Arjan noo kanphai



Keywords: arjan noo kanphai
Description: To call Arjan Noo Kanphai a famous Thai tattoo artist is an understatement. Tattooing mystic Buddhist warlock rock star is more like it. He is respected and venerated by masters, monks, movie stars,

To call Arjan Noo Kanphai a famous Thai tattoo artist is an understatement. Tattooing mystic Buddhist warlock rock star is more like it. He is respected and venerated by masters, monks, movie stars, gangsters, police, high and low society alike for his beautiful and powerful protective tattoos that are traditionally called Sak Yant. When Jodi and I were tattooed at his place about 45 minutes outside Bangkok I was told that the next day they would be having a special ceremony to celebrate the release of a new amulet that Arjan Noo had created. The next day, not really knowing what to expect, I took a cab and found a complete mob scene. The police had shut down traffic in a two block radius only letting through special cars that carried old monks. Thai TV crews, Thai movie stars, and for some reason the bald honky with the camera. I guess since I was the only farang in attendance they figured I was special. a little weird but special none the less.

I stood just inside the gates to Arjan Noo's compound/temple/tattoo studio/house with a couple hundred Thai devotees. We watched as a slew of Mercedes and BMW's pulled up one after the other each letting out an elderly barefoot monk. The monks were escorted from their cars as a guy on a microphone announced who they were and what Wat they were from. The crowd would go silent in awe and drop to their knees with hands in prayer position as the monks made their way through the mob.

We all sat in white plastic chairs with white strings tied around our heads while a long ceremony with lots of chanting took place in a room somewhere out of sight upstairs. From the little English my driver spoke I was able to put together that this new amulet was intended to bring about good fortune for artists, actors, musicians, and creatives and that the monks were consecrating or "activating" the amulets with this ceremony. "Stoked" I thought "I could use one of those" and went to buy a few at the makeshift counter. Just as I was deciding between the big Oreo cookie lookin one and the little nilla wafer one I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to find a Thai news reporter and camera man with big smiles about two inches from my face pushing a microphone into my hands.

Then I gave a weak little thumbs up. They just stared at me mildly stunned as I handed them back the microphone.

After my weird and embarrassing Thai TV debut I nudged my way through the crowd to where the ceremony had taken place upstairs. The room was packed full of sweaty people vying for the cheaper more mass produced clay amulets that Arjan Noo was giving out by the handful. It was an amazing scene. There were heavily tattooed monks, famous Thai people I'd never heard of, screeching girls, and guys with unsettling eyes and strange smiles wearing ropes of amulets. Arjan Noo wore all white and moved around the room smiling but reserved as he gave out the small tsa tsa's to his fawning fans and disciples.

The sun had long since set and the crowd had begun to thin when I found my ever smiling cab driver. As we drove along the dark highways my driver said "Happy! Happy! Happy!" then looked at me with a big rotting toothed smile and asked "Happy?"

This exact same conversation then took place every 3 minutes of the 45 minute drive back to Bangkok.






Photogallery Arjan noo kanphai:


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