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Art Heals All Wounds: Solving Problem on Violence in Southern Border Provinces with Art

 04 พ.ย. 2564 14:50 น. | อ่าน 220
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From the social situation in today world and in the past, humans have to encounter with risks, losses, and unhappiness caused by unpredicted life experiences throughout the way of life causing stress and mental pressure.  Therefore, art creation is considered as another alternative to relax and express feelings through various art styles for human beings. The results of some researches revealed that creative expression under artistic process helped to balance emotion properly enabling persons to know and control their emotion better. Art also helped to reinforce meditation and reduce stress as well as being another method to go through the cruel moments of life.

"Suleyman Yamo" may be the same as other young boys in 3 southern border provinces who have been affected by insurgency. Although his motherland has been under the war of violence, they still have had their own dreams. Suleyman Yamo loves drawing as his life. He has had passion on drawing since he was a kid. When he has had any chance, he often searched for knowledge on arts regularly. He has had a dream that he would become a “Painter” one day. However, according to the results of local violence, his father was passed away. However, he was lucky to have art to heal his mental wound therefore Suleyman Yamo can keep going strongly.

Dreamer who Has never Given Up

Suleyman Yamo was born and grown at Ban Khlong Chang Village in Nakate Sub-District, Khok Phoe District, Pattani Province. Since his family was poor, he had to work for his family as a water delivery man in Muang District, Yala Province, after graduating from Por Noh School. Although he still has had passion on art but there seemed to be no chance to make this dream came true. One day, he had a chance to visit a gallery of an artist in Yala because he had to delivered water to that place. Consequently, he was inspired to learn art again.  He spared some money from his income to buy some oil colors for practicing until he met an artist who graduated in art field from Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center who suggested him that Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center under the patronage of Queen Sirikit in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province was the learning place giving some opportunities to poor farmers to learn arts and crafts with free of charge.

In 2007, Suleyman decided to apply for studying at Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center and he was accepted to learn arts and crafts at this center. Before following his dream, Suleyman created an oil painting of an orchid. He framed such painting and hung on his house’s wall. It was considered as the first artwork given by him to his father who had always supported Suleyman on painting and drawing. He also brought this artwork to show his neighbors throughout the community. However, Suleyman had never expected that it would become the first and the last artwork that could be admired by his father. After 6 months of art learning, he was informed with a bad news via phone on January 25th, 2008, that his father was shot while he was riding a motorcycle whereas his mother who went with his father was shot at her shoulder with serious condition.

From such occurrence, his intention on art learning was reduced and it seemed like his dream was going to be gone out because of the lack of the major supporter. However, there seemed to be something inspiring him to think of his dream again after seeing his orchid painting. He felt like his father was telling him to back to study on art again and continue his dream. In addition, Instructor Smarn Khlungjaturat, an instructor of Department of Arts of Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center also called him and told him that “You should not let this opportunity away.” Therefore, he backed to Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center again with determination that he would obtain knowledge on arts as much as her could for working for the society of the southern border provinces one day.

The life path of Suleyman has been continued slowly. After graduating from Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center, he served for military service for 2 years. After discharging, he did some works to seek for more experiences on painting and drawing. He worked as a trainee in Muang Pattaya District, Chonburi Province. Subsequently, he was persuaded by a senior who was Yala villager to work at an art studio in Hua Hin District, Phrachaub Kiri Khan, for selling paintings t tourists. He could earn income more than 100,000 baht per month but he still felt that he was unworthy. In addition, the always thought of his goal to do provide some benefits to his homeland therefore he decided to back to Pattani.

Create Art for Healing

From his belief that art could heal wounds from violence, all of his paintings created for his homeland have been become artworks reflecting his perspectives towards nature, identity, and social way of the southern border area. These artworks conveyed happy coexistence of communities with all races and religions. Suleyman has been started to be known and popular in a short period of time after settling down at his hometown to create arts. Consequently, he was supported by Southern Border Provinces Administration Center (SBPAC) to have a study trip in Italy. This was considered as the valuable experience for him to apply to manage his conceptual system and self-development. In addition, he has also utilized this obtained knowledge as the important goal to develop his hometown. Suleyman Yamo has successfuly made his dream comes true by opening a studio as the art learning center for local people in the southern border area under the name of “Yamo Studio”.

These days, Suleyman allocates some amount of his income earned from selling paintings for donation in order to support religious activities, hold some social activities, and support education for developing juveniles in 3 southern border provinces. In addition, he has also been a lecturer for passing on his knowledge to juveniles enabling them to draw and paint for expressing his imagination through brushes. He also has a future goal to build an art gallery as the stage for juveniles, general persons, and local artists to exhibit all kinds of artworks. This is the story of a victim of this violence who heals his mental wound with art. He also has an intention to use art creation process as a method to instruct new generation with the ultimate expectation on solving the problem on violence of the southern border area with arts.

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