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The Jaunt

Karabo Poppy –Bangkok, Thailand, Second Edition


Silkscreen print, edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist, unframed

Destination: Bangkok, Thailand

Date: 24 - 29 August, 2023

Jaunt #098

approx. 27.5"h x 19.75"w, 70cm x 50cm

I thankfully have a good friend and artist (Seth Pimentel) who had been on a trip with The Jaunt before. He told me how his experience was so unique that the inspiration he got from the trip was endless.  I was so looking forward to experiencing the same and creating art to celebrate my appreciation. 

Coming from Johannesburg which is a city know for a lot of city specific tropes (Skyscrapers, dense cars movement etc) - I experience very little nature in my day to day.  But in Bangkok, the city and nature are so beautifully weaved together that it creates perfect harmony.  It was so amazing to step outside in a place that has not compromised nature for architecture. Some of the most impressionable moments for me were the tattoo culture I saw on everyday people and how it is so rooted in thousands of years of history and tradition. 

What really surprised me was how easily I was able to create relationships with people, often despite language barriers/cultural differences.  My favorite being the friendships I formed with the “uncles” - these were older fisherman I met, who were so keen to impart wisdom and when noticing that we shares similar tattoos they would open up and listen to my stories about my life too. This was surprising in the most beautiful way as I always end up bonding more with the uncles even back home too.

A theme I found myself drawn to through my experience was “making culture and heritage contemporary”.  The act of evolving and welcoming influences from different places but making sure one’s culture stays at the forefront.  I saw this theme in all things in Bangkok from the street art, to fashion and even Muay Thai (Thai boxing).  My conversation with the “uncles” about Muay Thai was a subject I just had to explore and mark the passion in which they spoke of this martial art form in the artwork aswell.  Bangkok is one of those cities like Johannesburg that have a special kind of energy, it’s in how the people move, how they talk, how they create.  It’s difficult to explain but I hope that when looking at my artwork one would be able to experience what I talking about.”  –Karabo Poppy