Street art to encourage people to read more

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The colour of street art, or art on the wall, does not only portray beauty but also portrays its own meaning of itself to passersby.

The ‘Read Me’ project was organised by the Wangkanai Group, the producer of low chemical sugar in Thailand, to encourage Thais to read more through the hidden meaning of street art held and displayed on a rotational basis, throughout several cities in the country.

A recent survey by the National Statistical Office found that less than one in five Thai kids — 18.5 per cent — read every day. while 15 per cent rarely read at all.

Thais are believed to read five books a year on average, while people in developed countries such as Japan read as many as 50 books a year.

The event in the capital and major towns were held as part to celebrate Bangkok’s selection as this year’s UNESCO World Book Capital.

In Bangkok, the project was organised on Lat Phrao Rd, attracting passersby to drop by to appreciate the beauty of graffiti which is another method to create art in the concrete jungle.

Prakit Laemluang, a Thai graffiti artist from the Supercat Team, said his imagination through spray portraits meaning and gives value more than just being shown as colour stains on the wall.

“Find some place where you can spend a lot of time there, which is a place that’s no longer used, or find a building which you are allowed to paint, or even on the wall at your place. Try to keep practicing. Learn to know the equipment used in graffiti, see how spray can give results to your art,” Prakit said.

Graffiti is like other forms of art. Artists need to focus and concentrate to create their work.

Another artist participating in the ‘Read Me’ programme brought his contemporary art to the street to encourage the public to read even it’s in the form of reading ‘art’. Known by his alias, P-7 is one of Thailand’s famous graphic designers who expands his talent into graffiti work.

“The ‘Read Me’ project wants to teach you to read. It encourages you to try reading the art, notice it, and interpret it as in yourself, as in how you want. We want this space to link with communities with art inserted there, so street art does its duty by entering a community so both the community and the art can learn to get to know each other,” said P-7.

Apart from Bangkok, the ‘Read Me’ project was also held in Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen provinces, using street art as a tool to penetrate local society to encourage further social development. The project also received book donations from the public and distributed the materials to less-privileged children nationwide.