Imagine walking into one of Tim Burton’s animated films. Add a bit of fairy tale and mix the result with the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee. This sums up the experience of entering the hidden world of Moka.
Moka, also known as Peenida Sunthornrat, combines her art gallery with a cozy coffee shop on one of the busiest streets in Bangkok. Due to its small size, the place is easily overlooked. A shame, as it has the best coffee in the area topped off with Moka’s unique pop surrealistic art.
The central figure in Moka’s art is a chubby little girl called Modaka. She was created with the intention to communicate with people on behalf of Moka to inspire and motivate them to discover the greatness that lives inside of them. “Modaka is a little girl who has a hidden message in every action. She is a storyteller and has her own way of telling and sharing her insights. She presents my inner self and my perspective on the world and people”, Moka says.
Modaka’s facial expressions never change, leaving her audience with no clue of what she has in mind. She tends to conceal and repress her feelings. Her eyes resemble those of the many Buddha statues found in Thailand. They symbolize peace, harmony, wisdom, and modesty. Her voluptuous body was inspired by the Venus of Willendorf, a symbol of beauty, fertility, and motherhood. Her hands and feet are insignificantly tiny, which portrays the idea of letting things go.
The essence of her work is to show faith. She believes that there is goodness hidden among all the evil. Moka aims to encourage her audience to follow that light in order to seek a way out.
“I got inspired at first by the bedtime stories from my childhood. When I was young, I was fascinated by the characters, the animals, the trees, or even the flowers I saw in those stories. Now that I have become an artist, all my fantasies have become symbols in my work. And, as much as those fairytales have influenced me, my inspiration also derives from people I meet in day-to-day life”.
Those people, she meets in her coffee shop.
92 Thanon Rambuttri