Chulalongkorn University's Art Centre presents "Tii Tai Krua", the latest art project by Tawan Wattuya, one of today's most important Thai painters, who is well known for his unique approach to watercolours and thought-provoking subject matters.
‘Tii Tai Krua’ will be on show at Chulalongkorn University’s Art Centre from Thursday until Nov 1.
Dealing with subjects such as politics, sexuality and identity, he tackles Thai society's taboos in an exuberant manner.
Tawan usually recreates images found through internet searches and in both old and new magazines. For the first time, "live model painting" will be the centre of this art project.
After painting gatherings such as beauty contestants, teenage gangs, scouts, students and football teams, it was only natural that Tawan's attention was drawn to the social group directly evolving around him, the actors in the contemporary art scene in Thailand.
Inspired by a tradition of family portraits throughout art history, he will compose a gigantic piece representing the local art community.
Evoking Navin Rawanchaikul's SUPER(M)ART Bangkok Survivors (2004), which depicted famous artists and curators in a crowded Paolo Veronese-style setting, Tawan will produce a huge watercolour of Bangkok's contemporary art scene, assuredly spiced with humorous critique.
By using a classical medium and subject, the artist challenges traditional art and historical representations of group portraits, royal court family portraits, religious group representations of the sacred family, and saints.
The "Tii Tai Krua" project consists of two stages. The first was only open to invited models until today.
During this time, the gallery has been revamped as Tawan's studio, shifting the terms of a gallery show and expanding the potential for social interaction with the artist.
This phase dissolves the tenuous boundaries between viewer and participant, inviting the audience to interact, engage and enjoy with the artist.
The second phase will be open to the public from Thursday until Nov 1 and the produced piece will be showcased in the untouched setting of the studio. All happenings within the studio space will be recorded in a time-lapse video and shown during the public exhibition.
Tii tai krua is a popular Thai saying meaning "to make friends with the wife or family of a party for the purpose of personal gain". It has been chosen as the exhibition's title to enhance, with humour, the ambiguity of the relationship between artists, curators, collectors and politicians involved in the art world.
The opening reception is on Thursday at 6.30pm, preceded by a talk by the artist at 5.30pm. The art centre is located on the 7th floor of the Centre of Academic Resources, Phaya Thai Road, and is open from 9am-7pm on weekdays and 9am-4pm on weekends and holidays.