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Bangkok Faces: Aarti Saikia, Creative Expressionist

Your Name: Aarti Saikia

Job Title: Creative Expressionist

What is your nationality and background?
My nationality is Indian. I started my professional career working on sustainable social development with leprosy patients in India. Following that I worked with UNHCR in New Delhi, and then moved to Rome, Italy where I worked with UN FAO. I decided to quit my full time UN professional job with the birth of my son. I then moved to Colombo, Sri Lanka, with my family for a few years. I have been in Bangkok for the past 10 years. And it is here that I have actively engaged in my creative and artistic pursuits.

What is your profession?
I am a professional Creative Expressionist, a dancer, poet, visual and performance artist, and a mindful creative healing practitioner. I passionately endeavor to work towards sustainable and innovative creative arts. I’m a professional artistic curator and director of visual and  performance based theatre-style events

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?
Key skills include a mindful engagement with artistic creativity, a curious mind interested in meaningful, solutions-oriented collaborations, and being socially interactive. Also, an understand of the key aspects of mindful healing in adults and children is important. It helps too to have a process-oriented understanding of expressive art as a foundation for learning.

How did you get involved in your profession?
My artistic journey spans over three decades. My formal education is in international human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws, and sustainable livelihoods. I have held various development roles with the United Nations. This has been my foundation to progress towards sustainable and innovative creative arts. Now I embrace art, poetry and dance as mindful expressions of a creative life. I enjoy sharing quality time with children and want to bring to them meaningful creative experiences.

How does your role enhance the well-being or experience of children?
I specifically design sessions for children to give them a safe and secure space to develop their intrinsic creativity. Through free creative expressions, children engage in mindful art and expressive communication. This enhances their holistic well-being through a positive and meaningful experience.

What challenges do you face in this role?
One challenge is bridging the perceived gap between the intellectual and the creative. Sometimes people are not open enough to embrace the beauty of the creative arts in a holistic manner. The challenge is in strengthening the concept of mindful healing through the creative process. How can ‘mindful healing’ be reflected through the arts…?

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?
I work to nurture mindful healing in children through the creative process. How do we develop society through individual development and progression in creative and expressive arts? How do we promote a participatory approach to sustainable and innovative creative arts?

Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by several individuals in social development and the creative arts, and I’m genuinely inspired by the innocence of children and the possibilities for mindful, holistic healing in them. I believe in the power of the arts to create positive and inspiring experiences for individuals in society. I believe in nurturing free creative expressions as a tool for social reconciliation. I must add that my biggest inspiration comes from my two young children, 12 year old son and my 8 year old daughter, and it is from them that I also draw a deep courage to walk my artistic journey.

Only a Bangkok local would know… That you can join free group exercise classes at sunset in some of the popular green spaces around the city, such as Lumpini Park and Benjasiri Park.

For more info, please email Aarti at [email protected] or visit her Facebook page Arty’s Art.

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