X THE XHIBITION
This afternoon, we invited Tul Waitoonkiat in for a small talk with us about his current exhibition at Woof Pack, his inspiration, the society, politics and love. And here is how the conversation went.
WOOF PACK: Can you give us a short introduction about yourself?
Tul : Hi, I’m Tul Waitoonkiat. I am a singer and a composer for the Apartment Khunpa band.
I’m also a DJ and a poet.
WOOF PACK: What is art to you?
Tul : Art is probably a type of communication. Art may happen when we want to communicate with ourselves. But if we communicate to those around us, Art may be useful to others. I believe that, art comes from emotions and thoughts within ourselves.
WOOF PACK: What role do you think art plays in the society?
Tul : Art is like a reflection of things that happen in our lives. It's the reaction that we interact with our surrounding. So, of course, we live in a society. What goes on in society must impact us, more or less.
Art could be an expression of the current situation of the society. Sometimes we wonder whether Art mimics human life, or the other way round. We can’t really tell.
Personally I think both art and humans are somehow blended in together. Although sometimes we tell personal stories, our personal stories are all based on the pressures or the influences of the things surrounding us.
WOOF PACK: How did you start writing poetry?
Tul : When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a songwriter. I had no clue about becoming a poet at all. So I started to practice music composing, writing songs. I would record it on a recorder , write it on paper and note down the guitar chords.
But one day I was experiencing insomnia. I had trouble sleeping. I had many things in my mind that I wanted to express. So I wrote everything down in a notebook and kept it without knowing that one day it would be something called poetry.
I started my career in the music industry as a singer and a composer for Apartment Khunpa band. I had a chance to show my notebooks to others. Many of them said that it sounded very poetic and that they would love to see them published. That was the beginning.
I thought to myself, Woah, I never expected that what I wrote just to kill time and help myself to go to bed would be valuable to others. I was unsure at that time. But they insisted that they want to read it, so I thought, why not?
The first book that got published was called “the breathe” If anyone has read it, it was full of temper, chaos and anxiety. I was so angry about everything around me at that time.
WOOF PACK: What do you think is the connection between music and poetry then?
Tul : Both music and poetry use language as a medium. Some songs may not have any lyrics but you could feel something from it, sometimes it could be considered as poetry. The state of being in a poetry may not be something that can be seen or felt in every art. When I write poem, It's not a 100 percent direct story telling.
And if I have to explain what the poetic state was like, I think it was a momentous feeling that we could hold on to and we can kept it with us. It’s like taking pictures. It is the substance that occurs there. It is a state of poetry. But whether we will put that condition into our songs.
Some songs do not have much poetry in them. But many songs are just like poems or some songs could be without lyrics. Some are instrumental songs. Sometimes there is a poetic state in which the listener must decide for themselves whether poetry will occur in their minds or not.
WOOF PACK : Which is your favourite poem?
Tul : I don't really have a favourite. Once I composed something, it becomes one of my children. I can't decide which one I like the most. Well, I tend to be crazy about what I have recently finished because it speaks my mind during that time. When I read it I will notice my own emotions and how I put them into writing. I would think to myself, oh, so this is what was happening in my mind. That’s all.
WOOF PACK : If you could write about something you have never written before, what would it be?
Tul : I used to think to myself that I have gone through many stages in life already and I start to see a pattern in all stories that have been written. Love. Exasperation. Politics and society. It’s all in a loop.
Sometimes,I imagine about the future. These days, I have to take care of my father. I often wonder what would happen to me if he is no longer here. I would like to know what effect it will have on my work. I have never been to that point before. But I have to admit that time goes by so quickly and nothing lasts forever. Therefore, I think what I would write about in the future is probably about death.
WOOF PACK : What is X the Xhibition?
Tul : X the Xhibition is probably an exhibition that talks about the healing of the soul. I want to show that, once the negative feeling, depression or hopelessness happens to us, we should try to change it into positive energy. At the end, what our feelings toward those negativities can turn into an art form that might be useful for others. More or less.
I believe that, it’s not good to stay with sadness for too long. What I have to do is to heal myself and I am lucky that I have art. I hope people who come to visit this exhibition can gain some kind of energy to fight with all the sadness and loss because these things are just norms that happen all the time in our lives.
WOOF PACK : We see that your exhibition mentions about both love and politics. Why is that?
Tul : I think that both love and politics are all around us. For me, they are quite common topics. Some people may look at politics as something foreign. but for me, I see it as a topic that we talk about every day. Likewise, love. Love is something that is very close to us and we talk about love in almost every stages in life.
Politics and love is something in common. It’s always about two parties. For example, in politics, there are the opposition and the government. Everyone has opinions and wants to stand by their beliefs. Both parties have to keep balance so that the relationship or the country can move forward. However, during the rivalry of power there must be some conflict which leads to misunderstanding, paranoia and fear.
In politics, as we can see, conflicts have always been there. Our political issue mainly is caused by the disagreement between love and fear. Too much love or too much fear, there is no balance. If it doesn't work out, we should break up. If it doesn't work out, we should dissolve the parliament. Something like that.
WOOF PACK : What would you describe Love in 3 words?
"Infatuated, Exciting, Puzzling."
— Tul, 2020.