Akko Gallery proudly presents an art exhibition by well-known, contemporary Thai artist, Vasan Sitthiket. Each oil painting
in the art exhibition measures 1m by 1m.
Vasan, Asia's number one social artist and, arguably, Thailand's most
well known artist "per se," has composed a large variety of paintings for this show. Love him or hate him, for a
long time the expressive works of Vasan Sitthiket have been created with an in-your-face force that makes them at once compelling
His oeuvre is always a reaction against the social degradations that he sees around him
in Thailand. The artist's sympathies lie very clearly with the
common folk who are the victims of social injustice.
Since staging his first exhibition in 1984, Vasan has experimented with various mediums - oil and acrylic painting,
sculpture, wood-cut, performance, video and installations. Often, his shows are events that combine paintings, songs, angry
speeches and often poetry.
Through his career, he has also self-published eight poetry books, and for the first
time his poems will play a significant role in this new collection of oil paintings.
"Before, there was
poetry that accompanied the images in some of my old paintings." Vasan recalls, "well, this time, I use poetry as
a strategy. It is the first time poetry inspires and will form a part of the
composition on these new oils."
The inspiration came about when he stumbled on a book titled, Forgotten Ancient Poetry. In the book, it shows
the symbolic relationship between two forms of art, namely Literature and Visual Art.
It teaches different
poetry styles that are arranged to configure a picture or a pattern. The poems can be made to shape like a lotus or something
as simple as a spiral too.
The artist revitalizes this neglected style in this series of work; hopefully to
get the viewers to appreciate and understand this again.
"As for my poetry itself, most of my previous
work is highlighting the problems but never actually showing the way out; the solution." Vasan says. "However, these
new poems I have used in this series will reveal certain
routes people can take."
Four of the
paintings in this series are self-portraits painted in black, white, red and yellow and representing the earth's four elements,
earth, wind, fire and water.
Subjects such as a dog, a troll-looking guy, and disparate figures, are also featured
With most paintings having displays of grid-like patterns, Vasan discloses, "The subject
depicted in the paintings is subtle but the message derived from my poetry in the composition is much, much stronger."