Sundaram Tagore Gallery brings together emerging and established artists from Thailand and Singapore in Anthropos New York. Photography, painting, sculpture, video and mixed-media installations by twelve artists exploring the human condition will be on view. Curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, Anthropos New York offers insight into the social, political and religious dynamics artists are confronting in these two diverse cultures.
This large-scale exhibition, on view concurrently at the gallery’s Chelsea and Madison Avenue locations, offers a rare opportunity to see work by some of Southeast Asia’s most innovative artists.
From Thailand: Chatchai Puipia, Chusak Srikwan, Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Kamolpan Chotvichai, Nino Sarabutra, Piyatat Hemmatat and Tawan Wattuya.
From Singapore: Ho Tzu Nyen, Jason Wee, Jeremy Sharma, John Clang and Lavender Chang.
About the artists:
Chatchai Puipia, one of Thailand’s most prominent and influential artists, unveils a new series of large self-portraits. The reclusive painter’s last solo exhibition was in 2011 in conjunction with the release of his monograph Chatchai Is Dead. If Not He Should Be.
Chusak Srikwan’s work focuses on traditional Thai nang yai puppets, which have been essential instruments of performance and visual art for centuries. Srikwan carves light-and-shadow figures from cowhide, a practice he learned from his grandfather, a master of the craft-based art.
Ho Tzu Nyen, who was featured in the Guggenheim show No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, makes films, videos and stages live performances related to historical and philosophical texts and artifacts. Ho is one of Singapore’s most prominent artists.
Dividing his time between Singapore and New York, writer and artist Jason Wee traces the arc of changing histories and spaces, transforming these changes into visual and written materials. Wee is the founder of Grey Projects, Singapore, an alternative art space that focuses on emerging practices and censorship.
Jeremy Sharma works primarily as a painter, but his body of work includes video, photography, drawing and installation. His practice investigates the concept of art as a reflection of a conscious life in the age of mechanical, industrial and digital reproduction and interconnectivity.
John Clang’s work focuses on time, displacement and human existence. His photography examines and raises questions about the world he lives in, offering not pictorial documentation, but an intimate reflection of his mind.
Throughout his career, Kamin Lertchaiprasert has worked in a variety of media, including painting, prints, sculpture and installation. Lertchaiprasert’s primary concern is the expression of the Buddhist philosophy that life and art are one. Lertchaiprasert is one of the most important Thai artists working today; his art is in major institutional collections including the Guggenheim’s.
Informed by the Buddhist teachings of anatta (no self), Kamolpan Chotvichai challenges the limitations of materials in her artwork through the use of simple tools and techniques, such as cutting, which she uses to dissolve her own image printed on canvas.
Lavender Chang’s conceptual photography is a reflection of her sensitivity toward the physical and psychological human experiences surrounding her. She focuses these subtle experiences to create images that invite further contemplation, suggesting the passage of time, intimacy and morality.
Nino Sarabutra explores the human condition with her installation What Will You Leave Behind? Covering the exhibition floor with thousands of palm-sized porcelain skulls, Sarabutra encourages viewers to walk across the carpet of skulls while contemplating life and death.
Fascinated with the Rorschach test since youth, Piyatat Hemmatat applies the same technique in his photographic essay Titans, mirroring shots of nature he’s captured in his travels, revealing surprising and powerful likenesses to human anatomy.
The sublime watercolors of Tawan Wattuya explore the cultural contradiction in Thai society, which on one hand praises social respectability, yet on the other coexists with the socially unacceptable—specifically the internationally patronized sex trade, which is rarely discussed openly.
A catalogue accompanies Anthropos New York. It includes essays by the curator; Professor Nikos Papastergiadis of the University of Melbourne, author of Cosmopolitanism and Culture (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012); and Professor Maurizio Peleggi of the National University of Singapore, editor of The Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.
About the Curator
Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani holds a master’s degree in Asian Art Histories and is a lecturer in the Singapore LASALLE-Goldsmiths Fine Arts Programme. She writes for academic journals, art magazines and symposium publications, and works as an independent curator for commercial and institutional organizations in Singapore, Bangkok, New York and London, improving the visibility of young and emerging artists from Southeast Asia. Her academic and curatorial focus is the contemporary art of Thailand.
About the Gallery
Established in New York City in 2000, Sundaram Tagore Gallery is devoted to examining the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western cultures. With spaces in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York City, we focus on mounting exhibitions and hosting not-for-profit events that encourage spiritual, social and aesthetic dialogues. With alliances across the globe, our interest in cross-cultural exchange extends beyond the visual arts into many other disciplines, including poetry, literature, performance art, film and music.