Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Half-Truth - preview @ Met Bar, Bangkok 2/2/10, show at Phuket 346 from 9/2/10 4pm

Galeria 346 is pleased to show Half-Truth, an exhibition of latest works by world renowned Thai contemporary artists Sutee Kunavichayanont. There is a preview party at Met Bar, at The Metropolitan Hotel Bangkok, on Tuesday 2nd February 2010 till Friday 5th - 5pm onwards daily. The show continues to Galeria 346, in Phuket, for a period of 3 months, with the opening reception on Tuesday 9th February, 4pm.

The show comprises of 14 works, and is presented in a variety of different mediums, ranging from resin to LED light. All works are for sale, and price lists can be obtained from the gallery.

Sutee graduated in 1989 from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University, and obtained his Masters of Visual Arts from the University of Sydney, Australia. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in Art Theory at The Silpakorn University in Bangkok. He contributes regularly to several newspaper and magazines in Thailand, and has published in 2003 ‘Jak Siam Kaw Su Thai Mai’ (From Old Siam to New Thai), and co-edited in 2005-2006 ‘Death Before Dying: The Return of Montien Boonma’ together with Apinan Poshyananda, one of the leading curators and writers in the Asian Region.

He has co-curated in 2005 the Thai Pavilion of the 51st Venice Biennale the works of Montien Boonma and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook. In 2008, Sutee curated the Thai section of the ShContemporary Art in Shanghai, and also co-curated ‘Traces of Siamese Smile: Art+Faith+Politics+Love’ show at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre. In 1983, was the Top Award Winner in Painting in The Fourth Children’s Art Exhibition of Thailand, and won the Nation Youth Bureau Award for Outstanding Young Artist in the Painting Category. In 1989, he was honoured in the The Friendship Programme for the 21st Century, Japan, and won also in printing category, The Contemporary Art Competition in Thailand. In the same year, he won too the Silpa Bhirasri Creativity Grant from the Silpakorn University Art Centre, and the Misiem Yipinsoi Grant from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts. In 2006, he won the Red Art Award 2, from the Pridi Banomyong Institute.

His works can be found in private collections around the world, as well as in collections of private and public institutions like LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, the H&F Collection, Amsterdam, the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

Sutee’s body of works spans 3 decades, belying his relatively young age. Apart from countless solo and collective exhibitions in Thailand, he has shown extensively throughout the world, as far and wide as US & Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, and in several established venues such as the The Galerie Gauche, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, or The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. He was selected to join in headline Biennales such as in Liverpool, UK, Busan, Korea, and Triennales in Fukuoka, Japan and Queensland, Australia.

In Half-Truth, Sutee deals with some recurring themes that have pre-occupied him in the last 20 or so years: society, culture, environment, nationalism, identity, conceptions, truth. There are evident parallels to his iconic show at Tadu Contemporary art in ‘98 entitled after a popular Thai saying ‘Rain drops, Pig Shit Running,’ but the delivery, as the rhythm of the works, are refreshed and reworked, and with that a fresh and updated narrative is delivered. The mediums of the works range from gold leaf and paint on canvas, to lazer cut metal sheets and larger scale neon lighting works. He continues to engender questions about the state of society and the held assumptions, beliefs and values that we take for granted. While it is true that one needs a certain amount of cultural capital to grapple the symbols and their meanings, it is also remarkable how these works easily transcend cultural and national boundaries, and are seen as universal, despite its overt Thainess.
We find Sutee’s voice as an artist resounding as strongly as he has ever done in his canon of works hitherto, singular and razor sharp, and in Half-Truth, with an elegance and wit that comes from an artist at the peak of his powers. The works resonate and engage the viewer in an incisive yet gentle manner. Despite appearances, this isn’t screaming for the rooftops but something rather more cerebral, like a quiet conversation that just got a touch louder, clearer and more convincing since the last decade. Contemporary art, for all its modern day ills, pretension and confusion finds here an antidote that is refreshing and enriching, The search for perfect art continues in Sutee, and it is in his journey for truth that truth exists. And not by half.