Dancers perform in Hindu festival Navaratri in Bangkok's Silom district on Oct. 22, 2018.
Dancers perform in Hindu festival Navaratri in Bangkok's Silom district on Oct. 22, 2018.

BANGKOK — Starting this Saturday, an exhibition will show that Thai-Indian communities have far more to offer beyond the stereotypes of selling clothes, nuts, and roti.

At “Khaek Pai Krai Ma,” Thai-Indian painter Nawin Rawanchaikul will showcase the culmination of his nearly two years of work exploring the lives of Indian diaspora across the country. Launch of the exhibition will take place at Warehouse 30, located in the historic Charoen Krung neighborhood

Walking tours through Indian communities around Charoen Krung, documentary screenings, and panel discussions will also be held.

The exhibition name derives from khaek, a common Thai phrase referring to those with origins in the South Asian subcontinent.

While some find the term derogatory and generalizing – much like the Caucasian equivalence, farang, – artist Nawin said the phrase also expressed the welcoming attitude of Thai people towards Indians, since khaek literally means “guest.”

The Chiang Mai-based painter said the dual connotation inspired him to initiate the project, which documents different roots and life paths of Thais with Indian ancestry. These stories will be presented on a 30-meter long mural comprising of over 300 smaller canvases to represent each Thai-Indian family.

There will also be a video installation showing his interviews with Thai-Indian families and a live performance by British-Indian music composer Kuljit Bhamra and Thai-Indian singer Arunee Bagga.

“Khaek Pai Krai Ma” will be held at Warehouse 30 on Soi Charoenkrung 30 from Dec. 14 to Jan. 19. The exhibition will open from 6pm to 8.30pm on the Dec. 14 and from 1pm to 7pm daily afterwards. The venue is reachable by a 15 minute walk along Charoen Krung Road from BTS Saphan Taksin exit No. 3. Admission is free.