The beautiful warm sun was shining on me every day and the Thai people were trying to make me as happy as their sun. I felt that definitely they are carrying the sun inside and found that the Sam Rit people are really special, very friendly, humble, hospitable and most helpful.
The Sam Rit residency made me feel inspired and motivated me to make work with its cultural surroundings. It was a great opportunity to open my ears, sharpen the eyes and become engrossed in an unfamiliar culture and people who don't speak the same language.
I had a presentation and workshop at the local school in my first week of the residency, the teachers were lovely, very friendly and I became a friend with the art teacher Dada.
The school and students were completely different than my teaching school in Prague but I enjoyed every minute working with them, the workshop with students gave me a lot of new ideas and I decided to continue my project and made progression with new inspiration for next steps.
One day I took my bike with some food and water and a go pro head camera attached to my chest, then I rode to the tourist monumental direction and decided to change my way and take the field road on the left side of the tourist park.
I was very happy when I heard and felt the sounds of nature there and I started singing a song on the bike, lost within myself. Everywhere was very quiet and peaceful apart from the birds who were like in a song singing competition and the local villagers were working on the fields.
I was greeting them with my three Thai words and improved my communication skills with them, I didn't know where I was going exactly but I didn't care because I just wanted to feel free in the nature. It wouldn't matter if I was lost, I was very excited when I saw the big lake with the water lilies and many kind of species of plants on it.
Then I saw a big farm and some strange animals I had never seen it in my life before, I was talking with the nature, plants and animals. Then I picked up a squashed frog from the road and took it to Prague with me as a sort of friend, I enjoyed exploring out of village by myself on the bike and found some interesting objects.
I made many friends in the village, went to the hairdresser one day and I met with Thipakorn, his wife and their two lovely daughters. They invited me for their niece's haircut ceremony in the temple, the ceremony was starting at 7 o'clock in the morning, so I was up early and went there with my friend Chris ( who was also enrolled in the residency program).
It was a very different type of ceremony for me and my first time in the temple to watch this kind of ceremony, then we had a lot of delicious Thai food during early morning in the temple with Thipakorn and his family.
After that he invited us to his family's coconut garden, we rode there altogether and had fresh coconut juice, he and his wife were very generous and friendly with warm hearts. He said we can go to their coconut garden whenever we want and get some fresh coconuts, it was very nice to explore the garden and see different plant, trees and rice fields.
A few days after they visited us in the Sam Rit Residency and brought us some fresh fruits and visited our art works in the studio, then we said goodbye to each other.
It was New Year’s time and the village was having the New Years party, lasting almost the whole week, we got many invitations, it was a bit crazy and interesting time for me because they were starting to turn on music early in the morning, almost all day you heard some music and the parties continued until midnight with a lot of food, drinks and people.
Once we went to a karaoke party also, we just went there without invitation with Chris, they were very welcoming to us, they gave us a seat and a lot of delicious food and drinks. We met one of our friends from the village and then meet with a lot of new people.
Everybody was taking my photo and wanted to dance with me, even the singer on the stage stopped singing and came to me and he wanted to meet with me, the people in Sam Rit made me feel like a princess.
I had many field trips, visiting historical places, markets, shops, Thai massage, cooking classes, festivals, parties and ceremonies. I have collected a lot of art materials, experimental art works, objects, images and videos. Now it is time to work with my inspirations of Sam Rit in the country where I live, but Thailand is still in my mind, Sam Rit is still in my heart , I miss already my room mate little Gecko and his strange sounds in the night. I hope to have a chance again to visit this lovely village in the near future.
Nurten Yuksel, 2015