Hello Little Thailand by Abbie J. Zuidema
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I received a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 98’. I live & work as an artist in Brooklyn creating intimate watercolor paintings of maps and food. My work has been shown nationally in museums and galleries & I was most recently commissioned to make a menu for an intimate dinner celebrating Alice Waters (which was an enormous thrill!) My paintings are meant to be enjoyed, to be life enhancing. Art should be accessible to everyone, to be lived with and shared. A little about my process: "It is about consumption. I get to look and digest how things are made: the silkiness of the ribbon, the details of lace, and the shininess of packaging. My work is about desire, and the question, what makes us want things. To better understand that human impulse of desire." I am also a waitress at Vinegar Hill House in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn. Over the years, restaurants have played a major role in my work, fueling my love of food and my education. When I heard about the “little’s” project I was thrilled. An excuse to go on an adventure and eat things! It was right up my alley. A map of little Thailand was a natural choice for me, I love Thai food & I wanted to taste more. I knew that once I started to scratch the surface of the neighborhood I would find lots of treasures. Which I did. The color palate of the map is based off a photo of a night market in Patpong; red, pink & green are some of my most favorite pairings of colors. I wanted to draw a connection between where the people from little Thailand are coming from & also where they are now in Queens. The Thai Garuda emblem anchors the map on the left hand side, dancing with outstretched wings. The Garuda is the National emblum of Thailand, it represents the government and people of Thailand. I also painted Thailand itself as a reference on the map. This map is to inspire, to spark an interest in people to go and see and find for themselves what is in Elmhurst. What is literally in their backyard. All the streets and public transportation are listed as a guide. I chose 4 places to be destinations spots with delicious rewards. Suggestions for what to eat is written in between the street names.The rest is up to you.One of the most striking aspects of this project was how nondescript these places are. You would never know how good they were if you were just walking by. Which I love, nothing is ever what it seems. My art is all about discovery.