Times at Sam Rit


My partner and I were lucky to be at Sam Rit artist residency during the rice harvest. We found piles of rice on the grounds of the local wat, in front of the school, along roadsides…they were all over town. Workers even pitched tents to watch over their rice. It was an interesting phenomenon to observe how the whole community was invested. Each morning, workers came to sift rice in front of the residency.

We noticed that in Sam Rit (and mostly everywhere we traveled in Thailand) life happens in front of the house, at street level. People sit on mats, to relax, to watch TV, to eat, to cook…it all seems to happen outside and right in front. So one afternoon, we decided to situate ourselves right on the street. We watched children walk home from school, families ride by on scooters, rainbow colored rice trucks and local life pass us by. We recorded these sounds and paired them with a time lapse video of the rice harvesters at work.

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We enjoyed so many things at Sam Rit. Biking to Phi Mai was especially beautiful. On the way back, we found ourselves a bit lost. Someone soon stopped to give directions, without us even asking. We went though a small village with a very narrow main street and everyone was out on their stoop. It was in these few moments that we saw rural life unfiltered, everything happened in slow motion, peoples faces were illuminated, there was only this moment, this experience.

To wrap up our stay, we exchanged stories over a big family meal at our host’s home. We became a part of Sam Rit’s extended family. We could not have envisioned the profound effect that these experiences had on the way we approach our work and on us personally.

Jaz Graf & Laos Fois, 2014


Published by jaz graf

artist and curator

2 thoughts on “Times at Sam Rit

    1. HI Joolie!! Enjoy Thailand and Happy Thai New Year! Today, we celebrated Songkran by going to the Thai temple in Queens, NY – authentic food finally! Anyway, I hope you have a great time there! I highly recommend biking everywhere – that was my favorite part of experiencing the neighboring towns, we got lost and ended up going thru Sam Rit 3 and 4 (I think) and it was totally magical. I checked out your website and I really love your work! So please do stay in touch and add me to your mailing list. Maybe one day our paths will cross, you never know. I hope to return to Thailand in the next few years, as I have family and friends in Chiangmai. I would also love to visit Sam Rit again and say hello to Amm and Emm and Elysha….please tell them hello from me 🙂 If you visit the NYC area, let me know. Chok dee ka! 🙂

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