Lives captured on canvas

The Neilson Hays Library on Surawong Road presents "Contentment in Adversity", a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Salvador Medina, an Australian artist of Spanish-immigrant descent.

Contentment in Adversity will be displayed in the library’s Garden Cafe Gallery from March 5 to 31. The Neilson Hays is opendaily, except Mondays, from9.30amto5pm. Call 02-233-1731.

Completed over the past three years, his impressionist-style collection focuses on everyday working lives in Thailand, both rural and urban.

The depictions of country life were created during Medina's travels in the rice-farming province of Sakon Nakhon. There he captured the "back-breaking working life of Thailand's poorest yet, strangely enough, most content of people [who exist amidst] hardship and adversity".

"The city life is another side which shows the industrious nature of Thai people surviving in difficult conditions," says Medina. "The 'city of smiles' would make others in the West cry. Yet amidst this struggle, people still demonstrate their unbreakable human spirit with wonderful smiles."

Medina's artwork spans more than 25 years and has been inspired by his passion for uncovering and expressing life's wonderful manifestations.

His approach includes freestyle brushstrokes which seem to more clearly reflect emotions and feelings. His more recent work verges on both post-impressionism and Fauvism, an avant-garde movement that flourished in France from 1890 to 1910 and was distinguished by a preference for strong colours.

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