The "Yol Yala" (“Viewing Yala”) is an exhibition project that’s a collaboration among experts in various fields from the Office of Yala Municipality, the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre and TK park. With the generous support of the Culture Ministry and Saha-Phap Group, the project is being organised from Sept 13 to 30 at TK park Yala and from Sept 27 to October 2 at TK park on the 8th floor of CentralWord, Bangkok.
The project is made up of a photo exhibition titled “Yol Yala @ Hala-Bala”, a photo contest called “Images of the Forest” and a seminar entitled “Conserving the Hala-Bala Forest”.
The Hala-Bala forest, also known as the Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, is the most complex and diverse rainforest in Thailand, which is located in Narathiwat and Yala provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border.
The “Yol Yala” exhibition features collections of photos of the Hala-Bala forest by various noted Thai lensmen. The winning entries from the photo contest – all photographic interpretations of the great forest by photographers who are the denizens of the concrete jungle – will be on display as part of the exhibit.
The "Conserving the HalaBala Forest" seminar features a panel of speakers who have encountered the famous forest in their own ways. These are Nithi "Job" samudkojorn, a noted emcee of a travel TV show; CharoonThongnual, photojournalist at The Nation; and a group of young photographers from Yala.
Other activities to be held include photography and DIY art workshops and fun-filled games with prizes galore courtesy of TK park.
Sureerat Wongsangiem, inspector general of Culture Ministry, said stories about nature are important factors that influence the birth and growth of cultures in every region. “The Culture Ministry believes photographs are a form of cultural record worthy of support and propagation. The ministry is pleased to be part of the exhibition,” she said.
Asst.Prof. PiyaKittaworn, Deputy Secretary General ofSouthern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, said “Yol Yala” seeks to present a multitude of educational, social and cultural perspectives on the forest as a kind of natural heritage noted for its bucolic charm as evident in its rolling wooded hills shrouded in mist.
“Such natural wonders are an inspiration behind TK park Yala's host of interesting activities being organised for Yala youth in a bid to create and promote symbols of happiness, peace and reconciliation. I am confident that the exhibition will not only raise public awareness of the need to love and protect nature, but sow the seeds of reconciliation in the hearts of the people, as well.
"Through this exhibition, the living library will be not just a knowledge centre, but a place where new stories and friendships flourish. This will make it easy for people to put aside their religious and cultural differences and come together for genuine reconciliation," he said.
Kukiat Wongkrapan, Chief of Yala Governor's Office, pointed out the absence of Yala’s positive images like the high potential of its tourism in public discourse. “Yala has potential to attract eco-tourists from all over the world especially given the coming of the AEC next year and Yala as the gateway,” said Kukiat.
Mayor of Yala City Municipality Pongsak Yingchoncharoensaid that “Yol Yala” sets out to underscore the aesthetic image of the province, saying “Yol Yala” marks a joint effort between different organisations to make Yala’s “power of peace” resonate with the public.
“The organisers and supporters are pooling their resources to organise the photo exhibition and other activities to promote the stories and the way of life of the people in the urban jungle of Yala. The photos on display show the HalaBala forest as one of the most complex and lush rainforest in Thailand,” he said.
TK park Yala plays host to the exhibition and other activities as the first provincial knowledge park in Thailand. Part of the “Yol Yala @ Hala-Bala” exhibition will be on display in Bangkok at TK park from September 27 to October 2.
The exhibition explores the richness of Yala through the great bounties of nature at the Hala-Bala forest and makes it known to the world at large.
Chiranan Pitpreecha, advisor to the Saha Phap Group, one of the project’s supporters, said the exhibition benefits from collections of photos from "Flower amid Southern Fire", a photo exhibition held last March to celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day. These photos show the positive aspects of Yala that are worthy of anyone’s appreciation. Thanks to a collaborative effort among the Krungching Group, the Photo Gang of Yala and TK park Yala, “Yol Yala” features collections on loan from the latter exhibition.
Dr. Tatsanai Wongpisethkul, Director of the Office of the Thailand Knowledge Park (TK park) and Deputy Director of the Office of the Knowledge Management and Development (OKMD), Office of the Prime Minister, said that it is the first time for TK park Yala to organise a travelling exhibition outside its premises.
With “Yol Yala” to be staged in Bangkok, TK park Bangkok is hoping to get across the central message of the exhibition – the conservation of the Hala-Bala forest – to children of the big city. A photography workshop and a photo contest on the theme “Images of the Forest” will also be held in conjunction with the exhibition to raise the environmental awareness among youth. The winning entries from the photo contest will be on display in the exhibition in Bangkok as well.
“Yol Yala @ Hala-Bala” runs at TK park Yala from September 19 to 30 before travelling to Bangkok where it’s on view at TK park on the eight floor of CentralWorld from September 27 to October 2.