FIFTY LUCKY fans were given the chance last Sunday to participate in popular singer Apiwat “Stamp” Eurthavornsuk’s exclusive art and music event – the ambiguously titled “The EX-hibition” – at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Architecture.
One of the faculty’s Do Visual Labs was transformed into a mini art gallery, its walls sparsely covered with such objects as framed movie tickets and a photo of a woman. A table fan stood by a wall and a platform played host to a coil of rope loosely connecting two glasses.
Fans were invited to jot down their feelings and thoughts evoked by Stamp’s new single, “Manut Luem” meaning “a forgetful man.”
“Every time I think back to an unhappy memory, I feel funny,” wrote one participant.
“I have never forgotten it. When I think about it, I feel happier than trying to forget it,” scribbled another.
“It’s impossible that we will be the same as on the first day we met. We no longer understand each other,” noted a third.
“This song reminds me of someone who came back to my mind again after being little more than a faded memory”, wrote yet a fourth.
Another fan was more optimistic, writing “You spend your life with your time, as I spend my life with my time. When our times meet, it is our happy time”.
The lyrics of “Manut Luem”, says Stamps, are based on his personal experiences while the melody is based loosely on a tune he heard Palmy humming and which was later honed by Japanese singer and songwriter Mayu Wakisaka.
“The words reflect deep pain and memories that just won’t go away,” he says. “It’s very sensitive to people’s feelings. I think of the memory as a kind of treasury. We can’t choose whether to keep or delete our thoughts of the past and, just like interest, they grow as time goes on. Of course, memories are like the two sides of a coin; some are good and others painful. And the more we want to forget a painful memory, the clearer it becomes. This song represents feelings that just don’t change.
“It’s not a love song. In 2014, I was facing a lot of problems and wanted nothing more than to shut myself away and hide. Every time I woke up, the memories flooded my mind. A friend asked me if I had just one magical power, what would it be. I told him the ability to forget,” Stamp says.
“ And the silly thing is that I’m forgetful by nature. I forget my telephone number, my address, even my age. When I was a kid, I forgot I had exams coming up and had to sit them without having read the textbook. My mind was blank but I passed the test. Fortunately my girlfriend understands me though even she gets frustrated when I lose the remote control of the TV or DVD player. A friend of mine had the same problem and he solved it by incorporating the remote with his mobile phone so he could ring it when he couldn’t find it.”
The song accompanies the latest issue of “Let’s Comic” and has as its title “Let’s Featuring Stamp LoveIs Present: Forgotten Issue”. Both it and the music video have been a massive success, trending on Twitter and earning 500,000 views on YouTube.
“The music video was produced on a really low budget,” says director Vichai Matakul, who co-produced the MV with Salmon House colleague Thanachart “Benz” Siripatrachai.
“Stamp wanted a duck boat instead of a Ferris Wheel. We went to Suan Lumpini and asked if we could hire a duck boat but were told no. We eventually found one but the rental was really expensive. So we made do with an upright wheel with some passenger gondolas. By rights, the wheel should be in this exhibition too,” Vichai says.
“We also thought about sending Stamp to get a tattoo and having the artist sneeze at a crucial point, thus damaging the tat and leaving a scar. Stamp would sing ‘I would like to forget this tattoo – this scar’. In the end we decided on something more tangible like a museum with a curator who keeps the memories. It’s called ‘The EX-hibition’ in reference to an ex-girlfriend.
“The MV ends with a shot of a table fan that can no longer rotate and makes an annoying sound. I thought at first about placing the fan so it was facing the wall but felt it would look too sad.”
Explanations on the EX-hibition over, Stamp picked his guitar and entertained his small audience with “Manut Luem”, “Animation”, “Pleng Thi Nan Ma Laew Mai Dai Fang”, “Rak Kradod Kampang” and “Than Wela.”