Writing with Friends

Writing with Friends brings together a cohort of emerging and established writers living in Thailand to develop their craft and ethos of art writing. Organized and hosted by in-tangible institute with acclaimed critic and writer, Lee Weng-Choy, this first workshop unfolds in three parts: one month of online writing pre-work, a two-day in-person writing intensive (which took place on 16 and 17 March 2024), and post-workshop friendships. It is envisaged that this cohort will re-convene again in person to progress discussions into needed territory within the next year. 

Our Process 

We see writing as a communal and communicative activity, tuned through deep listening and close observation. 

In the month before the in-person intensive, participants provide a writing sample and author a series of reflections on their art writing, including their relationship to their practice, goals, struggles, and research interests. Participants read each others’ reflections and follow guidelines to offer feedback on others’ writing samples.

The two-day in-person intensive includes activities on writing ethos, offering editorial feedback, looking at art, and planning a piece of writing. It includes a site visit, small group activities, and large group discussions. 

Following the workshop, communications among the participants and Lee Weng-Choy continue to support participants toward publishing their writings. We hope that these collaborations seed lasting friendships.

Why write with friends?

There are relatively few art writers in Thailand (or, for that matter, across Southeast Asia) who aim to publish internationally. As a result, the global art world’s understanding of the innovations and contributions of Thai art lag far behind contemporary reality. The hesitancy around art writing stems partially from cultural anxieties around the concept of “critique,” whereby criticism is often interpreted as denigration rather than attentive care. To develop a culture of feedback and mutual care between writers, artists, curators, and patrons, we approach writing from the position of friendship. 

Writing with friends ensures that we listen to our art community’s diverse aspirations and anxieties about writing. Giving feedback to friends is an investment in their development, grounded in deep listening and understanding of their motivations. Receiving feedback from friends can sharpen our communication to target audiences. By writing, offering feedback, editing, and publishing with friends, we aim to deepen the intentionality of our work, spark cross-institutional collaboration, and elevate the art writing community. Through writing in conversation, we aspire to strengthen both the quality of our individual writing and our domestic arts ecology.

2024 Participants

Jongsuwat Angsuvarnsiri

Zoe Butt

Ariana Chaivaranon

Kittima Chareeprasit

Lee Weng Choy

Piyathida Inta

Haisang Javanalikhikara

Blake Palmer

Visarut Sankham

Kamonpan Tivawong

Pearamon Tulavardhana

Sakuntala Yampiew