100 Ways to Die

Many have gone crazy over his band's top chart singles like Yim (Smile) or Prot Son Khrai Ma Rak Chun Tee (Please Send Someone to Love Me) but Instinct frontman Preyawit Nilachulaka, or ­Palm-Instinct, is more than just a musician. He is also a talented painter and the man behind "I'll Be Back" painting series, currently on display at Art Connection on the 3rd floor of Rosewood Bangkok until Aug 31.

(Photos courtesy of Preyawit Nilachulaka)

This humorous — and slightly morbid — exhibition portrays the life of a white-collar worker named Bob, who was brought back to life by a substance that reacts with his Covid-19 infection, and turns into an undying zombie. After several attempts to prove his immortality, he finally understands how his unlimited chances of dying can be creative and fun. The exhibition is Palm's personal interpretation of death through Bob's multiple creative ways to die. Underneath colourful paintings lies a hidden message to spark a conversation about the meaning of life and eternal rest. Guru speaks to Palm about his death-inspired exhibition.

The public knows you as the frontman of Instinct. Tell us about your art background.

Believe it or not, I graduated from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Department of Visual Arts at Srinakharinwirot University, majoring in painting. I actually did art before starting my career as a singer.

Can you compare your experiences as a singer and as an artist?

From my perspective, working as a musician in Thailand is quite challenging. Our road of going international is a difficult one because we are confined by the language barrier and cultural roots. On the other hand, my performance as an artist doesn't require any translation or words since the paintings themselves tell a story.

Who are your favourite artists? Who do you look up to?

I am inspired by pop art and conceptual art, especially by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami.

Could you tell us about the differences between your previous art series and this one?

Social satire is how I described my prior works, which were inspired by distorted Thai society where everyone and everywhere is messed up. However, this 'I'll Be Back' exhibition is all about death, which somehow is more relatable.

What was the inspiration behind the 'I'll Be Back' exhibition?

It all began with the idea that if a person can die many times, are they going to get used to it or not. Besides, I want to reflect on how they may fantasise about their death and how they can be creative about it. Therefore, I want to present a remedy for our fear of death.

What is its message?

I want to remind everyone that 'Death is ­closer than you think'.

Why is the protagonist of 'I'll Be Back' a zombie?

When it comes to zombies, I bet everyone is aware that it is an undying creature. They can't be killed unless we smash their brains as shown in many zombie apocalypse movies. Therefore, the zombie is the perfect leading man for my exhibition, which is related to fantasies about fun ways of dying and what I'm trying to imply.

What are your thoughts about death? If you could choose a way to go, what would it be?

We can only die once, so there's no surprise that many people, including me, are terrified of death. We are willing to do anything in exchange for a second chance at life. I also believe that what intimidates us more than death is when we truly realise the time we have left in this universe and the regrets about what we cannot undo after dying.

If I have a chance to design my death, I will drink to death. This may be a bit of a crazy answer, but I want to spend my last breath enjoying my life at that moment.

What is your opinion on the Thai art industry?

I would rather not say anything much about it... they're conservative, period.

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