When you’re a digger, you have a sixth sense for goodness, even when it’s completely rusted and hidden under a pile of neglected artefacts. You can sniff out a good deal from a mile away, just by decoding a scene with your methodical mind, and you have a sentimental place in your heart for old things, because these things have worn the weight of time on their shoulders as well as experienced the hand of many owners and breathed the air of many spaces. Old things carry a History with them. They tell us what their owner’s habits were, the circumstances of their time, and perhaps even subtly remind us important values from the past. Diggers are a special type of people to say the least, and being one myself, I find it easy to connect with others who share this passion.
Vudi Somboonkulavudi is one of these special people. An understated man of great taste, I think Vudi goes above and beyond when it comes to sharing goodness to the world. He is the man of mystery behind (to me) Bangkok’s most sophisticated vintage flea market, Made By Legacy, that brings together the most spirited of Thai diggers for a weekend of nerding out on indigo, leather, old denim, textiles, military watches, and antique furniture, with good food and drink to cushion the long days’ duty.
When you come to this wonderfully curated flea, you will understand why Bangkok attracts vintage buyers from all over the world. We have some really good stuff here! I have come to understand that aside from incredible century-old, priceless South East Asian textiles that turn up in rural markets around Thailand, a lot of charity clothing from the West end up on our doorstep. So what do Thai diggers do? They pick the most in-trend or special pieces to sell. The smart hustle. I always feel blessed to have all this at my fingertips over here.
Made By Legacy shares the same character of great flea markets around the world, a delicious kind of organised chaos that has a charged energy of goodness in the air. Being the forth instalment of this biannual event, Vudi has managed to expand from 28 vendors (from the very first) to 120 this year. That’s a lot of people to deal with. Coordinating and organising this many people seems to me like the most daunting of tasks, but Vudi takes it on the chin in the most chilled fashion. I respect him muchly for that. Executing this labour of love, without the stress of such a monstrous responsibility get in the way, is something that doesn’t happen often. This also translates into the overall feel and flow of the event. It’s like an overgrown car boot sale, or backyard barbecue – but instead of hot dogs and donuts there’s Banh Mi and salabao (Chinese style steamed buns filled with goodies).
I look forward to this goodness in tangible, tasty, and audible form (yes there is always great music too). I’m scrambling to nail my food and stall presentation to pass MBL’s punctilious stall standards, but if what I mentioned above sounds like your cup of tea, I urge you to attend one before you die. Like most good things, it’s only getting better and better.
Q/ Describe WHAT YOU DO as if you were talking to a five-year-old.
I do Theme Park for old people.
Q/ Tell us how you slipped into VINTAGE.
Always love going to all flea markets digging for some cheap clothes, and making more friends, then I realised that is what I love about VINTAGE. [Simple as that. You said it Vudi.]
Q/ What did you have for BREAKFAST this morning / What do you wish you had for BREAKFAST this morning?
I had typical thai beef in broth with some vegetables and a bowl of rice on the side. Actually, I wish I had eggs & bacon.
Q/ What does the word GOODNESS mean to you?
Peace of mine / mind
Q/ Draw us a picture of VUDI STYLE.
[He leaves this one ’til last and laughingly tells me that he can’t draw. He then sketches a pretty great caricature of himself wearing an overcoat, pants, boots, round sunglasses, and a bow tie, with one hand in his jacket pocket and the other causally out. This is pretty bang on if I think of Vudi.]
Q/ What is a typical SUNDAY in your world?
Solitary outside the room (means going by myself)
Q/ What’s always in your POCKET?
my pocket notebooks.
Q/ What was the last thing you GOOGLED?
5-ft Rectangle folding table (for my vendors)
Q/ Who’s IG account distracts you MUCHLY?
Made By Legacy 4
19-20 July, 2014
at Studio 61, Bangkok