Tanin Tumth is the man behind ‘Ministry of Kongz’, a Thai art-toy company producing figures that echo the classic kaiju monsters of Japan, but imbued with the spirit, culture and mythology of Thailand.
‘Ministry of Kongz’ originally released their art in resin, but have recuntly begun producing their art in vinyl, namely the Kruzzilla + the recently released Yakonimonz.
(Picture below of the ‘Ministry of Kongz’ Yakonimonz art toy)
Get to know ‘Minsty of Kongz’ and Tanin Tumth in the interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Tanin Tumth – July 6th, 1977
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
Born and Educated in Khon Kaen, a Province in North Eastern of Thailand.
Now Living and Working in Bangkok, Thailand.
(Picture below of Tanin and some toys)
Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Tumth’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pubes:
Japanese Anime, Thai Horror TV Movies and bootleg RUBBER figures are my LIFE
* age 15 – pube rage:
Thai Comic Books, Japanese Manga, Japanese Anime and Horror Movies are my LIFE
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
Mess with Architecture study in the Khon Kaen University, tried to be a great architect like Tadao Ando or Frank Gehry, but the Financial Crisis kicked me to Graphic-Design and Documentary-Production Employee. And now making toys too.
“I see dead people. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.”
from The Sixth Sense Movie
The Verve, BodySlam(Thai rock band) and The Tokyo Ska Paradise.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Walking Dead, 24, Tokyo Tower, and some of Japanese Anime.
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
Football – Tottenham HotSpurs
The Sixth Sense, Kwaidan(1964), Akira (1988) and some of Horror Movies.
(Picture below of the Popokong resin figure by M.O.K)
Favorite books and comics?
“Dr. Slump” by Toriyama Akira, “Akira” by Katsuhiro Otomo, and “Attack on Titan” by the Talent Hajime Isayama , etc..
Thailand has such a wonderful and unique culture…
– what are the best aspects of Thai culture, in your opinion?
The faith of KARMA is in the spirits of many peoples. It’s better than LAW.
– what are the worst aspects of Thai culture, in your opinion?
So many long weekend and the violent from the angry people, may be this country is too HOT.
Specifics on Art
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
I think my toys are “CRAFT”, standing between Art, Belief and Rubbish. Up to you guys to considered.
(Picture below of the Kobzilla resin figure, by M.O.K)
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, sculpture, anything)?
When I study Architecture since 1995 , making some painting and models in class. 🙂
For the Art Toy, I started to design and sculpt them since 3 years ago, trying to build the new Cultural-KONG Toys for myself.
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
3 Years ago on the mid-night in Bangkok Night Market, seeking for some King Kong toys and thinking to build for myself
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
About 8 years ago I travel to Japan and saw many arttoys and Kaiju at the shops, the temples, and around the train stations.
Why the name ‘Ministry of Kongz’?
To build the CULTURAL TOYs, the craft that inspired by the greatness of King Kong, the greatness of Japanese Kaiju Toys and The beauty of Thai Mythical Creatures.
I think the toy is the culture, you can believing in.
(Picture below of one of the many M.O.K logos)
The Monster Toys from Bangkok.
Inspired by Thai Mythical Creatures and Japanese Kaiju Monsters.
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
So many…, Some of Japanese Sofubi Brands : Medicom , Bullmarks, Marusan, BEMON, RxH, MVH, GUUMON, Mark Nagata, Blobpus, Tooru Abe… and the young talent of “MECHAVIRUS” and “TOPHEROY“. Etc…
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Most people in Thailand thinking that the toy is for the kid!
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
The Indy toy-makers and new artists are going pop! Thanks to the Social-Networks and WI-FI that bring me the new friends!
Toy + Art Toy Questions
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
I love to do toys, and I don’t think about art scene. I just want to make the new little statues that you believing in and everyone could enjoy with, just the Great Moments for me.
Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)
I think COSMO KNIGHT ALPHA’s “YUSEI MAJINN” is the great toy, and “YAKONIMONZ” is my best WORK!
(Picture below of the clay prototype for an upcoming Kobzilla vinyl by M.O.K)
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter-Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
Luckily that my girlfriend is understand to me, she got well educated.
And some of my friends (both in Thailand and Foreign) are loving my toys, they support me to making new things, Thanks to them.
Your original art-toys – released under the brand Kobzilla Toys – were resin. Why the decision to move into vinyl releases for the recent ‘Ministry of Kongz’ figures – Kruzzilla, Kobzilla and Yakonimonz?
The resins are expensive, heavy, and the smell making problems to my girlfriend, so I choose Vinyl.
What are your thoughts of the toy forum scene as a way for fans and artists to communicate? Is it a real ‘community’ or just a virtual locker-room shit talk? I ask as we are both members of Skullbrain…
I hope that’s a community, to share some good ideas. But Sometime some shit is good, and some good is shit! That’s the world, we living in between Heaven and Hell.
Tanin Tumth Art Questions
Describe the method of making a typical Tumth/‘Ministry of Kong’ piece – from initial idea, through to sketches, the sculpt, and the final piece? (dot point all o.k.)
Share the Ideas to my Girlfriend and closer friends
Making a Foil doll
Sculpt the clay (mostly paper-clay) cover the foil doll
Spray paint cover
Go to the factory to do the Wax
Testing vinyl samples
Do the packaging and prints
Sell them or send someone to paint.
(Picture below of the original sculpt of the Yakonimonz art toy by M.O.K)
Are all your works by made by yourself? If you use collaborators; whom and in what capacity?
Yes I did them by myself.
Do you use digital technology in your work at all? If so how, and what has it added to your practice?
NOT at all, no digital tech in my work.
What was it like working with the damn talented Alexis Ziritt on the header for the Kruzzilla figure?
That’s great ART-DESIGN, his lines and proportions were great, he’s the COMIC-MAN.
(Picture below of the header for the Kruzzilla figure, by Alexis Ziritt)
What was it like working with Ramsey ‘Raz’ Sibaja for the headers for the Yakonimonz header?
That’s great too. Love his Scary-Style!
(Picture below of a pile of headers for the Yakonimonz figure, with art by Ramzey ‘Raz’ Sibaja)
Does your self-directed work all exist in its own ‘universe’? (Yes; I am basically asking if you see your characters all interacting in your head.) IF so, what do they get up to?
My toys, I think they told me to gave birth to them. When I sculpt I think someone behind me whispered the way I had to do with the toys, they choose their own life, like creatures, mythical spirits. So I try to do my best to gave birth to them, and send them wide.
By my attitude, I so belief in the toys. That they can bring us to the Childhood, Purified and Brightened our minds, make our life longer!
(Picture below of a painted Kruzzilla by M.O.K)
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Now with Angella Powell, a talent artist from Canada . She WIP my 5 Kruzzilla in to the Ravens. And TOPHEROY’s colors for my new YAKONIMONZ! ….and some of artists if they could!
Any major projects you want to hype man?
I want to travel to Japan next year. Going to Cosmo Knight Alpha’s shop. And show and sell some toys at Wonder Festival, if I can!
- Ministry of Kongz – Website
- Ministry of Kongz – Online Store
- Ministry of Kongz – Faceboook
- Ministry of Kongz – Instagram