Manit Sriwanichpoom, ‘Blue #7’, 2013, Opiom Gallery

“The male and female nudes twist themselves into unnatural poses; their naked flesh saturated with the colour blue robs them of their sexual nature and identity so that they seem androgynous. They are like tormented souls in the midst of conflicting forces. They twist and contort themselves into impossible knots, finding no way out.

“Blue is one of the colours in the Thai flag, a flag for a nation increasingly split. At the same time, blue in itself is a noble colour, transcending all social sickness and political violence.”

In direct contrast, Manit introduces three red nudes into the mix, each nude woman shown in multipility in the moment of sexual arousal. Confrontational and printed in the negative, they challenge the viewer while offering consent and sexual surrender. It is not just the colour red that sets them apart from the blue nudes around them, but the special effects employed in their creation—the double exposure and negative printing--that render them strange.

About Manit Sriwanichpoom

Manit Sriwanichpoom could be considered a political activist who uses photography and video to express his views. In 1998, Sriwanichpoom created his Pink Man, which would become the iconic figure in his artwork. Played by the artist’s friend and poet Sompong Thawee, the Pink Man is a character dressed in a pink silk suit with matching pink objects, like shopping carts or balloons, who looks equally impassively at the touristic monuments of Bangkok and scenes of public violence in Sriwanichpoom’s staged images. Sriwanichpoom also produced a series of six works titled “This Bloodless War” (1997) that re-create iconic photojournalistic images from the Vietnam War and the bombing of Nagasaki in Japan. One work in the series is based on Nit Ut’s infamous 1972 photograph of a girl fleeing a napalm attack, recast with contemporary figures carrying brand name shopping bags.

Thai, b. 1961, Bangkok, Thailand