คนText (‘KhonText’) is a Q+A series by Uracha Chaiyapinunt. คนText sheds light on the lives of familiar local faces, providing you with more context on the individuals behind the accomplishments.
Bookstore owner, art advisor, cataloguer, panelist, event organizer, Bangkok documentarian. Shane Suvikapakornkul is one of the most recognizable names in our city’s cultural scene. If you’ve ever visited Open House’s bookshop at Central Embassy or the new Central: The Original Store on Charoenkrung, you’ve probably seen Shane sitting on the side typing away on his laptop, reading a book or touring curious customers around his territory. Shane first started his career in Chicago, working in publishing for more than 20 years before moving back and making a mark on his own hometown. Today, his business Serindia Enterprises has grown to include Hardcover: The Art Book Shop, and the more recently opened The Kolophon Library and Research Services.
If you ask Shane to walk you through how he developed his love for books, art, design and culture, he would tell you that it’s always been there since his early years. Growing up, he wanted to be a Chinese calligrapher; this fascination led him to other passions, including language, books, graphics and antiquities. With his current projects, he hopes to be able to share some of his interests with the rest of the city: both the Hardcover store and The Kolophon offer an eclectic selection of books, including vintage, rare and out-of-print finds.
We chat with Shane to discover more about life outside of work. Read on for insights on his day to day and recent pleasures in the first installment of the คนText Q+A series.
Check to-do list, appointments, and clear the morning ‘deadlines.’ Reply to messages from other continents if I hadn’t done so the previous night.
Never leave home without?
If you’re not at work, we can find you at…?
The problem is I’m always at work! At Open House, The Kolophon, or I’m with my regular masseur.
Books’ place in the digital world?
It is a human duty to keep print culture alive. Books will continue to be essential because nothing can replace the deep comprehension of reading on paper.
New neighborhood explorations and visiting local eateries I’ve never been to before. I was born a Thonburi boy, yet there are many neighborhoods I don’t really know. The expanse from Rama I Bridge, Wongwian Yai, Talad Plu, southward to Dao Kanong, Chom Thong, and Phasi Charoen are all still fascinating to me.
One hobby you have and one you’d like to pick up?
Photography, as an amateur iPhone user. A soon-to-be hobby is the practice of Daoism.
A place you’d recommend?
Dunhuang Caves in Gansu province, China. I was there in 2015 to explore the birthplace of the word ‘Serindia,’ which is an ancient library and a Buddhist pilgrimage route. The desert was peaceful.
Dreams for your industry?
Print and digital to co-exist as if from the same DNA structure.
Book that changed your life?
“The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art.” It’s about a functional aspect of Buddhist art and the thoughts behind its use.
Dream dinner party guests?
Bruce Chatwin and friends.
Who should we be following on Instagram?
@foozman. Burton Booz is my artist friend’s son who I’ve known since he was little and had the chance to watch grow up. Now he’s an accomplished artist in graphic design and illustrations. His animation work was recently published in a New York Times article on driverless cars.
Sonny’s home restaurant.
Most used app on your phone?
Clubhouse took over as the most used a few weeks ago.
Bangkok! You cannot understate its diversity, and it’s a culinary capital.
Writer: Uracha Chaiyapinunt
After graduating from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, Uracha Chaiyapinunt moved home and started working full-time at one of Thailand’s leading luxury furniture retailers. Her time in Asia and America has instilled in her a love for road trips, national parks, unique travel experiences and the Dodgers. She has been featured in Eater LA, Travel + Leisure Asia, Cape + Kantary Magazine and more. When not at her 9-to-6, you can find her googling conspiracy theories late into the night. Follow her on Instagram: @urachac.