I wanted to paint a picture of my sister and I going off to work, as you can see we are well protected against the sun. Working on a rice farm is hot fierce work, there is no shade, if your very lucky you may have a little breeze.
I always worked in the rice fields with my sister who is 13 years older then me and more like my Mom then a sister. As you can see we are carrying everything we need for the days work, in the red can over my sisters shoulder is our water, you can see its in an old oil can which was well washed out and very useful for water carrying. The water would be hot enough to make tea or coffee with but not great for drinking (which is now probably why I like my water ice cold). My sister is also carrying our food which is in those round tins, each different compartment would have a different menu but at least 2 would be rice. I’m carrying a back hoe used for digging and everything else in the fields.
We would wrap our faces in our scarfs, make sure our arms were covered with sleeves and big hats to give us shade, the plastic boots which were to help guard against snakes. While planting in rice the fields, the fields would be full of snakes and not at all friendly.
My sister always looked after me, now she’s a Nun in a temple in Nakhon Sawan has been there for over 6 years now, she looks after the Head Monk and his Mom, always liked looking after people my sister.
I wanted to give a sense of the fierce heat and stillness of working in those fields its difficult to describe but I tried to convey the heat and harsh working conditions, try leaving a bottle of water out in the sun all day then try and drink it.
It still goes on today not far from me is a small rice farm where everything is done by hand, I sometimes sit and watch them at work and my heart goes out to them.
gesso and oil