Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Passing By, Kanitsapon Amonsin, at Art Gorillas Gallery, until July 15

Bangkok – The 24 year old artist, Kanitsapon Amonsin, is a fresh, young talent, who has recently arrived on the Bangkok art scene. He just graduated from Silpakorn University and the exhibition currently showing at ArtGorillas, Passing By, is his first solo exhibition. On display are some 30 paintings on diverse medium such as wooden panel, rubber tiles and galvanized iron. They explore the plurality of architectural expressions found in Thai urban areas, often juxtaposing the stylistic language of Thai heritage found in municipal structures and the modern features of the contemporary city. The detailed observations of facades and other aspects of a building that imbue it with a certain character, convey the artist's passion for the forms and colors of the architectural landscape. The paintings are composed of warm tones and the materials used allow Kanitsapon to capture the weather-worn texture of longstanding houses. These features impart onto the pieces a feeling of nostalgia and agedness that makes them feel less like representations of the buildings, but more like parts of the buildings themselves. However, the application of colours and the chosen perspectives, give them an air of freshness that radiates immediacy and a quiet vibrancy.

The gallery is exhibiting ten large pieces and many more smaller-sized works. The large paintings are hung relatively low, inviting close inspection by engulfing the viewer's attention. The alluring charisma of these pieces is achieved in this spatial intimacy with the viewer. It is their tangibility, their richness of detail, texture and colour, which are ultimately captivating and which relate them not only in imagery to their subject, but also in substance.

Many of the pieces depict the quintessential urban animal, the pigeon, resting either solitary or in groups upon the mesh of electrical cables. This familiar sight appears to overflow from the confines of the frame into the space of the gallery itself. Cables traverse the room and styrofoam pigeons sit on top, overlooking the visitors. Several paintings in fact incorporate three-dimensional elements, such as genuine wooden shutters attached to painted two-dimensional windows. On some of the rubber tiled compositions, Kanitsapon has used a heated rod to create a plethora of electrical lines that sometimes crowd the view of houses in the capital's older districts. The deep grooves and thick coating of oil colours provide the paintings with a sumptuous texture that makes you want to touch them. They have a similar appeal to the buildings they portray, an enticing physicality and an ineffable character.

Kanitsapon had started on these pieces during his studies at Silpakorn and the exhibition represents the accumulation of three years of the artist’s work. The paintings reflect his efforts and demonstrate a surprising level of artistic maturity, given that this is his first solo exhibition. The subtlety of his work transgresses distinctions between traditional and modern, just like the architectural topography of contemporary Bangkok, and appeals to the viewer in terms of its aesthetic merit alone.

Kanitsapon Amonsin's exhibition, Passing By, will be displayed at Art Gorillas Gallery, Bangkok, until July 15th.

Article by Andreas Klempin. Andreas is half-German, half-Thai and a student of philosophy. He moved back to Bangkok from London in 2006 and has been eagerly exploring the local art scene ever since.

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