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Wonder of Thai Jewels

Bangkok, Thailand
August -  September 2023
Role: Executive Director  + Music Composer
Commissioned by:  Thai Ministry of Commerce
A mixed medium spectacle featuring all-original music; commissioned for the 67th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair. The performance reimagines the theme of “Wonder of Thai Jewels” through modern Thai Classical Dance blended with a fashion show experience and shortform video. This opening show celebrates Thai heritage; weaving together our dance, music, design, fashion, craftsmanship, poetry and beauty of natural resources, into a fun and captivating multi-modal display.

Is it possible to reimagine “traditional” Thai arts so it attracts both younger and older audiences at the same time? Many would say no. Achieving this balance for the Thai Dance Reimagined project was one of the most artistically challenging but also incredibly exciting projects I’ve directed. All too often I hear younger generations complain how the traditional and classical arts are slow, boring and outdated. At the same time, I hear older generations complain how they don’t understand the music and art made by “kids these days” (roll eyes)

The Thai Dance Reimagined series came about as an experiment to satisfy these two opposing constraints. Could classical art forms like Thai dance be combined with more groovy rhythms from modern house and R&B music, and could we weave it all together as a mixed medium performance with popular appeal? Along this journey, I was extremely fortunate to meet the dancers from the Kid Buak Sipp dance troupe and singer/songwriter Dorsh.

When the project was first released in February 2022, Thai Dance Reimagined was a purely online experience. Across all social media platforms, the project garnered an impressive half a million views with highest viewership amongst the 18-28 age range i.e. Gen Z and Millenials (remember this is all based on Thai classical dance!). The comments and response revolved around “this is dope”. Our creative team, which was also composed of younger folks, was already proud of this achievement.

When our project was invited by the Thai Ministry of Commerce as the opening show for the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair 2022, it felt like our work had reached a new milestone. It meant our cultural aesthetics under experimentation were resonating with older generations at the level of government agencies. The show could represent Thai culture in official capacity to an international audience composed of ambassadors, government officials and representatives of the gems and jewelry industry (which I learned is one of Thailand’s crucial exports after tourism and agriculture). We were covering the spectrum of old and new.


I borrowed the three words “Heritage, Human Touch, Craftsmanship” from the 2022 Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair themes. Through directing this project, I learned how most of the big jewelry brands do most of their artisan and craftsmanship work in Thailand! For this reason, the gems and jewelry trade is actually one of Thailand’s critical industries. My creative team’s goal was to complement the beauty of Thailand’s gems and jewelry craft with music, dance, poetry and cultural mediums.