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photos by Jai

Jai's Profile

“Jai” immortalizes her village and its inhabitants from the heart.
Interview by Kristin Matthyssen,- Gazet van Antwerpen.

During the last years, those who attended an event in Pulderbos, have surely noticed her.
The Thai “Jai Phuwongsa” (37), with two photo cameras on the shoulder inconspicuously and in modest ways, moves among the public to perpetuate the most beautiful moments.
Pulderbos has his own house photographer.
Jai Phuwongsa lives already 9 years at the “molenheide”. Her passion is photography and film. In her home country she followed courses and since then regulary updates to learn more, also from photographer and friend of the family Sergë Mans - http://www.mserge.net/.
Since two years she has been covering as “Kuifje” the events which happen locally in her Flemish village, from the “Ploughing day (Ploegendag) to the performing of the local rock band “Crumb”. She even made photograph reportages “street by street” in Pulderbos.
Her pictures confirm much eye for detail, sphere and environment, by which she also perpetuates the inhabitants. Purely out of passion and for the hobby, laughs Jai.
“Jai”, in Thai, literally means “heart” tells Ronny Engelen, her life companion. She really does everything inspired from her good heart. The photograph reportages appear on the Internet site www.ofmillmoor.be. The website name is called after the Yorkshire Terrier Kennels which, during many years, was conducted by Ronny & Maria Engelen, at the molenheide.
‘of Millmoor & my Precious” Kennels have a palmares of more then 20 World Champions and its reputation still enjoys fame among the Yorkshire terrier breeders and has a profile of world eminence.
“I’m still coaching a Yorkshire Terrier team, of which the owner is a Thai Lady and the handler (the man who presents the dogs on shows) a Parisian / http://www.hunderwood.net, tells Ronny. In this way as a result from my past as breeder. We still tour the world to dogshows, and Jai is our fixed team photographer on those exhibitions.
Her photographs appear in the Yorky Club Magazine - Italy / http://www.sweetyblue.com, Our dogs - England, Hot Dog – Russia, in dogs journals and specialized Internet sites worldwide. Recently, this year our team won a car, as Best in Show in Moscow and soon we will be travelling to Romania to participate at the “Dracula Dog Show”. 
Jai promotes her village to far over the borders, because also, as in Thailand the ofmillmoor website site is visited worldwide.
“I live here already since the sixties, but by busy occupations I didn’t have the possibilities to take part in the local activities, tells Ronny. However I have loved, enormously my village Pulderbos. It is here, heaven for me. Now that we get more free time, we apply to follow up the rural events. It is joy to notice that I have passed on the keenness for Pulderbos to Jai.
It was Louis Lenaerts, deputy mayor, who noticed Jai at work on the “Pulderbos Veeprijskamp / Cattle Show” and invited her to cover the coming “Pulderbos Molenfeesten” (the yearly held Mill Festival) photographically the following month also.
Jai gladly agreed upon the invitation and did it with full engagement.
Later a photograph show was held in the municipality room of Pulderbos.
What does Jai considers as the most attractive in her village?
“The wind mill”, she answers without any hesitation. That does not exist in Thailand. Our kennel name and the name of the Internet site are not occasional called “ofMillmoor”, because it is the English translation “van de Molenheide”. The Internet site does not contain exclusively reportages concerning Pulderbos. At present there is running a reportage about Kasterlee and Jai also made photograph reportages at Sint-Anneke, the Sinksenfoor and about her travelling worldwide: Japan-Nagoya, USA-New York, Spain-Jerez de la Frontiera - Talavera De La Reina - Torra Del Mar, Hungaria-Budapest - Debrecin, Roemania-Oradea - Tirga Mures - Sighisoara, Germany-Heidelberg, France-Paris - Orleans - Deauville - Honfleur - Montluçon - Pont de Maillie - Macon Giverny (Monet's Gardens) - Metz and a further list too long to mention all with of course also Thailand.
“Phar Lap”.
Jai’s inseparable little companion friend is the Yorkshire Terrier “Phar Lap”, named after the famous Australian race horse.
How do the inhabitants react?
During the village “street by street” reportages most of the people cooperated in friendly ways, however, with some you feel a hesitation. It is a manner to get to know each other. That Jai knows to put humour in her work, proves by her recent photograph which she took this week. Jai photographed a suggestively formed tomato, more specifically one with a little ... (see illustration in Gallery 22 Jai's Garden). Fresh harvest from my own vegetable garden, Jai smiles. Such wonder of nature asks simply be photographed.
Article appeared in Gazet of Antwerpen / Sept.10,2009 - Kristin Matthyssen.


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