London, UK – The first major showcase of contemporary Thai art in the UK will open at the Saatchi Gallery in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Thai Princess, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Thailand Eye presented by Prudential, shines a spotlight on Thailand’s contemporary art scene and features the work of 23 emerging artists in an exhibition that runs from 25th November 2015 to 3rd January 2016.
The exhibition, a collaboration between the Thai Ministry of Culture, Saatchi Gallery, Prudential Corporation Asia and Parallel Contemporary Art, is the latest show in the Prudential Eye Programme, an initiative aimed at nurturing artistic talent in Asia. It is supported by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, and sponsored by Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, King Power, Siam Piwat Company Limited and Jim Thompson Foundation.
Bringing together more established artists Rikrit Tiravanija, Navin Rawanchaikul and Udomsak Krisanamis who have achieved international fame in recent years, alongside emerging artists, Thailand Eye presented by Prudential highlights an exciting group of artists who strive to balance Thai cultural, social and political history alongside the forces of globalisation.
The exhibition is curated by Professor Apinan Poshyananda, Permanent Secretary for the Thai Ministry of Culture, Nigel Hurst, CEO of the Saatchi Gallery and Serenella Ciclitira, Founder of Parallel Contemporary Art.
The exhibition features work by Bussaraporn Thongchai, Chatchai Puipia, Chusak Srikwan,Dow Wasiksiri, Kamolpan Chotivichai, Kawita Vatanajyankur, Kosit Juntaratip, Krit Ngamsom, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Natee Utarit, Navin Rawanchaikul, Nopchai Ungkavatanapong, Pannaphan Yodmanee, Panya Vijinthanasarn, Paweena Raksasna, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Sakarin Krue-On, Somboon Hormtientong and Songchai Buachoom.
A number of the artists reference Thai culture in a playful manner. Chustak Srikwan provides a contemporary take on traditional Thai leather engraving, in his photographic series ‘Pink Man’ Manit Sriwanichpoom appears starkly contrasted against the backdrop of the tourist sites in Thailand and Rikrit Tiravanija uses cooking utensils to reference earlier works featuring communal meals of Thai food cooked for gallery visitors by the artist. Other artists in the show including Dow Wasikiri and Navin Rawanchaikul explore issues around identity in new and arresting ways. The exhibition embraces the diverse nature of artistic practice within Thailand and demonstrates the bold invention, innovation and experimentation being undertaken by this new generation of artists.
An accompanying book, Thailand Eye: Contemporary Thai Art features the work of 75 Thai artists, including the 23 exhibiting artists. Edited by Serenella Ciclitira and published by SKIRA, the book offers an unprecedented in-depth look at the country’s contemporary artists.
Serenella Ciclitira, CEO & Founder of Parallel Contemporary Art said, “Looking through the many portfolios which were submitted we found such rich artistic expression and content that ranged from video works through to images from everyday-life where the narrative unfolded into alternative realities. It was a pleasure to see so many talented artists. Our final aim with the book and the exhibitions is for Thai contemporary art to become at long last truly international."
Professor Apinan Poshyananda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Thailand said, “Thailand Eye” brings together a collection of exciting Thai contemporary artworks, created from the root of traditional Thai elements. The exhibition, to be held at the Saatchi Gallery in London, and subsequently at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre in Bangkok, will serve as an invigorating platform where artists, gallerists, art critics, students and public at large exchange their views and learn more about the diversity and richness of Thailand’s contemporary art.”
Nigel Hurst, CEO Saatchi Gallery said, “We are thrilled and delighted to collaborate with the Thai Ministry of Culture, Prudential Corporation Asia and Parallel Contemporary Art, on the latest show in the Prudential Eye Programme. This survey of work highlights an exciting new generation of artists who have recently emerged in Thailand, producing art that provides an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in the region. Thailand Eye is set to play a key role in shaping our understanding of the work of this group of artists, and provide a gateway to the wider culture of their homeland.”
Binayak Dutta, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Thailand said, "Prudential is a leading financial service provider with a long history of 166 years, established in the United Kingdom. This year is also a significant milestone for Prudential as we celebrate our 20th anniversary of operations in Thailand. We have a long-term and strong commitment to providing financial security as well as giving back to our communities. By hosting Thailand Eye presented by Prudential, in both London and Bangkok, we are proud to be able to provide local Thai artists with a significant platform for global exposure and help contribute to the development of a vibrant emerging art scene in Thailand.”
For more information on Prudential Thailand Eye, please visit http://www.prudentialthailandeye.com/.
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