Helping the Healing Back Home

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Q Pop owner Maleerat Panteepo shows a drawing from artist Nagi Koyama that will be among the works available in their Thai flooding relief auction on Saturday. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

Maleerat Panteepo sat in her art store in Little Tokyo, day after day, watching over the Internet the effects of the recent flooding in her native Thailand. The feelings of helplessness grew to the point where she simply had to take action.

The Saturday, Q Pop, the shop she owns and operates with partner Christopher Mitchell, will hold a silent auction of one-of-a-kind artwork at their Weller Court location. Bidding begins at 7 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m.

Proceeds from the auction will go to relief agencies that are struggling to assist the victims of the Thai floods, the cost of which is in the billions of dollars — and thousands of lives.

“We wanted to help, even if just a little,” Panteepo said Wednesday. “The government is doing what it can, but there are so many people who need help.”

She has felt the pain of the disaster first-hand. Her parents’ home in Bangkok has been rendered unlivable by the mold and mildew left behind. It’s a very difficult situation for her father, who is recovering from a recent stroke.

And Panteepo’s family are among the more fortunate residents who have been affected. Thousands have been left homeless and without food, and there have even been reports of snakes and crocodiles attacking people who attempt to wade through the murky flood waters.

“It seems that there hasn’t been much focus on the news here about what’s happening in Thailand,” Panteepo said, “So we hope we can raise some awareness and help people there and in nearby countries that have also been affected.”

Artists whose work will be featured in the auction include Junko Mizuno, Elizabeth Ito, Kevin Dart, Stef Choi, Tim Biskup, Amanda Visell, Nagi Koyama, Sunny Apinchapong, Jeff Ranjo, Josie and Steve Stevens, Lauren Faust, and even 1980s pop icon Billy Idol. Q Pop is located at 128 Onizuka St. in Little Tokyo. Call (213) 629-7767 or visit www.qpopshop.com

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