Get to know the art
In Thailand, these large, gigantic figures are scattered all across many Buddhist related spots in the city and all around the country. The stand with thei fangs stood out, distinct facial expressions and widening eyes. These creatures are known as Yaksha, a character in Buddhist mythology. They are known to be guardian warriors who keep each locations they are placed in front of away from the evil spirits – they are protective figures who are highly respected amongst Buddhist followers. Temples in Thailand are commonly know to have these statues in front of the area – the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning the Yaksha statue would be the figure that stands among the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok: biggest airport in the country. They signify good luck and is representational of a ‘safe travels’ for the travellers attending their flights. The figures at Suvarnabhumi are replicas of the most popular Yaksha statue in Thailand, which stands at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaeo. Shortly called ‘Yak’ among Thai people, they’ve started making appearances in local children’s book, thus normalizing the creature as part of the country’s rich culture.
Phesuchkorn, the founder of Thai Together had sculpted the yak, based on his fond memories in the temple. As a frequent visitor, he came up with the idea to present the statue to represent a different angle of Thai culture. Adding this concept to these figures enables the Yak to resonate better with a younger audience because of the modern aesthetic of the toy. Apart from this, the founder hopes that the Hayakay will soon become a cartoon that many are familiar with, just like how the Yak became a common figure amongst Thai children nationally.