Sakorn Wongratchasi was born and raised in a rural area of the Northeastern region of Thailand, where he is deeply influenced by Esan culture, traditions and art. He has been inspired to share the folk tales and art of the region since studying at the Fine and Applied Arts program at Khon Kaen University and his Master’s degree at the Department of Thai Art, Faculty of Painting Sculpture and Graphic Art, Silpakorn University.
“Morality in Esan’s Folk Tale” is his first solo exhibition at People Gallery, BACC, Bangkok in September 2019, where he used mixed media, inspired by folk tale from his home town named “The Lady White Dog and four Champaca Trees”.
Sakorn often works with mixed media in two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms, as well as installation. He also employs and transforms traditional Esan folk art such as pulpits, lanterns, and the northeast Buddhist mural in the holy temple into more contemporary forms, while always rooting his creations in Esan folk tales. He seeks to keep developing, preserving transmitting knowledge from local myths, stories, beliefs, or folk tales that pass through generations from Esan ancestors, keenly aware of how society changes with the lost of traditional and cultural practices and knowledge. He also actively contributes to this lineage by recording his own history and memories of cultural knowledge that he has observed from others. Sakorn expresses these different states and processes of forming, maintaining and vanishing as fragments that fit in the past, present and future in his artworks.
He has won numerous awards and participated in group exhibitions from national art competitions such as the 2017 1st prizes awarded the Gold medal for the 12th Thai Young Artist certified by Princess Soamsawali and 1st Prize, 11th Painting Competition by INTOUCH. In 2020, he won the 1st Prize, Excellent Honors Award, Gold Medal "Silpa Bhirasri" Exhibited in the 37th Exhibition of Contemporary Art by Artist. In 2022, he was awarded the 2nd Prize, Bualuang Silver Medal, Contemporary Painting category, 43rd Bualuang Painting Contest, Bualuang Foundation, 67th National Art Exhibition.
Anunta Intra-aksorn is the co-founder of Big Trees Foundation, an environmental volunteer and advocacy group which was established in November 2010.
Increasingly dense construction in Bangkok has crowded out nature in downtown areas, producing more traffic jams because more people with cars live in high-rise buildings. It also destroys the last refuges of urban wildlife, a variety of birds and squirrels that live in the mini-ecosystems of big trees. The Big Trees group was born inside a small design studio on a lane of busy Sukhumvit, when a group of young Thai designers together with other concerned residents in the area noticed dozens of big, old trees at the top of their lane being marked to be chopped down to make way for a car park of a massive new mall. They approached the plot owner's son to persuade him to change the mall's layout and save the trees. He listened sympathetically, nodded a lot - but chopped all the trees down eventually.
This event kick-started their group that today has over 92,000 followers on their facebook page, with an active core of 20. Big Trees’ mission is to advocate, through public participation and public-private partnership, the importance of big trees and public green spaces in the cities of Thailand. Big Trees collaborates with many large organisations which support environmental project while working closely with mass media, government officers and other social influencers for utmost effective result.
They see themselves as creative jigsaw puzzle players in their advocacy work. They communicate with the public through social media and organised participatory conservation programs so that volunteers and local communities can join hands to protect public green spaces through sustainable management practices.
Anunta is a member of the Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA).