bubble
Chumpon lives in Nan, a small rural village in Nan Province, Thailand
I can make art with what’s around me
in the year 2563
Chumpon made a pipe
Made to salute Rene Magritte
Made as a community artist’s pipe
Made from Lychee timber
Packed with tobacco grown in the village
A pipe that cannot be launched in lockdown isolation
A pipe due to be lit by the Nan Artist group at the Arts Hall on 4 July, 2563 (2020)…
Chumpon's other works during lockdown include making rice whisky with his fellow villagers
They can’t go out to drink
So they make their own
From rice, which they grow
Distilled and matured in vats
Made from Bamboo
Which grows in the village
As we spoke, we wondered – and asked – could he share the rice whisky recipe?
Could we, perhaps, also make this sweet liquor?
We have some bamboo
And we can get Thai rice
Although, how much better if Chumpon could send some rice from his village
Thus supporting the village in the process
There are issues with rice growing and selling in Thailand. There is a monopoly, which prevents regional small farmers from selling and exporting their rice, much of which is ancient grain. The heritage rice of the different provinces is interconnected with culture, discrete habitats and local biodiversity. Regional farmers and environmental activists are striving to save the ancient grain varieties and local farming techniques. But, if the monopoly withstands, farmers will be forced to grow rice they can sell.
Our next meeting: what we can do together, distanced by miles yet united though Covid19?