When it comes to the word “Ocean” or “island”, the first thing that comes to my mind is “Water”.
Water is the softest and most yielding substance. Yet nothing is better than water, for overcoming the hard and rigid, because nothing can compete with it.
This is a quote from Tao Te Ching, the Taoist philosophy, which is one of my favorite books. A book that has had the greatest influence on me and how I make my art, so today I’d like to talk to you about the advantages of being a little less rigid and a little more like water.
To be like water, we need to know how we can overcome the hard by being soft. Taoism is a philosophy about ‘not forcing’ anything. In practice, we can see that using force is not only making us tired and exhausted, it also doesn’t get us anywhere. As a ceramics artist who works with natural materials, this is a very important thing that I need to understand. Sometimes I become stuck in my ideas of how things are or are supposed to be, but in reality there are many factors that I cannot completely control; when I open the kiln, the results always surprise me. That is how ceramics excites me and teaches me about life at the same time —I learn to fail, understand nature, accept things as they are, and sometimes let it go. So I try to maintain a peaceful mind while making my art.
Water may be soft, but erosion of rock proves that it can overcome hardness. And water not only seeks the lower places, it has no purpose, no goal, no specific desire. But it nourishes everything. When you’re in a condition of flow, like water, you forget about outcomes, pressure, future fears, and past failures. There’s only you and the task in hand. You are completely in the present and the only way to do this, is by letting go. Letting go means stops swimming against the current, stop holding on to some branches. It means letting go of the past, letting go of the future, focus on this moment and just live it without hesitation.
Water can take all kinds of different forms. We can pour water in a glass and it becomes the glass when it is part of the ocean it waves, and like a river, it flows. With different temperature water changes its behavior; when it’s cooked it evaporates, and when it’s frozen it becomes solid. Thus, water survives many different circumstances by adaptation. The softness of water adds strength to living beings. This can also apply to how we live our life as well. If we understand this, we will be able to adapt to different circumstances. Also, keep in mind that there is something beneficial in every situation.
This will be my personal story related to the Island about my fear. Although I was raised in Chonburi, Bangkok’s closest beach town, I am terrified of deep bodies of water that appear big, dark, deep, and dangerous, such as the ocean or sea. Which is called Thalassophobia. Due to my experience when I was a kid, that time I went for a trip to the sea with my school friends. We had a good time on banana boat (inflatable yellow tubes that are towed by a motorboat or a jet ski, which were extremely popular when I was a kid) as usual but this time we were speeding to another island nearby, and the water was growing deeper. Suddenly the boat sank and I was thrown overboard with a very loose life jacket because it was an adult jacket, I still remember what I saw at that time even though it was a very short time. I was terrified to look down and couldn’t even move since it felt like an infinite deep down. I felt like I was about to die. Then one of my friends safely dragged me back to the boat.
Actually I really love the sea and beaches and Thailand is home to so many well-known and breathtakingly gorgeous beaches and islands that I strongly recommend everyone to visit. But because of this phobia, everytime I go to an island with my friends, I still feel anxious and prefer to relax on the beach rather than go diving or snorkeling.
So, because we’re talking about fear, I’d like you to share about your fear and how you overcame it.
Southern food has a unique taste. Three main flavors are sour, salty, and spicy, and seafood is the main ingredient due to the landscape is close to the sea. In the past, the South used to be a center of maritime trade for both Chinese and Indian merchants. The southern food is influenced and the original spices come from the Indians, especially South Indians. The spices can get rid of the fishy smell of seafood. Turmeric has become a staple of Southern cuisine, making the color of southern food always turn yellow in almost every dish.
Spicy food is believed by Southern people to warm the body and prevent disease. Because of the hot and humid weather all year.
The southern part of Thailand receives more rain throughout the year than any other part of the country, and it rains more frequently too. So there are a lot of locally grown veggies, and people love to eat them with hot curry and chili paste, which are the best combinations for reducing the spiciness.
It’s a lot of fun and interesting to learn about the origins of each local dish. Because it allows us to understand the different dishes that we eat every day. It also helps us to appreciate the culture and local know-how that should be passed down and conserved, or even applied to new dishes we create.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST
Thank you so much!