My art project of Stanford Thai Exchange Program.

The Stanford-Thai Exchange Program (STEP) was founded by a group of dedicated and visionary Thai/Thai-American students at Stanford in 1997. The stated mission of our founders is to extend the inspirational opportunity to study at one of the best universities in the world to students who otherwise might face difficulty in studying abroad. Through all those years, the program has grown to become a strong tradition of the Thai community here. The structure of the program has been constantly improved in order to better serve our students. Through a competitive selection process, STEP each year admits around 5-7 students, who come from various places throughout Thailand. The program is widely recognized among the Stanford community, and is the only exchange program offered to Thai students by colleges in the United States.

– http://www.stanford.edu/group/thais/step/history.html

I’m sure many people will say about how much they learn and earn form this valuable exchange program, because they are all the truth. You can read that kind of sentences from most of the STEP students on their website.  But what about an art student who knew nothing about business, engineering or phycology, what did she get from being at Stanford University.

With an offer to do our own project of STEP for Thai students, it was a big opportunity and challange for me to use my art experience to earn NEW experiences here. I was in a new environment, met new people, talked to strangers, made a plan for working everyday and dealed with myself to reach at the goal of my art project. I can say now that I grow up. I lernt very much how to deal with people and do my artwork in a place I don’t used to.

What’s my project :}

My project is an art project about people perception of cultural difference explore through their interaction with objects. 

From the information I found about the community in Stanford, I learn Stanford University has so many multi-cultural people study and living here. And That brought me to think about the art project that we can see how cultural exchange happens, how people interact with other culture they aren’t used to.

I really want to do a project that embodied the idea of exchange thing. I don’t want to be here and get information back, I also want to give something to people I met.

So I packed Thai national dance jewelry in my suitcase, as the objects I’ll use to explore people in Stanford. The reason is these objects are obviously have a unique Thai style. They are golden, colorful and shining. They are cultural objects that look nice and attract people to interact with them.

When I packed my suitcase, my mom asked ‘ Don’t you think someone might use it in an unappropriate way?’ . I said ‘ That doesn’t matter, what I’m interested in is a way people interact with this things. Because how they use it will show what they were thinking, how they are as a person and how are their background is shown through the results. That’s the main purpose

{{ you know what!? … there is something about this question and Lady Gaga, after this exchange program was ended about 2 weeks ,Lady Gaga came to Bangkok…and she put Cha-da on her head and stupid people rebuked her and .. and … ok, I’ll talk about it later}}

The first part of the process is the exploration. I found 57 participants to interact with the jewelry. Let them pick one they liked and explained that they can do WHATEVER they want !! Then, asked them to send back the results in any formats of what they did with the jewelries. I had about 30 who responded. Absolutely, exchanging culture!

What you are seeing below is my Facebook fan page. My participants can send their results by email or upload it here, so they will see what others had done.

And if you want to see more just click> Tuang StuD!O. I have created an album collected all the photo I got from my participants.

Talking about that, working with people you don’t really know them are really difficult for sometime.

Without a  good friend and a good plan, it could be very hard to get to people here and invite them to join the project. Thanks God!! that I had a few of good friends:} …// but didn’t have a good enough plan :((

Even though that I had given all the jewelries I got to people, asked NICELY for  just DO WHATEVER YOU WANT to it, their some people who just disappeared, some that answered me back  but still didn’t do anything.

I had to sent many many email to remind them and sometime asked my friend here to ask them if they forget the jewelry thing.

…bhra brabra…

it was 100 baht for each one. … you know that!!! Like I told you I didn’t have it all , my participant who respond are just about 30 people …huh :(( so I lost my money about 2000 bath for…nothing?? Well , may be not if I’m thinking in a positive way, It was for a knowledge, to learnt that I better plan this process carefully to find people who really want to do it. …. and care -_-v

CHECK OUT MY FAN PAGE >> TUANG STUDIO

I will continue this in the next post …

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