“It’s rare that an ordinary Thai person can be that big of a star on an international level. I like her because that is not because of luck. It’s because of her potential.”
Lisa successfully auditioned to join the K-pop company YG Entertainment in 2010. The next year, she moved to South Korea to begin her formal training, which lasted five years. When BLACKPINK debuted in August 2016, Lisa was the first non-ethnic Korean to debut under the agency.After she first moved to South Korea, Lisa still came to visit the school occasionally whenever she flew home, Ratchadaporn said. After the group blew up, however, they lost contact. As the idol’s life became less private, Ratchadaporn could only keep up with her former student through the news and media. “I wish I could tell her that the determination and perseverance she had ever since she was a child really paid off. I wish her to continue to find success doing what she loves,” she said. “Please don’t forget Thailand and us Thai people. But she won’t forget. Given the opportunity, she’ll always connect with her family and childhood friends.”Ratchadaporn said Lisa or, to her, Pock Pack, continues to inspire students at the school.
“She has always been a leader. She has always had that star quality.”
Some wish Lisa would use her popularity to engage in serious conversations about the political turmoil in Thailand, which began early last year. Pro-democracy supporters insisted that celebrities ought to be more vocal and support the youth-led political movement. But Ben said that while he understands the call for influential people to become more politically active, he also sees the risk in speaking out. In Thailand, anti-government statements can result in criminal charges. The Korean music industry is also known to be very strict in the way their artists are portrayed and represent themselves. “I’d say if she is ready to do it she’ll do it. If she’s not, we have to respect her decision,” Ben said.
“Just because the genre is called K-pop, doesn’t mean it’s exclusively for Korean people.”