Street artists colour up our utilitarian city junction boxes

Street artists work with EGAT to spray paint junction boxes

By | Fri 19 Feb 2021

If you are observant you may have noticed that the junction electricity boxes along Tha Pae road have been prettied up in recent days.

Colourful, fun, creative and uplifting works of art have been spray painted on many of these junction boxes by local artist Nat Denduang, 36 and a group of his friends.

We hunted down Nat, after photos of his prettied-up junction boxes started to go viral. Naturally while many on social media admired the creative art pieces, there were some who were concerned at the legality of it. Nat, however, explained that he had requested permission to work on these boxes three years ago. It has taken that long for permission to come through from Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

Feedback from the public has been positive, with many saying that these artful boxes brightened up their dark days.

“Graffiti and street artists like to leave their mark,” said Nat, who has lived in Chiang Mai for 15 years. “Often when they travel they leave their tags on utility boxes and other public spaces such as phone boxes, often times making them look messy and upsetting local people. I wanted to go one step further and leave something beautiful which the public can enjoy and perhaps change their perspective of street art. To all of those who are worried that we broke the law, don’t. We have permission from the authorities.”

Nat said that his style is pop art, but where he could he also added elements of Chiang Mai such as some Lisu textile patterns since this is a tourism city and it was important to acknowledge the local culture.

So far he has worked on 21 boxes in the Tha Pae/Nawarat area.

“We have worked closely with EGAT authorities on every piece, some of which took hours while others took days to complete,” added Nat.

“The feedback has been as expected, there are fans and there are those who think that this is too modern. I understand and just hope that this project will open some minds to new ideas. When I create I am aware of the environment each piece is in.”