We are proud to present the next exhibitor at Cajutan.
Christopher Ali Saheb-Ettaba
don´t ever ask him to tell a lie!
Saturday 28th September 3pm – 6.30pm.
15% discount on the whole food menu from midday.
Enjoy amazing art and lovely Swedish food at Cajutan!
Christopher Ali Saheb-Ettaba,
A great artist, fabulous cook, animals love him, but don’t ever ask him to tell a lie!
Ali loves hanging out with animals at his home on Bingo Beach, where he’s surrounded by love and nature.
Living right by the sea, along with his muse, Bingo the Magical Dog, and Tika the official instigator of mischief, Ali spends at least 10 hours a day drawing!
Ali’s visited daily by a domineering mynah bird named “6”, which he rescued as a baby, set her free, but she decided to stick around, keeping tabs on Ali and delivering baby chicks into his loving care.
A dragon Monitor Lizard named Charlie lives in the rocks by the sea, occasionally steals dog food or lies on the wall singing and sunbathing, till Bingo can’t take it anymore and chases him away!
There’s monkeys, squirrels, owls, pigeons, assorted rescue birds, and even rats.
Ali’s perceptions of social life and pecking order are what makes Ali’s drawings unique.
Ali captures the essence of the many different characters while observing their daily routines and interactions which he translates into his art.
Christopher Ali was born in Bangkok in 1988. His mother, a Japanese writer, and layout artist, his father, an American magician-comedian and performing artist.
Ali spent his early years growing up in a Safari Park outside of Bangkok. He lived next door to giraffes, monkeys, tigers, and many other animals in a remote section of the park.
Moving to Bangkok for a few years, then on to Kathmandu, Burma, Singapore, before returning to Thailand, which was a rich cultural experience for him to explore and develop.
He then moved to Southern California to attend high school.
During that year, Ali was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and declared a “functioning autistic”.
The school psychoanalyst concerned over Ali’s obsession for drawing decided to put Ali through a variety of tests, one of which, an experiment, with devastating results; she withheld Ali’s drawing privileges! Her arrogant incompetence affected Ali so much, that he completely changed, becoming withdrawn, miserable, moody and angry.
Instead of dealing with this issue, the psychoanalyst informed the parents that Ali couldn’t function in social situations or a normal school environment because of his inability to lie!
The parents, upset with the school’s failings, decided Ali should return to Asia and join his father in Shanghai.
It would be in Shanghai that Ali would meet his primary mentor, Antonio Sevilla!
Even as a small child, Ali would always express himself through his art, using Ectosketches, crayons, pencils, ink, or recycled materials building puppets, masks, and sculptures!
He loved Sesame Street, in particular, his favorite character was Oscar the Grouch which he’d draw literally on any surface he could find.
As he was growing up, his parents always knew just how high Ali could reach by the height of the murals he drew on the walls!
In 1994, when Ali was only 5 years old, Sesame Street Magazine Japan published Ali’s drawings of Oscar the Grouch.
For a school Halloween party he created an Oscar the Grouch costume complete with a trash can he could wear and walk around in.
When Ali was only 8 years old he worked with his father at the Bangkok Camillian Home for Children living with AIDS.
At the time, due to ignorance about this disease, and no cure in sight, bomb threats and attacks against the home were all too common! (In fact, there were two bomb attacks).
As his mother and father are well connected in the art world, Ali had many unique opportunities to study and learn from a variety of wonderful artists through his life.
Eddie Agelink, a very well respected and famous Dutch artist.
Hetty Maclise, one of the original artists for the Village Voice, creator at Velvet
Underground, part of Andy Warhol’s “Factory”, poster designer for the Filmore West, and painter of backdrops for theatre companies from Woodstock NY to Kathmandu Nepal.
Ann New, an important Chinese artist and caligrapher from Shanghai and San Francisco.
Antonio Sevilla, a modern artist from Spain, living in Shanghai doing big art projects at Xintiandi, became Ali’s tutor in the arts, teaching him to build props, puppets (including a puppet theatre) and updating his drawing, painting, sculpting techniques and skills.
Later Ali would become Antonio’s apprentice on a big theatre project in Shenzhen, putting together the storyboard for the theatre production “Elements”.
Growing up in a unique situation, and finally moving to Bingo Beach 12 years ago, Ali found his niche drawing the animal characters around him.
He identifies with animals, likewise, they understand and are attracted to him.
It’s not unusual to see a bird come and land on Ali’s shoulder while he’s drawing.
Ali’s also been commissioned to paint murals for quite a few people, including Christopher Moore. (The writer)
He’s also done drawings for celebrities and many wonderful friends around the globe.
Ali also loves cooking food and is an amazing chef, he’s met many top chefs who’ve also imparted knowledge and skills to Ali.
Another big part of Ali’s life is joining his father in the Magic Circus Charity shows and events. These include tours to hospitals, orphanages, refugee camps, and into the rural countryside where they perform magic, comedy, juggling, acrobatics, music, mime, bubbles and caricature drawings for children of all ages.
Ali has a magical life on Bingo Beach and he still doesn’t know how to lie!