Sundaram Tagore Gallery and curator Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani present an exhibition of work by six influential Thai artists examining divergent notions of present-day Thailand, a country experiencing great social and political uncertainties under military rule since 2014.
Through painting, sculpture, collage and works on paper, the artists explore themes of duality and
alternative possibilities from both personal and collective narratives.
As a result of the current social and political shifts rippling across the world—from the rise of nationalist
movements in the West, to extremist factions on a global scale—we are confronted by a ceaseless flow of
news and information that demands not only our attention, but a consensus of opinion formed from a deluge of contradictory positions. Reflecting on this notion of alternative choices, curator Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani invited Thai artists Tawatchai Puntusawasdi, Thasnai Sethaseree, Mit Jai Inn, Angkrit
Ajchariyasophon, Tawan Wattuya and Sanitas Pradittasnee to examine the tension that arises from
opposing views within their own society and beyond, while also considering alternative possibilities—the
proverbial “other side of the coin.”
The work in this exhibition embodies a dualistic perception of reality, but varies widely in terms of subject matter, medium and format. Mit Jai Inn’s large-scale double-sided canvases treat each surface as an alternate reality, while Tawan Wattuya’s watercolors feature dual images of religious iconography that
range from whimsical to unsettling. Individually, each artist articulates a unique viewpoint, addressing
critical issues of contemporary life in Thailand, but collectively they share a powerful narrative that
questions the very notion of reality and how easily it can be upended.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Tawatchai Puntusawasdi creates kinetic, architecturally inspired sculptures that play with the viewer’s
sense of space, depth and volume. For this show, he produced a series of drawings and copper
sculptures examining the geometry of the sphere. Tilted, elongated and balanced on their axes, the artist
uses complex mathematical calculations to explore possible alternate realities in two-dimensional form.
Tawatchai’s work was included in the 50th Venice Biennale and he is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner
Foundation Grant. Tawatchai's work will be featured in the curated section of the 2018 Sydney Biennale.
In his practice, Thasnai Sethaseree explores themes of memory, migration, consumerism and modernity.
The Chiang Mai-based artist is known for his complex, tactile paper collages, where he superimposes bits
of colored paper and other materials over images depicting Thai history, giving viewers a choice to “see”
critical moments that have faded from the region’s collective consciousness. Thasnai has exhibited
extensively in Asia and abroad, including at the Venice Biennale in 2003.
A pioneer of Chiang Mai’s thriving contemporary art scene, Mit Jai Inn is best known for his vibrant
abstract compositions exploring the social and political implications of making art. For this show, he
produced a series of large-scale, dual-sided works with opposing realities. Mit’s work is in private and
institutional collections across the globe and he has participated in shows at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the
Singapore Art Museum and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Mit's work will be featured in the curated
section of the 2018 Sydney Biennale.
Tawan Wattuya uses watercolor to explore social phenomena inside and outside Thailand. The works in
this show are from his Twins series, which depicts dual subjects embodying various forms of religious
iconography. The compositions, ranging from images of the Lord Buddha to colorful amulets, allude to a
duality in religious and spiritual beliefs, and by extension, to a society in transition, where traditional values are questioned.
Sanitas Pradittasnee’s practice focuses on architecturally inspired installations intertwined with elements
of Buddhist philosophy. Combining materials such as soil, resin and ash with the effects of light and mirrors, she produces works that transcend reality and challenge us to re-evaluate our acquired sense of
spirituality. For this show, she produced a large-scale experiential installation made from steel, mirrors and ash that creates a space for quiet contemplation and reflection.
Sanitas Pradittasnee, Form of Belief IV (Under the Skin), 2017, silicone, resin, 15.7 x 15.7 x 17.7 inches/40 x 40 x 45 cm
Angkrit Ajchariyasophon explores intercultural exchanges between the East and West. He produced a
series of paintings for this show that are inspired by playing cards, where the paintings can be turned to
reveal content hidden on the other side of the canvas. Angkrit is also an independent curator, who has
staged exhibitions at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and was the co-curator of Thailand’s
presentation at the Singapore Biennale in 2013.
This exhibition will be on view in our Chelsea gallery (547 West 27th Street and our Madison Avenue
location (at 83th Street.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani is an independent curator, writer and lecturer focusing on Southeast Asian
contemporary art. She is based in London and Bangkok, and works with art institutions and commercial
spaces in Bangkok, London, New York and Singapore examining social and political concerns in
Southeast Asian contemporary art. Her ongoing dialogues with artists and art professionals and rigorous
research are culminating in a debut publication that examines the cosmopolitan impact on contemporary
art. Titled Interlaced Journeys: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art, it unites the
viewpoints of various thinkers of the region. This is her third show with Sundaram Tagore Galleries.