Did you know that Phuket has became a popular destination for couple who want to get married? We didn’t and perhaps we missed our chance to say our vows on one of the beautiful beaches of the island. All we did know was that we needed to get from Singapore to Thailand with the cheapest option available, hence why we ended up flying to Phuket. We didn’t really care about the island reputation of being one of the most popular places for divers and other sea related activities, we only wanted to get into Thailand and from there travel up to the mainland, stopping where and whenever we felt like it.
To avoid the big crowd of backpackers and students on their gap year, we stayed voluntarily in Phuket Town and we didn’t head to any of the most popular beaches on the West coast during our few days there, but perhaps we should have judging by the beautiful photos we keep seeing. We didn’t miss the opportunity to hit the local market as soon as we arrived and feast on some Thai food.
As we normally do when in a new place, we walked everywhere and the old town was probably our favorite area due to the architectural style that is often described as Sino-Portuguese which we particularly liked.
An Unexpected Surprise
Whilst exploring Phuket Town we couldn’t help noticing that there were quite a few art-studios and galleries which inevitably attracted our attention. We entered into a few of them, but one in particular has left an impression on us both. It’s called Wua Art Gallery & Studio.
The Wua Art Gallery sign outside featuring a cow had already captured our attention from far away and looked far too artistic for a butcher shop, in fact when we got closer we soon realized that there was no meat for sale inside. The entrance, with the whole facade open, felt very warm, welcoming and soon invited us in as we couldn’t resist stepping in to take a look. We started looking around and I stopped talking with the lady at the counter that told me she wasn’t the artist and that Mr. Zen (the hand behind the art pieces) wasn’t in. That didn’t stop me from asking a few question to fill our curiosity.
Apparently this was not only the gallery and the studio of Mr. Zen but also the home where he lived with his wife and daughter. This talented artist, after working as a professional creative director in an advertising agency and as interior designer, he dedicated himself to art and moved to Phuket where he creates his amazing oil on canvas paintings.
What we liked most about the art pieces showcased at the Wua Art Gallery created by Mr. Zen one by one, is the unique minimalist style. In fact none of the art pieces on display were over the top or over complicated, some of them only had a couple of black lines drawn and nothing else, but in same ways almost all of them felt like they wanted to communicate something to us. In fact, one of the main intentions of Mr. Zen is to inspire others by using as few details as possible in his art pieces so as to leave them open to interpretation for the spectators.
The whole art gallery looked quite funky, not only for the art pieces displayed but also for its stylish design that we particularly loved. We only wished we took more photos to show you more of Mr. Zen creations, but we focused mainly on the pieces we liked the most.
Dale’s favorites were both the one with the saxophone and the one with the man with the glasses. He loved the colours Mr. Zen used on both, quite bold but without being too much in your face, too aggressive, very subtle and pleasant to the sight.
Mine was the one with the wounded Teddy Bear that looked like it was falling from somewhere, it reminded me somehow my childhood and how I use to break some of my toys, teddy bears included, to pretend something happened to them without thinking that once they were broken I couldn’t simply glue them back together. Don’t worry, I eventually stopped before I run out of toys.
That day we wished we could have left Wua Art Gallery and Phuket Town with some of our favorite art pieces, but our backpacks wouldn’t have allowed us to carry them. We follow and keep up to date with the latest creations of Mr. Zen and his upcoming and possible exhibitions in case he comes back to Europe, like when he went to Barcelona.
We’d like to think, that one day when we settle somewhere and we have our own little pad, we will be able to have some Wua Art Gallery artworks as something from Phuket, probably the only thing we weren’t expecting to found whilst there, but the one we loved the most.