“Experience and knowledge are fundamentals of strengthening the art and cultural foundation in family, community and society with beliefs, values and attitudes in developing their home town and roots to be prosperous and flourishing in every aspect. Harmony will be a driving power for potentials, knowledge, and competencies for developing professional work and creativity of people in the society”
Above message is the concept of creating contemporary gallery “DE’ LAPAE ART SPACE NARATHIWAT”. The term “Lapae” is Malay language meaning number 8, and its shape is like the symbol of infinity (∞). It means endless arts, and this word is a homonym of Lapan and corresponding with the word “Lapae” which means a large space also.
Until now, it has been 7 years that this gallery has been telling stories or living ways and cultures of people in southern-border provinces. It is also a tourist attraction that local people can visit and take holidays. Dated back for eight years ago in 2012, Father of Mr. Prachaya Phimanman, the owner of this contemporary gallery, had an idea to set up a private local museum to gather information and stories of Narathiwat Town.
Mr. Prachaya studied about arts and furthered his education related to gallery management. He exchanged his ideas with his father, that it would be another perspective to turn the museum to be a gallery to bring good things in the area. It also can be a community where people meet, talk, and exchange ideas, and where local new-generation artists can exhibit their works
Outside De Lapae gallery looks like a general coffee shop, but inside the building, there are 3 parts. The first part is Art Cafe’ and Coffee Lab, providing foods and drinks distributing community products and exhibiting modern artworks which are accessible among people such as photographs, scenery pictures etc. it is also a community area where people meet and talk, and it is the main part to generate income for operations of the gallery and fund in support of working of local artists.
The 2nd part is the Art Project Room, which is the area where artworks from regional artists are displayed. Visitors can embrace them, learn and jointly create a work with the local artists. Additionally, a knowledge exchange activity is organized by experienced and skill lecturers who specialize in arts (art workshop). The 3rd part is on the second floor of the gallery, where works of artists in southern-border provinces are exhibited. The exhibition will be circulated all year long.
The gallery also has the art library where textbooks, documents, and art programs are gather, and it is like the knowledgebase for students to study and do research. This place is connected with the community because it consists of an art room for children and youths, and areas where handicraft products from different communities are distributed.
Arts tell stories, and each artist has different perspectives in telling their own stories. They can be a beautiful story or they can be a story that needs mutual understanding. The way De Lapae Gallery works with new-generation people with various kinds of artworks such as paintings, sculptures, prints, multimedia, languages, music, as well as handicraft works from the community makes this De Lapae Gallery to move forward with the community and new-generation people by constructing mutual understanding with outsiders and local people. Certainly, it is the way that bring everyone peace.