LOVE OF ELEPHANTS - JAKRAPHAN CHAIJIT
INTRODUCING JAKRAPHAN CHAIJIT - THAILAND
Jakraphan Chaijit, the Lanna painter, is very fond of elephants and creates artistic works inspired by them. Elephants are symbols of the northern Thai traditional lifestyle, especially in Chiang Mai city. They help the local villagers drag heavy lumber from the forest. These logs are mostly hard wood such as teak and rosewood near the borders of Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Cambodia. The wood industry in Thailand in the past was a major joint venture of England and Holland.
Elephants are working animals and blend well with the Thai lifestyle. They are also quite clever and precious to the Thai people and they a have long life-span. In addition, the bond between an elephant and a keeper (mahout) is strong and almost magical. It often lasts a lifetime for both.
In ancient Thai history during war time, the king always rode on the back of a war-elephant and fought bravely with his soldiers. This is one of the reasons why rare white elephants are honored by Thai people as the symbolic animal of Thailand. At one time, the Thai flag was red with the image of an elephant in the middle. Today, elephants are the subject of major efforts in preservation because their number is rapidly declining. In many areas throughout Thailand, there are several elephant breeding and training camps and animal hospitals that specialize in treating these revered creatures.
"I hope I can make people understand elephants, love elephants, take care of the elephants and I hope that my work can be an inspiration to people of the new generation to think, to learn, and raising awareness to end misunderstanding between people, to make the world more peaceful, more beautiful."
"'Elephant' is in my work for more than 20 years. For me, it is not an animal, but it is the spirit, the soul, that I try to carry out something deep inside to the world outside."
"I would like to present my thought of the human mind and the universe which are related in the way that they move together, through my art pieces. My intention shows the success of the harmony in moving, which will bring peace to earth. My works are based on the Arts and Elephants and my liberal thoughts. I do believe that my works will spell out more or less my thoughts in taking elephants as the symbol of mind in the artistic way. The coordinated movement of all things will bring about peace and harmony in well being on earth."