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BackArts & Culture » Culture » [Illustrations] An Idyllic Southeast Asian Childhood Through a Thai Artist's Illustrations

Thanks to the region’s similarities in biodiversity, climate and society, a childhood in rural Thailand isn’t that far off from that in the countryside of Vietnam.

For many millennials in modern-day Vietnam, memories from the 80s and 90s still shine vividly in the back of their minds. In a time without internet, resourcefulness reigns and entertainment can be derived from the simplest, most spontaneous sources: makeshift lanterns from cans, glass marbles and even cheap plastic sandals.

The author of illustration series เด็กบ้านสวน (Dek Farmhouse) didn't live in the city as a kid. He grew up in rural Thailand in the 80s and created the page to document these childhood adventures in incredibly detailed, light-hearted sketches.

Dek Farmhouse's setting is unmistakably Southeast Asian in its portrayal of flora and fauna.

What makes Dek Farmhouse unique is that effort the author goes through to paint a complete picture of his scenes. Each illustration is accompanied with a thorough description of his memory. Every character has a name. Every object has a role. Every scene is deeply rooted in a facet of his upbringing.

Dek Farmhouse is without a doubt a Thai and, by extension, a Southeast Asian experience. The background is filled with lush local fauna and flora: durian, mangosteen, mango, guava, papaya, wax apple trees heavy with fruits; a sleeping area consisting of a mattress and mosquito net; and, the harmonious existence of nature, human, agriculture.

See some of Dek Farmhouse’s most endearing works below:

A communal area where family members take a bath, wash and even clean together.

A canteen with traditional fare and crafts.

"Inoculation Day" at school is always a terrifying experience.

In rural homes, roofs were usually made of grass and coconut leaves, leaving it prone to leakages when the rain came.

Mothers usually doubled as the home doctor, dispensing natural remedies to common ailments.

A bustling festival.

The natural insect repellent is water bowls placed under cabinets.

Rural life is an intricate combination of recycling, animal husbandry and gardening.

A simple guide on how to overdose on durian in three steps.

The quietness at night in the countryside could be frightening for kids, whose imagination runs wild with every errant sound or sight.

How to make a kite the old-school way.

Southeast Asia's lowland is riddled with small water streams, making for a highly waterborne way of life.

Not a smartphone in sight.

Ironing used to be a labor-intensive job due to the primitive nature of ironing equipment.

A cineplex in the 1980s.

The objects of desire for every kid.

Learning to swim in rural areas means using makeshift buoys like banana stalks and old coconuts.

[Images via Facebook page เด็กบ้านสวน]


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