This is the second edition of the Contemporary Thai Art series which was first exhibited at One East Asia Art Space in 2013. The theme for this edition seeks to provoke both men and women in this group of artists to create new works which engage with the female form as experienced from the Southeast Asian perspective.
Artists often use the female body to represent a marginalised/repressed state or life-giving/-affirming force. The term No Man’s Land is also loaded with meanings. It is first used in the military to label “an area between opposing armies, over which no control has been established”. Its meaning has now been expanded to describe “an indefinite or ambiguous area where guidelines and authority are not clear”. Therefore the female form referenced in the chosen theme is now activated as a space for contestation and of fluidity. Provocation starts when artists, through their artworks, turn away from normalised gender roles.
Krissadank Intasorn (Opal) is one of the artist you may not want to miss in this exhibition. This is the second year where Opal is shown in Singapore. He presents a brand new wood artwork solely for One East Asia. His paintings capture the point before a rupture of one’s latent desires and prurient thoughts, contained within the light of day by moral codes and cultural propriety but unleashed under the veil of the nocturnal through dreams, fantasies and art. Opal often sets focus on a bare-chested and adolescent beauty, seduced but also at risk of becoming a seducer, on the cusp of awakening to her sexuality and prowess as a self-determining woman and consummating in a frenzy of bodily and worldly pleasures. This tension is further accentuated by the artist’s deliberate appropriation of traditional Lanna style rendered on indigenous materials such as Sa (Mulberry) paper and wood panel.
Another artist who has returned this year to showcase her new artworks is Anchalee Arayapongpanit. She is the 1st Award winner at the 14th Panasonic Contemporary Painting Exhibition in 2012. Her paintings are often portraits of a young woman in her likeness who assumes a larger-than-life persona inspired and emboldened by youth and pop culture and social media. Striking a pose with large penetrative eyes and pouting lips, the lone figure in the portraits bears no shades of the gentle and submissive demeanour ascribed to Asian women in a patriarchic family or monarchic society. Yet in her heady bid for self-empowerment, she may have over-zealously taken on the façade of a foreign culture so much so that the liberated woman now looks like an anime character or a game avatar in the age of entertainment and cyberspace.
Other featured artists are Manit Srisuwan, Supparak Nopparat, Wilawan Saowang, Surapong Sudasna na Ayudhya, and Widsanupong Noonan. The artists hold an MFA in Painting from Silpakorn University in Bangkok. They are selected by Singapore curator Woho Weng.
Opening Night: Friday, 20 June 2014, 6.30 – 9.30pm, Curator’s Tour (TBC): 6 – 6.30pm
Talk with Curator/Writer & Drawing/Painting Workshop with Artists (TBC) Marking Boundaries: Saturday, 21 June 2014, 2 – 5pm
Exhibition: No Man’s Land
Dates: 6 – 27 June 2014
Venue: One East ArtSpace, 15 Scotts Road #05-08/09, Thong Teck Building