Traditional music fills the air while the smell of charcoal-grilled prawns complements the festive mood at Amphawa Chai Pattana Nurak, an educational centre in the district of Amphawa. Shopowners begin to open their stalls and a group of young volunteers prepares a mini-stage for a puppet show. This is part of the art exhibition "Amphawa Hai" _ or "disappearing Amphawa".
The exhibition features hundreds of drawings, paintings and photographs, mostly done by residents, students, artists and cultural workers. It is part of the movement for attention after this sleepy town made headlines protesting against a multi-million baht hotel project. Set to be constructed on a seven rai plot of land by a canal, the four-storey building was met with protest from local residents, artists, and conservationists. Lately, the hotel owner decided to back down and said he was ready to alter his plan to suit the villagers' concerns.
After Amphawa, the exhibition will move to D Kunst Gallery in Ratchaburi on Oct 19. The organisers also plan to exhibit in Chiang Mai and the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre.
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