Saturday, January 13, 2007
FALL ON an URBAN CULTURE
ลงสัมภาษณ์ใน HIP ...อีกครั้ง คราวนี้เป็นภาคฝรั่ง
<พี่สาวคนที่ควบคุมเซกชั่นฝรั่งบอกว่า เคยมีฝรั่งมาถามว่า vajira เป็นใคร เขาเลยมาสัมภาษณ์สั้นๆ ให้ชาวต่างชาติได้อ่านกัน>
ลองอ่านดูละกันนะ เพลิน เพลิน ไปอีกแบบ
HIP (january 2007)
Faces in Chiang Mai
FALL ON an URBAN CULTURE – VAJIRA RUTHIRAKANOK
Vajira is an editor/writer who now lives in Chiang Mai.
He used to live his urban life being a playwright, a director for stage play, an editor for a cutting edge magazine called 'a day', screen playwright for drama TV show, a columnist for GM magazine and Summer magazine and a writer who has at least 8 printed pocket books. He is currently working on his latest novel.
Lately Vajira has been arranging his new music showcase at Khan Asa, “Fall on Deaf Ears” which is his new take on contemporary music as an urban culture. Using his collection of eclectic music as a tool, Vajira has been so successful and now has a regular show every month.
I met up with him in a local coffee shop on Nimmanhemin. Despite his coughing due to the severely change of weather, Vajira walked in with smile. He was wearing his usual stripy t shirt, loose cord trousers and vintage trainers. Few girls turned their heads when he walked pass, I then remembered someone told me how hot he is among young Thai girls.
After a regular greeting, we started to talk.
Could you give us some details of your background?
I was born, raised, studied and worked in Bangkok. Is it too short?
Ok. I studied Communication Art after that I worked for TV Show which I then realized how much I didn’t like it. So I started to travel. When I graduated I wanted to go abroad and continue my studies but unfortunately my body wasn’t ready. The air sac in my lung was leaking so I couldn’t fly anywhere, no diving no traveling for a while. After a long resting I started to travel.
Where did you go?
I took a train down to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Bali, Jakarta then Sri Lanka, China, Japan, UK. Dubai then USA. That’s when I started to write. After that I was asked to be an editor at 'a day' magazine for 2 years and resigned but help nurturing the magazine for about 2 years after that.
'a day' Magazine was such a key-role for young Thai urban culture, was it you?
Hmm 'a day' was.. yes. .But it wasn’t only me I was a second generation. The magazine was already firm. I just helped making it go further. It was like a good horse and I was just a jockey.
So why did you leave?
Many reasons. I can’t be in the same place for too long. It’s a routine. Magazine work is like.. ok it’s time to write, finish then start again. Also I need to try something else. I need adventure. I planned and cleared everything I need to then come to Chiang Mai. Six months later I am still here in Chiang Mai!
What is your view of young people these days?
In general we have to agree which young people we are talking about. There are so many young people out there that I never ever come across. Like I can’t talk about young people from Kalasin (north eastern province) because I never known them. This is actually a problem because the term “young people” was used for those cliché meaning of younger kids in a bar, in a mall etc. There are so many young people out there which grown up don’t usually refer to in a media. There are young people working in a rice field. We never mention that. Back to the question, I can only answer for what I see which are young urban teenagers. I think they are full of energy but how are they going to use such energy that’s another issue. When we talk about young people we have to ask how much and what sort of space grown ups leave for them or provide for them. They can not just grow up for themselves.
Is it the media that gives most influence to young people?
Everything does! Unfortunately media is “loud”. Friends, teachers, families all of these can influence young people. In fact they are closer and more influential. Why we never mention those?
What about the creativity?
They do have it in certain things. At least they are much more creative in term of fashion. They are more fun and provocative. That’s also creativity.
Are you an optimistic?
I am a realistic. I don’t judge easily. Things don’t just happen. We probably see a girl wearing short skirt and a tank top and goes to Monkey Club, we can’t judge on her. There are more than hundreds reasons why she is what she is. The judgmental mind is actually our country’s problem. Instead of trying to understand it we do judge on it.
Why did you choose to come here to Chiang Mai?
Actually I came here because my friend has a place for me to share. That’s all. But when I really come and live here I enjoy it so much. It is lovely here. I say it a lot that the size of Chiang Mai fits well with my lifestyle. I don’t want anything bigger at the moment. Chiang Mai might not have everything I want, but it is close enough for what I want.
What else do you want for Chiang Mai?
CD shops and a cinema that doesn’t only show box office films. Not that I don’t like mainstream Hollywood movies. All I want is simply more choice!