The first major showcase of contemporary Thai art in the UK hosted in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Thai Princess, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The exhibition shines a spotlight on Thailand's contemporary art scene and features the work of 23 renowned and emerging artists.
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.