Bearing witness to upheaval

One of Thailand's leading art talents Jirapat Tatsanasomboon's latest exhibition "Compassion In Adversity" is a timely look into the contradictions in cultural beliefs and traditions of the East and West. He calls special attention to current issues in society commenting on politics, consumerism, gender inequality and social injustice.

The solo exhibition, which will be at the La Lanta Fine Art gallery between Sept 19 and Oct 28, urges discourse on traditional versus modern cultures that are increasingly prevalent in our culture today.

Jirapat Tatsanasomboon. (Courtesy of La Lanta Fine Art)

"The challenge of coming up with a fresh perspective in this exhibition is the selection of a subject that represents the current era," said Jirapat.

"Apart from using mythical creatures to narrate the story as I have always done in my past work, I also incorporate real human beings that people can relate to in real life in the subject matter. Through these subjects, I make references to current social turmoil on the upheaval of the youth which creates a ripple effect in the sense that conservative Thailand is being challenged like never before."

Of eight paintings in the exhibition, five were created pre-pandemic in 2019. Drawing aesthetic parallels with the elegance of Thai murals, Jirapat deviates from tradition with Western iconography referencing artwork by Sandro Botticelli from the Renaissance period, Francoise Gerard from Neoclassism, Magritte of the modern period, graffiti art by Keith Haring, as well as bold contemporary art by Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami.

(Photos Courtesy of La Lanta Fine Art)

The three most recent paintings were created this year during the ongoing pandemic and government lockdown. Jirapat bears witness to the upheaval of the liberal youth against the nationalist government in Thailand; the Westerns protest against black injustice; and the closure of cultural institutions amid funding declines.

Jirapat is the only Thai artist included in a book published by the international publisher Thames & Hudson -- 100 Painters Of Tomorrow. He has been vetted by international curators as one of the most promising artists of his generation. Jirapat is known as an artist who uses iconography from the traditional Thai narrative Ramakien and juxtaposes it with Western icons to show East-West interactions.


The exhibition can also be viewed online at lalanta.com. For more information contact Sukontip Prahanpap at 02-050-7882 or email info@lalanta.