“I like my paintings to evolve with their owner,” says Onnalin, breaking the silence as we sit among a cloud of solitude that oozes out from the artful pieces studded throughout her art studio, perched on the 3rd floor of Seasons of Living building.

Onnalin “Onn” Lojanagosin is an artist and the managing director of SEASONS, Bangkok’s luxury home for fine art and furniture collections, and was truly in her element as we walked in for a one-on-one interview with her. As a descendant of the Lotus Bedding Group family, a bedding brand familiar to and prominent in almost every Thai household, Onnalin carries an air of tranquility and humbleness — the kind that cools you down especially from the blazing hot heat of a Wednesday afternoon.

Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Camberwell College of Arts and a Master in Fine Art from Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design, London, one could say her professional path in art was envisaged. Her artwork reflects deep in one’s own thoughts and interpretation. Many reflect melancholy, hopeful sorrow, longing, and unfinished thoughts – all mirrored in the daily feelings of a human. We got to sit down and chat with Onnalin. Read all about her insights about life, art, and so on.

Name: Onnalin “Onn” Lojanagosin

Neighbourhood: Ekkamai

Occupation: artist slash managing director of SEASONS

What stories are you telling through your art?

As an artist, I don’t like to tell; I like to suggest and not give it all away. I’d like my pictures to evolve with the owner, to continue to live and have a dialogue. Say you hang it in a house, you look at it over your lifetime and every day, it evolves with you. So I don’t usually have a set of stories that get told once and that’s it. But to answer the question: I have theme, feelings, and emotions for my work more than the literal story. My art usually conveys – I hope it does – a sense of mystery and melancholy. I cherish the open emotions because if you look at the painting, they have their own takes on the story and it’s different from one person to the other.

Who is your role model?

I don’t have just one person but I like the wits of Oscar Wilde. I like the dedication and solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe; the way she gave up her life to make art, the love she has for it, and having absolutely no fear of being lonely at old age. I think that’s something I look up to. Also, the wisdom of the Buddha, as well as my mother. I’d like to be as hard-working as her.

What is your life motto?

I think of the Buddhist teaching every time there’s a problem in life. His words are always concise and true. They never contradict themselves and it’s the truth about life and the world. I don’t think I know any better philosopher.

What was your first job?

I helped my mom when I was a kid — sewing things, folding boxes — and got paid or got fed for it. [laughs] They were afterschool activities. I also worked at a bar when I was in university. Those were my first jobs.

What is your drink of choice?

I enjoy good tea in the morning.

When was the last time you drove a car?

I drive every day.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Morning.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Such a sad question! One thing? I would pick Thai soup noodles. It’s something that brings me back back to my childhood and also such a comforting thing to have. Through my sad times, I’d have noodles and it’d just make me feel better.

What is your biggest regret in life?

My biggest regret is the regret that I’m still regretting [laughs].

What do you hate most about living in Bangkok?

The energy, you know, being on the road, and pollution. I’m not much of a city person. It’s just the rush to get somewhere and the materialistic aspects of people in big cities.

How often do you prepare your own meals?

I try to do it if I have time. But yeah, not so much anymore. There are just so many good choices for food out there.

What is your greatest fear?

I have a fear of dying without being prepared, like an accident, or sudden death. Because you don’t get to say goodbye or leave the body in the greatest way. Not having a chance to talk to my loved ones, I think I fear of that more than the pain itself.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Overeating. It’s a pleasure for two minutes then you feel the guilt right afterward.

What is one TV show everyone should see?

I don’t really watch TV, I never really did when growing up. But I do have a few TV series I like, for example, Twin Peaks, The Handmaid’s Tale and Black Mirror.

What is your typical Sunday like?

I don’t really have a Sunday. I work every day, but then in the evening, it’s family dinner. I do like Bangkok on Sunday though. It’s downtime that makes you feel like you can finally rest a bit.

Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?

None, really. I wouldn’t like to relive anything. Because if you think about it, if you could relive one moment again, it could be disappointing. You do it over and over and it could even get boring.

What makes someone a real Bangkokian?    

The way they drive, maybe. [laughs] From the attitude on the road, you can tell if someone is foreign or Bangkokian.

What is one song you know all the lyrics to?

I don’t really listen to songs with lyrics. I prefer to work more with classical music playing in the background.

If you could banish someone from Bangkok forever, who would it be?

I prefer not to answer.

Where do you go when you want to be alone?

Here, in my studio! Nobody ever really comes in here. It’s my world. I don’t usually let people in if I don’t know them.

What is one thing you’ve never revealed to your parents?

I prefer not to answer.

What is your favourite scent in the whole world?

I like the smell of the forest after it rains.

Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, and what is one important lesson they taught you?

My life experiences would be my greatest teacher. Learning from one own’s mistakes is probably the best way to learn because you can read a thousand books and it will never be the same as the experience itself.

Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life?

Be alone for the rest of my life. That was actually quite an easy question. Can you imagine not being alone for a moment? That would be real torture.

What is the last dream you remember waking up to?

The last time I dreamt was this morning. I dreamt that someone told me that my toothpaste had fish fat in it and I shouldn’t use it. In the dream, I was contemplating on buying this brand and the colour was slightly pinkish – like trout. That was one random dream.

How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear the most often?

I used to own a lot of high heels but then I gave them all away. I don’t ever wear them anymore. The only shoes I wear these days are flats and I probably have more or less ten pairs.

What was the best moment of your life?

I like simple pleasures. I don’t remember big grand events ever making me happy, not even holidays. I like those simple moments like having a really good drink, or when someone makes you really good coffee, or when you read a very good book, or go for a good walk. Just simple sensory pleasures of everyday life, nothing grand. It’s really more like day to day experience.

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.