Danaiphat took “Bon” as his street moniker and as a teen when hip hop culture was first introduced in Thailand, Bon became fascinated by different aspects of it, especially graffiti. While studying painting at a Fine Arts faculty, he started spraying his graffiti fonts on the street.
“On the first night, I was so scared, fearing that the police would come after me or people passing by wouldn’t understand what I was trying to do,” he recalls. “I eventually realized doing tags all over the place wasn’t for me. I wanted to create works that can communicate with people more.”
A decade and hundreds of spray cans later, Bon has developed distinct human and animal characters that you may have seen in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket. Besides the colorful and quirky appearances of the characters he creates, Bon tries to sell serious messages about our society and its changing culture.
For example, his masked characters represent our effort to project an image about ourselves we want others to see. He explains, “Tribesmen wear accessories or paint to distinguish themselves. The difference is that today we take things out of our body or inject something into it.”
Another signature of his is a Mickey Mouse skull sticker that came to him while he was ordained as a monk. Bon was reading about death and had a small epiphany. “Peace is possible. When we all realize that we are going to die one day then we see no need to harm others. It is such a cool idea so I combined a skull with the peace sign.” The mouse ears are for sugar-coating.
Danaiphat Lersputtitrakan lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand.