Master of digital

Talented young artist Jarasporn Chumsri did not let lockdowns or travel bans stop her from recreating works that reveal the atmosphere of six museums around the world

Jarasporn Chumsri and the painting Musée De L'Orangerie, Paris which includes The Water Lilies — The Clouds by Claude Monet. (Photos: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Last year, while Thais were in their first lockdown due to Covid-19, artist Jarasporn Chumsri was ecstatic to discover Google Arts & Culture at artsandculture.google.com, which allows internet users to visit virtual museums around the world.

"Many museums in the world closed down because of the pandemic. When I accessed Google Arts & Culture for the first time, I was excited that I could visit museums without travelling on an airplane. I could sit in my chair at home while entering museums like the Musée d'Orsay in Paris where I have been before," said Jarasporn.

As an artist, museums are special places for Jarasporn since they exhibit paintings by masters she admires. Jarasporn became inspired by virtual museums and later developed her idea to create paintings for her latest exhibition titled "Atmosphere In The Virtual Museum + Experience + Emotion = Canvas" at Jam Factory.

"Visiting virtual museums reminded me of my experiences of visiting museums in person. When I was at museums and saw paintings by impressionist artists, I told myself that I wanted to stay alive until I could create paintings as marvellous as they had. Paintings by impressionist artists are not only beautiful but they have stories behind them. These masters had to go through a lot before their works were accepted as art. Currently, art students around the world learn about these paintings in art history classes," said Jarasporn.

Besides viewing paintings at museums, the artist enjoys sketching museums' landscapes. She wanted to illustrate paintings by impressionist artists displayed at various museums around the world but she was concerned that the outcome may seem reproduced or copied.

"Some of my previous exhibitions were inspired by digital platforms which is a medium I often use. On social media, people share photos of paintings by impressionist artists that they took at museums. I found those photos interesting and I wanted to illustrate them. However, I was afraid that my paintings would come out as too similar. When I saw paintings by impressionist masters at virtual museums, I felt that to illustrate paintings and the atmosphere of a virtual museums is not too similar since it is data on a digital platform which is a medium I am interested in," explained Jarasporn.

Oil painting on canvas titled The Museum Of Modern Art, New York.

Jarasporn, who is 28 years old, earned a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. During her third year, she became interested in impressionist artists after she saw books about them in the university library and borrowed over 20 to take home.

"I liked Claude Monet the most because I worked on a colour scheme similar to his works. When I stood in front of Monet's painting at a museum, I felt like I wanted to scream. As an art student, I felt connected to his paintings. I thought I understood what he was thinking at that time," she said.

With her talent, Jarasporn was selected to participate in an art camp in Los Angeles in 2015 and due to her outstanding impressionist painting style, the young artist won a special scholarship from Thailand's Ministry of Culture to visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

"To see original paintings in person was powerful. I was inspired by those experiences and wanted to work on my own paintings. Participating in an art camp and visiting museums abroad was an eye-opener. In those countries, everything (about art) is possible. It encouraged me to experiment with new ideas which I have never done before, including this exhibition," she said.

"Atmosphere In The Virtual Museum + Experience + Emotion = Canvas" features eight paintings which were inspired by the atmosphere in six virtual museums such as Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, France, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA and Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico.

The exhibition 'Atmosphere In The Virtual Museum + Experience + Emotion = Canvas' was inspired by virtual museums.

Looking through each painting at the exhibition, visitors can see paintings by impressionists and other artists who Jarasporn looks up to such as The Water Lilies: The Clouds by Claude Monet, Woman With Fans by Edouard Manet and My Nurse And I by Frida Kahlo.

"I chose paintings that inspired me and have influenced my work until now. I usually finish my paintings quickly, however, since this exhibition includes master pieces by artists whom I admire, I took a longer than usual," said Jarasporn

In order to present her paintings to look like they are on a digital platform, Jarasporn searched for information and learned that images we see on a digital platform are colours from light.

"Colours from light can be categorised into red, yellow, blue, cyan, green, magenta and white. Hence, the paintings in this exhibition were painted with only these seven colours. I also painted the canvas black because it is the colour of a monitor before turning the light on, explained Jarasporn.

As a professional painter, Jarasporn said she never works on a painting when she is unhappy.

"I have never worked on any painting if I felt I was not in the mood to do so. When I feel stressed, I cannot paint, so I have to find an activity that brings me pleasure. I was pleased to work on this exhibition because I did what I wanted to and I would like to pass along the happiness to viewers," said Jarasporn.

Visitors can see the statue, The Age Of Bronze in the painting, Alte Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen Zu Berlin.

"Atmosphere In The Virtual Museum + Experience + Emotion = Canvas" is running at The Jam Factory, Charoen Nakhon Road, until June 27. Attendance is limited. Free admission. View the exhibition online at facebook.com/TheJamFactoryBangkok.

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