Pinit Phantaprawat | interview with Janine Yasovant | Scene4 Magazine - January 2022 www.scene4.com

Pinit Phantaprawat
From a creator of art on banknotes
to an independent artist
Janine Yasovant
with Danin Adler

Originally, Thai banknotes were all foreign-printed banknotes.There was a severe shortage of banknotes during the two world wars. Then the establishment of the national banknote printing house in 1969 B.E. offered more Thai identity.

The banknotes that have been released in the last 100 years have changed the image on both the front and the back. These banknotes represent the nation, religion, monarchy, along with history, culture, attitudes, beliefs and arts which are all very important.


Pinit Phanthaprawat is an artist who extends the work that I have had (the opportunity to work at the banknote printing factory, Bank of Thailand). The work done in the field of mold-design and engraving used to print banknotes came from the love and commitment to the important work in the production of banknotes for the people of Thailand.

Here is my interview:

JY. Please tell us about your own style of art.

PP. I was born into a Chinese family in Narathiwat Province. My Parents immigrated from China and came to rely on the royal Bodhisattva of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX. Since I was young, I remember my Parents always taught all their children that His Highness is a virtuous King. He sacrificed his body to visit and help Thai people in remote areas. These things absorbed my mind. As a child, I often painted portraits of the Lord Buddha as a model. I love to draw. I love art very much. And by the end of middle school, it was a good opportunity for me to study, to continue in the arts at Thonburi Vocational College and Pohchang College respectively until graduation. While studying at Pohchang College I was admitted as an employee at the Bank of Thailand from 1979 to 2015 while working at the banknote printing house. I worked in mold-design and engraving, which is used to print banknotes. It gave me experience and expertise in such fields as the process of creating prints as well carving on the mold In fact, it has a long history, traced back far and wide in the history of global art.


In the past, printing had both artistic, commercial, and industrial purposes. which has been developed with new technology always up-to-date, However, skill in today's mold carving is still an important manufacturing process for banknotes and various valuables

JY. Please tell me about your personal interest in art, learning, and working in the banknote printing company for almost 40 years


PP. Printing Thai banknotes: Originally, we hired printing houses from foreign countries until the Thai government set up printing houses here. In 1961, the Cabinet approved the Bank of Thailand. The banknote printing house was established. The banknote printing house was seriously prepared to start from the procurement of land, printers, printing equipment, and sending employees to study the art of etching. Mold-engraving and printing of banknotes abroad. When everything was ready, His Majesty King Rama IX came to visit. The opening ceremony of the banknote printing house was held on June 24, 1969.


In terms of my, work I took the entrance exam to work in the Bank of Thailand's card printing factory in 1979 as a trainee to engrave metal by hand. Considered to be the second generation of banknote engravers, I learned basic metal engraving with two teachers in the factory.This job requires extensive learning and practicing for quite a long time. The bank  evaluates our performance every 2 years whether it meets the criteria or not. When passed, one will get get training at the next level, until it is satisfied and the staff to carve Metal is more proficient. Therefore, the Bank of Thailand sent me to study, practice, practice, and work abroad in Japan, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. to learn how to carve the metal of those countries allowing us to see other techniques that we still didn't know how to apply to our work.


The carving of the portrait of King Rama IX for use on the banknotes made me begin to absorb His Majesty's genius. It came in unconsciously from the existing faith and his faith increased exponentially Every work must be presented to the King. Dedicated to His Majesty the King before printing and publishing, it makes me feel in love with the work that I do, and when the banknote work that we have done is released to the public, Throughout 36 years working at the Bank of Thailand, I have the feeling that I have been with him all the time.


JY. Please tell me about your inspiration to bring the method of banknote production in Thailand to create your own art.

PP. While working at the banknote printing house I began to have goals in life for when I retired from my full-time job. I will have my own artwork on display, so I spend the weekends and nights creating my works, which is good for both sides. On the one hand, I can dream to be true and allow us to practice our skills more. We are devoted to doing it with perseverance, persistence, and skill. The second aspect is useful for our routine work in the banknote printing house, because we have applied the skills that we have practiced in our daily work as well.

In 2015, I was 57 years old,. It was a time when I was ready and had no burdens in my life. So I decided to Early Retire from the banknote printing house in order to follow my dreams. Pictures of works that have been accumulated from spending time in free time are collected and displayed.


This was the official debut of an independent artist, beginning with the exhibition The Engraving of My Heart, which was exhibited at the Ardel Gallery of Modern Art from August 20 to October 4, 2015. It was my first solo performance. It wass a presentation of the printmaking techniques of the "mother" carving technique. It is printed in the same way as making a banknote mold to create beautiful lines and shadows.


Delicately, exquisitely, the works displayed in this exhibition were related to two styles: the first part is a portrait of His Majesty the King. and the royal family which was created with the gratitude of His Majesty It is also a show of loyalty to the institution. In addition, I created in the style of landscape paintings, combined with the appearance of important architecture in the country and abroad.

After completing the first solo exhibition I began to continually create works to prepare for the next show. On October 13, 2016, King Rama IX ascended to death At that time, I felt depressed, sad, and so discouraged that I had no spirit to create. Therefore I stopped working for a while.

Later I came to think that His Highness worked hard for the welfare of his people, and I remembered the royal teachings he had given to the Thai people, saying: When there is an opportunity and there is work, they should be willing to do so without the need for preconditions or conditions to be used as a barrier. A person who can really work, no matter what job he handles, will always be able to do it if he is more attentive to diligence and honesty, Therefore I started to continue creating works until success. It is expected that the 2nd solo exhibition will take place in 2022... please wait and follow.



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Arthur Danin Adler


Scene4 Magazine: Janine Yasovant

Janine Yasovant is a writer and art collector in Chiang Mai, Thailand and a Senior Writer for Scene4. For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2022 Janine Yasovant
©2022 Publication Scene4 Magazine





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