Thai Transience: More Than Meets The Eye

Bang on it.

Enter into a world unlike any other. The Thai Transience Exhibition hosted by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) in partnership with the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture (Thailand) showcases some of the most intriguing, culturally contemporary yet distinctly Thai works of art. The exhibit delves into a genteel understanding of culture, heritage and faith as leading Thai artists express their responses towards their own interpretations in over 50 various forms of paintings, photographs, installations, sculptures and videos.

Bold, fun and quirky. 
Religious undertones and Buddhist teachings are a concurrent theme throughout the exhibition. Sculptural artist Kamin Lertchaiprasert used shaped bronze and gold leaf materials to shape the acts of praying and meditation as depicted by the Buddhist goal of reflecting on life as states of impermanence. Don't think for a second that his sculptures are of a traditional religious sort as Kamin is able to merge various contemporary, almost street or 'gangsta' gestures seamlessly together alongside Buddhist teachings. The result is a work so witty and different, it tickles the fancy and invites further pondering.

It's in the little details.
Another masterful execution that demands your attention is Maiden Tree 2 by Siroj Phuangbhupha. The Laitong painting tells of an ancient tale of fruits bearing young maidens being plucked by hermits. Bear with me on this. This gold embellished painting also shows a Mickey Mouse, and Lilo and Stitch's Stitch among the mythical creatures found within the painting's fruits, scenery and cherubs. So yes, you can play hidden Mickey on a Thai painting at SAM. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled.

The Seated Monk alongside such Fang-itude. Behind those scary eyes is a message of self-control and personal battles.
Get mystified by the battle scene between the dragon Naga Nantoponand and the hero Phra Mokkalla in this neo-traditional acrylic representation by Chiang Mai native Likit Nisitanakan. Much of Likit's work surrounds the work of traditional Lanna artists. Here, the victory of Phra Mokkalla over the ferocious beast is an analogy for overcoming the vices of greed, anger and lust. The warlike outer-worldly depiction shows the constant struggle of human nature to desire for temporary satisfaction. Which leaves us asking if there is more to life than chasing down every temporary high. Yes, that is Stacie Orrico.

Local street fashion at its finest. Take that Mr Sartorialist!
It's easy to get lost in the scheme of things just as life fills us up with work, assignments, pressures or the humdrum of clockwork schedules. A series of photographs excellently captured by Dow Wasiksiri, a leading photographer in Thailand, explore and divulge the colorful commotions and unassuming moments in an old market in Chiang Mai. Here, pedestrians, normal folk, hill tribes, rap dancers and vendor merchants alike are presented in their rawest, most spontaneous local fashion. Be inspired by the barrage of colors and of the underlying sincerity that bears constant reminders of what it means to appreciate the essence of life.

The 25 artists. Here's to boosting friendships and fostering cultural understandings! 
An impressive turnout for opening night.
Oversized shadow puppets by Chusak Srikwan set a dramatic background for a tv interview.
It's a topsy turvy world of convoluted perspectives. 
Me just photo-gridding. 
With two entire floors of exhibits to cover, Thai Transience is most certainly a feast for all minds. So if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, why not drop by for that cultural fix?

Catch Thai Transience for your injection of heritage and new expressions of contemporary South-East Asian art at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) located at 71 Bras Basah Road, 189555.
The exhibition runs from the 26th of October til the 6th of January 2013.


Occasional hand model with a taste for adventure.

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