September 2023

Pahas Tongting

Janine Yasovant
with Danin Adler


This is an interview with an artist from the Northeast region of Thailand who has the opportunity to live and work in Bangkok His individuality allowed him to work continuously. His humility and courage to present himself to be accepted and his relentless education placed him and his artwork in the public eye.

JY. Please share your personal history with our readers.

PT. I was born into a farmer's family and lived in a small rural village in the northeastern region of Borabue District of Maha Sarakham Province. When I was a child, I attended an elementary school in the village. As a child, I was very fond of Chinese inner-strength novels and was interested in poetry and the philosophy of Taoism, Buddhist Zen. As a student, I was interested in Expressionist art, because this type of work aims to express inner feelings, which, with a straightforward character, this type of work is the most clearly expressed feelings and identity. And during my school years, my works were mainly influenced by Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch.

JY. Your education and interest in painting.

PT. I had the opportunity to study Chinese painting and Chinese calligraphy with Lao Tzu for a while. I liked this type of work before, maybe as a child I saw it often from Chinese inner-strength movies, from Chinese poetry books After graduating, I applied to be a children's art teacher and worked in the company for many years until I decided to quit to do art work because I felt that I wanted to do what I wanted. Love it and happy with it, that's probably the only reason why I quit my full-time job and work in painting today. Compared to the income that I had when working full time, of course, it's very difficult, but I chose this. I am happy

The work I do, that's the most important thing. Although at first, I didn't think that drawing would bring me any income, at that time I wanted to do it. Because I suddenly came to be a painter and not famous, and my work style was strange to the villagers, not a marketing style that people like to buy in those days. But it's good that there were collectors who liked my work to support and push, giving encouragement and capital to work until today. This made me interested in organizing exhibitions.

JY. Tell us about your exhibitions.

PT. Holding a solo exhibition is a confirmation of my work that I take seriously and not take for granted. The most important thing is to show the work to others so they get to know what I think and what I do. At my first solo show there were not many visitors because at that time I was
unknown. But I was lucky to have friends, fellow artists, and people in the art industry to encourage and invite me to participate in various activities that I organized. You can notice that my work changed in each period because I was the organizer of each exhibition. I always want people who come to see the work to see something new about me. As time goes by, I sit and watch. It is like a record of my feelings and there are impressive stories in each moment.

In early works I painted oil paints with my fingers and smeared them on fresh frames to give a clear sense of contact with the paint and the canvas, leaving no pattern and predetermination as improvisation of the moment. That's it and later I began to use a trowel to draw some brushmarks as appropriate for that job, but still improvising as before. I think I have East and West mixed together, maybe with the technique of Expressionism, which is the style of the West that I liked when I was in school, and with the stories that are often drawn in the East. People say that Pahas's works, regardless of what they draw, come out in a Chinese style anyway. I don't know. That may be due to personal preferences in the novels and studying Chinese art before and having the opportunity to travel to study about culture and see art exhibitions in China often.

My current work is mainly oil painting. But the subject may change depending on the mood at that time because I am a person who likes many different things. Like the mood of listening to music, sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's profound. I believe that success and change will not happen if I do not take action and am always ready to explore new things and learn things for myself to develop. Once a decision has been made, I will not hesitate whether it succeeds or fails. I never give up in the face of obstacles. There may be some suffering, some happiness, that's the taste of life.

When I was a kid, when my mom turned off the lights to go to bed, I wasn't asleep yet. I used to like look at how things in the dark would look. When I closed my eyes, there would be a faint image that flashed in color.

Though I mainly use oil paints, there are a lot of things that can be used for drawing. Use your fingers to paint some, use a trowel, use a tree branch, use a paintbrush, use paint to create texture, drip paint, pour paint,
scratch, scratch on the canvas frame. The compositional pattern drawn was all around the found story. people, animals, ways of life, and what I fantasize about I draw mainly from what I like. I use flaws as charms, such as sketching from some distorted proportions, overlapping drawings until the picture looks blurry, and having to squint to see the use of colors that are beyond reality because true perfection is stiff and lifeless, and it doesn't differat all from my point of view. The duration of the work depends on the size of the work, but I am the one who does the work and often spend an extra long time on the work without turning to other things until the work is done. Sometimes I draw until I don't care about the day and time. When I'm sleepy, I go to sleep. When I wake up, I continue drawing until I'm done. But now, with the duties and obligations that must be given to the family, I  work when everyone in the house is asleep.

The work will have to be done for several days before it's finished. But there must be discipline at work, at least having to sit and draw at least four hours a day. I like to work late at night quietly, and quiet because it helps me to concentrate. Do it with music on and listen to it, sometimes when drawing fun with emotional songs, I also dance and draw alone. Immerse myself in the music and the peaceful atmosphere that makes the event fun. When I was a child, I was instilled with a love of music from birth because my father was a luk thung singer and also had a Mor Lam luk thung band and I liked to listen to music often as a child. As for my mother, she likes to listen to country music very much. That's why our family has the feeling of being an artist all over the house. My grandfather was a wickerworker in the village. When he was young, he loved to make bamboo toys that he used to weave for me to play with. These may be part of my love for art.

JY. Your organizing or sending work to participate in exhibitions and traveling to see work.

PT. When I started working in painting, I had the opportunity to send my works to be exhibited abroad as well. At that time, I worked with my fingers. When the curator of that art gallery came to see me, and invited me to participate in his exhibition, it was an impressive thing since at that time I was not very well known but was able to be a Thai artist who brought his work to foreign countries. Later I was sent to perform in many other countries. In the past, I went to see works in China and Taiwan and I liked my contemporary works because they were also oriental in style. He suggested that if there was an opportunity, he would like to invite me to exhibit, to exchange art and culture.

And to go to work abroad, I don't just go to the art gallery, I also see the way of life of the people in that country. Whether it's scenery, objects, or buildings, all have unique characteristics. It gives me more perspective and imagination. When I went, I prepared some simple drawing tools. In my free time, I sat down to write and record the stories of the terrain. Various materials used by local artists are not available for sale in our country. I also bought some back to try out, it's something new and a great

At the age of 17, I suffered from severe depression. I could only sit and look at my own life and people's lives and I felt hopeless. It was a very painful feeling that I had no hope in life. And the only thought at that time was that I just wanted to run away, far away, to help me not have to think anything again because I had a lot of negative thoughts. In the end, we just have to live with our suffering. My Father took me to many places for treatment, until I discovered and healed the disease by myself. At that time I was exposed to a medicine called "art in our lives". Art can drive depression away from us and make us look at the world brighter and more hopefully. Always encourage yourself and others when the opportunity arises. What we have to do is to create works from belief, love, and faith that we respect in friends. Art gives us wonderful blessings that always make us good physically and mentally. I often use our beautiful emotions to find inspiration for my artwork. All creations are directly based on spiritual and emotional thoughts. Therefore, I am proud and satisfied with every piece of my creations.


Pahas Tongting (Artist)

Phone: 0629935149
Line: 0629935149
IG: p_a_h_a_s
Facebook: p.tongting
Address: 486/49 Nongkham, Bangkok, TH


Exhibitions :

1998: 1st Prize award, Painting , by Mahasarakham Provincial Education Office

2005: 19th Warun art exhitbition Mahasarakham

2006: 20th Warun art exhitbition Mahasarakham

2006: 2nd Landscape painting art exhitbition Mahasarakham

2007: 21st Warun art exhitbition Mahasarakham

2007: 3rd Landscape painting art exhitbition Mahasarakham

2008: 8th Exhibition special projection of Applied arts  Mahasarakham

2018: The exhibition on passion"World Virtual Museum at HIFA

2019: Solo exhibition "INNERGY" At Venice Art Space

2019: Baramee of Art Charity 1st   At  Baramee art museum , Chachoengsao

2019: The exhibition "Go back in time for Qin Shi" At Lhong 1919

2019: Virgo the paintings of Maiden Group art exhibition Sathorn 11 art space

2019: Miss you too much  At Baramee art museum, Chachoengsao

2019: Constellation Group art cxhibition at Fortune Town Shopping Mall

2019: Constellation The Final Chapter Group art cxhibition at Sathorn 11 art space

2019: The exhibition "movement" World Virtual Museum at HIFA

2020: MAHAKANAPATI " DUKE Gaysorn Village

2020: Solo exhibition "Prelude" Chamchuri art gallery

2020: WHARF NO.41 Lhong 1919 Klongsan

2020: Feng Shui Art "Ajarn Farang"Silp Bhirasri House

2020: know, wake up, rejoice At Baramee of art Charity Awaken 2nd

2020: Keiya At Play art house gallery

2020: SHUT At  Baramee art museum, Chachoengsao

2020: ACT FORUM '20 Design + Built  IMPACT Challenger Building

2021: ART EMERGENCY COVID-19 Group Exhibition at ATART Cafe BACC 

2021: life  Guest artist At Old Town Gallery

2021: Mango Art Festival At LHONG 1919


2021: "We love Frida so much! Exhibition" Argentina

2021: Visual Art Expo 2021-22  online art exhibition India

2021: Solo exhibition "SIGH" At Old Town Gallery

2021: "FAREWELL"  Group Exhibition FAREWELL  @Lhong1919

2022: Solo exhibition "TINGE" At Play art house gallery

2022: Solo exhibition "Hope of the Village "At Bangkok Art & Culture Centre

2022: Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Pop Up "Nai Lert Group Bangkok

2022: "PASSION " at PALETTE art space

2022: "ASAI Play Art Fest" at ASAI Bangkok Chinatown

2022: Colors of the Petals  At LHONG 1919

2022: The 15th Art Exhibition of International Visual Artists Association of Thailand

2022: Thai-Italian Chamber 2022 Art Exhibition at Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok

2022: Borirak Day Exhibition at Mahasarakham

2023: Piccolo Art Fair at GalileOasis

2023: Art's Thai Gallery at CP Tower NorthPark

2023: Asai Play Art Fest at ASAI Bangkok Chinatown

2023: Solo exhibition " Watch Goddess Appear" At SOUL SPACE Gallery


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Arthur Danin Adler



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.

©2023 Janine Yasovant
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine



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