How it all started: Trees inspire a family legacy

The seeds for Studio 88 were planted many years ago, by Aom’s grandfather, who first taught her the value of giving back to the community. Every time Aom returns home she is reminded of his foresight and community spirit standing tall in the row of teak trees along the 6 kilometer long canal road. Her grandfather did not live a long life to see these trees growing strong, but he has left the legacy not only to his family but people who are enjoying their shelter.

Aom and Sak planting teak trees, Studio 88 Artist Residency, Chiang Mai
Aom and Sak planting teak trees, Studio 88 Artist Residency, Chiang Mai

This simple act of an ordinary man has proven that anyone can create an impact in life. With her father, Aom had the idea to continue her grandfather’s legacy and kept planting more teak trees. A number of people stopped and asked what they were doing – many expressed their appreciation and wanted to help. The trees became about more than just creating a shady path, and have become about the way nature, people and culture can interact in daily life.

Teak tree Studio 88 Artist Residency, Chiang MaiThe story of her grandfather has inspired Aom to create a creative space where she could build a legacy to share with a community of like-minded people. Working with museums and galleries, visiting creative studios and maker spaces, have inspired her to create an artistic space that encourages creativity and collaboration. Because of her work and connection in the arts and culture, Aom decided to link the potential of arts and culture to create positive change with her love for giving back to her local community.

Studio 88 Artist Residency, Chiang Mai
Space for reflecting at Studio 88 Artist Residency, Chiang Mai

One of Aom’s colleagues and friends, Claire, is a writer who has returned many times to the tranquil space, where she’s worked on writing projects. It was when Aom and Claire started sharing ideas of creative space for social change that they decide to create Studio 88. Taking a lesson from Aom’s grandfather they knew it was important to make change in small steps, one tree at a time. With Studio 88 they don’t want to create a space to visit, but rather a place where artists can share and shape the space, where friends can become family.

The journey of Studio 88 has just begun, and hopefully many planting hands from near and far can share in its growth.


By Sasiwimon Wongjarin (Aom)