Cat paintings by Prang Vejjajiva

Cat paintings by Prang Vejjajiva

Fantasy and personal representations, not politics...and lots of cats.


Cradling the cats

Fantasy and personal representations, not politics, abound in Prang Vejjajiva's debut exhibition


Parisa Pichitmarn

Take one look at Prang Vejjajiva's work on display now at Koi Art Gallery and it will tell you pretty much everything there is to know about the girl. There are no frills or BS ideals hidden behind any paintings in her exhibition "I Wonder, A Wonderland".

Prang, who has a degree in fine arts from Chulalongkorn University, is the eldest daughter of ex-prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. But it'd be tactless to think she might be cunningly hiding clandestine political messages amidst the colourful cupcakes and curious cats, or that there's reason why cool tones (ahem, blue) are dominant and there are hardly any reds in her paintings. Don't get ahead of yourselves, because Prang firmly interrupts all of our attempts to find any signs of two-dimensional politicking.

"I'm not trying to get across any political or social issues. The paintings are all fantasy and hardly related to reality," she said.

Prang's love for and use of sweet, pastel colours might test your blood-sugar level, but for girly-girls like the artist herself, there is probably no combination more captivating than cats and candy.

According to Prang, the title of the exhibition fits her concept of creating a dreamlike wonderland, a secluded world where she can catch her breath and relax.

"I definitely don't want my audience to be stressed looking at it - I want them to feel good and to relax as they look at my paintings," said Prang.

With cats being the main subject, it's clear that the artist has a bit of a feline obsession, but she also sees herself in them.

"I have many characteristics quite similar to them: I love being independent and free and I love being in solitude in my own world. It's all a reflection of how I am," she explained.

It makes you wonder whether being the daughter of such an influential figure plays any part in making her so absorbed in her world, but Prang boldly answered: "I don't really worry about others and just do whatever I want to do when I go out." Her five paintings on the first floor of the gallery, which are large-scale oils (150cm x 180cm), are actually part of her thesis project for her degree.

"This whole set is about my personal world and spending time with myself, alone mostly. I'm sure everyone goes through hassle all day in the outside world: work, study, having to talk to so many people. It's so busy and frantic that I just want to relax and get away from all that. It's nice to spend some time with yourself and the way I unwind is to sleep or eat." She adds with a grin: "Food is like a friend."

Of course, all the sweet treats in the paintings are a reflection of Prang's love for just about anything that has sucrose and she admits that macaroons are her favourite. These depictions of dessert are likely to make your stomach rumble; as saccharine-dripping as these paintings are, it's not too overwhelmingly pink, with lots of darker hues to create some balance.

The paintings on the second floor are smaller (80cm x 100cm) and are less sugary as they are more sea-centred and inspired by trips to the beach. The main serving is fantasy but there's a pinch of surrealism; if you look closely, you will find many cat faces cleverly hidden within other elements in the painting, be they clouds, icebergs or jam rolls.

"It gives each picture more life and prevents it from being too simple," Prang said. "I want to express that being alone is not a sad thing, it can also be a happy time." The simplicity of the theme and style, yet on a grand scale, makes the series enjoyable. In fact, potential buyers can also turn these oil paintings into objects of entertainment: ask your visitors how many cats they see in each painting. Move onto macaroons or pairs of eyes after that.

As of now, the young artist is working on applying for a master's degree in fine arts in universities abroad. And much to her delight (if not to her parents'), she is going to have a pet cat of her own soon. But she also loves dogs (her household has two) and Prang is no stereotypical cat lady despite the fact that we'll probably see more of them in her future works. "I'm not really into sending underlying social messages. It'll be more about emotions and feelings as that's what I'm better at. The topics I explore [in the future] would change, but it should still have cats as it is a representation of myself."

"I Wonder, A Wonderland" is on view at Koi Art 

Gallery, Sukhumvit Soi 31, until July 31. 

The gallery opens daily from 11am-7pm. 

For more information, call 02-662-3218.

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  • abound: to be present in large numbers or amounts - มีมากมาย
  • absorbed in (adjective): holding attention completely; to be completely involved in some activity and not doing anything else -
  • actually: used for stressing what is really true or what really happened - ตามความเป็นจริง
  • amidst: in the middle of - ระหว่าง
  • attempt (noun): when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม
  • audience: the group of people gathered in one place to watch or listen to a play, film, someone speaking, etc. - ผู้ชม
  • balance (noun): a stable condition/relationship between two (or more) sides - ความสมดุล, การทรงตัว
  • bit: a small piece of or part of something - ชิ้นส่วนเล็กๆน้อยๆ
  • blood-sugar (noun): the level of sugar in the blood (regulated by insulin) - น้ำตาลในเลือด
  • bold: confident and unafraid of risk - มั่นใจ กล้าเผชิญอันตราย
  • breath (noun): an amount of air that enters the lungs at one time; the air that you take into your lungs and send out again - ลมหายใจ
  • BS (noun): bullshit, things that people say that are stupid and not true, lies - คำอุทานแสดงความไม่เชื่อความไม่เห็นด้วย; ไม่จริงหรือโง่เง่ามาก, หลอกลวง, โกหก
  • captivate: to hold the attention of someone by being extremely interesting, exciting, pleasant or attractive - จับใจ,ประทับใจ
  • characteristic: a feature or quality that something/somebody has - ลักษณะเฉพาะ
  • clandestine: secret - ที่เก็บไว้เป็นความลับ
  • clear (adjective): easy to see and understand - ชัดเจน
  • clever: quick at learning and understanding things - เฉลียวฉลาด
  • combination (noun): the mixture you get when two or more things are combined - การรวมกัน
  • concept: a principle or idea - ความคิด
  • cool (adjective): not hot, not very cold - เย็น
  • cradle (verb): to hold something gently and carefully in your hands or arms - วางในเปล
  • cunning: clever at planning something so that you get what you want, especially by tricking other people; orof things that are cleverly made for a particular purpose - เจ้าเล่ห์, ฉลาดแกมโกง
  • cupcake (noun): small cakes made in little cups - เค้ก, ขนมเค้กที่อยู่ในถ้วยพิมพ์
  • curious (adj): having a strong desire to know about something - อยากรู้อยากเห็น
  • debut: performing or being introduced to the public for the first time - การเปิดตัว
  • definitely: certain; having no doubts about something - อย่างแน่นอน
  • degree: the qualification obtained by students who successfully complete a university or college course - ปริญญา
  • depiction: showing an image of somebody/something in a picture - การบรรยายให้เห็นภาพ, การวาดภาพ
  • dessert: sweet food eaten at the end of a meal - ของหวาน, ขนมหวาน
  • dominant: more noticeable than the other parts or aspects of something - เด่น
  • eldest: oldest -
  • element: an important basic part of something - องค์ประกอบ, ส่วนประกอบ
  • entertainment: fun; behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment - ความบันเทิง, ความสนุกสนาน
  • exhibition: a public show where art or other interesting things are put so that people can go and look at them - นิทรรศการ งานแสดง
  • express: to tell someone about a feeling, opinion, or aim by speaking or writing about it - แสดงออก (ทางความคิดหรือความรู้สึก) โดยใช้คำพูดหรือการเขียน, พูดออกมา
  • fantasy: a pleasant situation that you imagine but that is unlikely to happen - การจินตนาการ
  • favourite (adj): something/someone you like the best of all similar things - ที่ชอบมากที่สุด, ที่โปรดปราน, ของโปรด
  • feline: connected with an animal of the cat family; like a cat - เกี่ยวกับสัตว์ตระกูลแมว, เป็นของแมว
  • fine arts (noun): art activities in which people create beautiful things to look at such as paintings and drawings - วิจิตรศิลป์, งานช่างศิลป์
  • frantic: done in a very urgent way; so worried or upset that you are not able to control your feelings - ซึ่งไม่สามารถความคุมอารมณ์ได้, คลั่ง,มีอารมณ์รุนแรง
  • frill (noun): extra features or things beyond what is needed - สิ่งที่เกินต้องการ
  • gallery (noun): a room or building for showing works of art or other items of interest, especially to the public - ห้องแสดงผลงานศิลปะ, ห้องแสดงผลงาน
  • get across (verb): to create or convey some meaning or message in what you do -
  • girly (adjective): acting and behaving like a young girl -
  • go out (verb): go out for enjoyment, to a restaurant, to see a movie or do things with friends - เที่ยว,ไปเที่ยว, เที่ยวงาน
  • grand: admired because it is very good, very large or shows great skill, very big - ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ ใหญ่โต
  • grin: smiling showing your teeth - ยิ้มยิงฟัน, ยิงฟันยิ้ม
  • hassles: situations causing difficulty or trouble - ความยุ่งยาก
  • hidden (adjective): when something was put in a place where people cannot see or find it - ที่ซ่อนไว้
  • hues: degrees of lightness, darkness, strength, etc. of colours - ความมืดหรือความสว่างของสี
  • ideal: an idea about what is good and right, that you try to follow in your life and behaviour - อุดมคติ
  • independent: not connected with or influenced by something; not connected with each other - ซึ่งเป็นอิสระ, ไม่ขึ้นกับใคร
  • influential figure: a person who has the power to affect a situation, especially in a bad way - ผู้มีอิทธิพล
  • inspire: to give someone the idea for a piece of work - ทำให้เกิด บันดาลใจให้
  • interrupt: to say or do something that makes somebody stop what they are saying or doing - ขัดจังหว
  • issue: matter; a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น
  • macaroon: a type of biscuit made from sugar, egg white, and nuts - ขนมคุกกี้ชนิดหนึ่ง
  • message: an important idea that someone is trying to communicate - ประเด็น, เนื้อความ
  • obsession (noun): the one thing that a person thinks about all the time, a preoccupation - การครอบงำจิตใจ, การฝังแน่นอยู่ในจิตใจ
  • on display: putting something in a particular place so that people can see it easily - โชว์, แสดง
  • overwhelmingly: by a very large amount or margin - อย่างท่วมท้น
  • painting (noun): the art of making pictures of things by putting paint on a canvas or other surface - จิตรกรรม, การทาสี, การระบายสี
  • pastel (noun): light, faded colours - สีซีด
  • personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว
  • pinch: to take something between your thumb and first finger and squeeze it hard - หยิก
  • play a part in (verb): plays a role in; influences a situation or series of events - มีบทบาท
  • politicking (noun): political activity for a person's own advantage, not helping other people -
  • politics (noun): the activity of getting power and serving as part of a country's government - การเมือง
  • potential: possible in the future - ที่อาจเป็นไปได้
  • prevent (verb): to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, ป้องกัน, กัน, กีดขวาง
  • project: a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ
  • reality: what is actually happening - ความเป็นจริง
  • reason: a fact that makes it right or fair to do something; the power of the mind to think in a logical way, to understand and have opinions, etc - ความมีเหตุผล, การใช้เหตุผล
  • reflection: something that clearly shows something - การสะท้อน
  • relax: to become calm and not anxious - ผ่อนคลาย
  • representation (noun): a picture of something showing that thing in a certain way - รูปแทน
  • rumble: to make a long deep sound or series of sounds - ดังฟ้าร้อง, ส่งเสียงครางยาว
  • saccharine (noun): very emotional and romantic -
  • scale: the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something else - ขนาด, ระดับ
  • secluded (adjective): without contact with the outside world, private, hidden, withdrawn, isolated - ไม่ติดต่อโลกภายนอก, สันโดษ, อยู่ลำพังคนเดียวหรือห่างไกลจากชุมนุมชน
  • series (noun): several events or things of a similar kind that happen one after the other - สิ่งที่ต่อเนื่องกัน, อนุกรม, ลำดับ
  • serving (noun): some food that a person has been given to eat (served) in a restaurant -
  • set (noun): a group or collection of things - ชุด, กลุ่ม
  • sign (noun): something that shows what is happening or what exists; an indicator - ร่องรอย, อาการ, สัญญาณ, ตัวบ่งชี้
  • similar: like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน
  • simplicity: the quality of being natural and plain; the quality of being easy to understand or use - ความเรียบง่าย, ความถ่อมตัว, ความง่าย
  • social (adjective): related to society, to people and the way they are connected to each other and interact with each other - เกี่ยวกับสังคม
  • solitude (noun): the relaxing, calm and peaceful state of being completely alone and by oneself, isolation, seclusion - การอยู่โดดเดี่ยว, สันโดษ
  • spend time (verb): use time doing something - ใช ้เวลา
  • stress: great worry caused by a difficult situation, or something which causes this condition - ความตึงเครียด, ความเครียด
  • sucrose (noun): a common type of sugar that comes from plants such as sugar cane -
  • surrealism (noun): a style of art that used unusual strange images and tried to represent dreams and unconscious experience - เซอร์เรียลิสม์, ศิลปะและวรรณคดีที่เน้นหนักในเรื่องของจิตใต้สำนึก
  • tactless (adjective): not being careful in the way that you speak and act with other people so that you say or do things they don't like, unthoughtful - ซึ่งไม่มีไหวพริบ, ซึ่งไม่มีปฏิภาณ
  • theme: the main subject of something - ใจความสำคัญ, ประเด็นหลัก
  • thesis (noun): a piece of written research or work that a student produces as part of their degree program at a university - วิทยานิพนธ์
  • title (noun): a name, especially of a book, a move, an event or award - ชื่อเรื่อง, ชื่อหนังสือ, ชื่อเรียก
  • tone: a shade of a colour - เฉดสี, โทนสี
  • treat: something very pleasant and enjoyable, especially food - อาหารที่น่ารับประทาน
  • two-dimensional: flat; having no depth; appearing to have only two dimensions - สองมิติ
  • unwind (verb): relax - ปล่อยอารมณ์
  • whole (adjective): all of something - ทั้งหมด
  • wonder: to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย
  • wonderland (noun): an imaginary magic place; a place that is beautiful, strange and exciting - แดนมหัศจรรย์,ดินแดนที่น่าพิศวง,ประเทศที่น่าพิศวง
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