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Art Journal:  2011 Contemporary Paintings on Display at the National Gallery,
Bangkok, Thailand


After revisiting China in April and writing up my visit to the National Art Museum in Beijing (Art Journal: China April 2011); in July 2011, I had a chance to view some works of Thai artists' at "The 13th Panasonic Contemporary Painting Exhibition" exhibited at the National Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand.





The exhibition showcases a selection of 54 paintings by 53 artists from a painting competition sponsored by Panasonic (Thailand) Co.Ltd. This annual Panasonic art competition aims to promote art activities that will culturally enrich Thai society and to encourage Thai artists to produce meaningful works to show to the public.

From a total of 201 entries, the selected 54 pieces to be exhibited were mainly in oil and acrylics medium; with some collage art, mixed media, drawing and batik.

Well-known experts and Thai artists on the judging committee were Prof Kamchorn Soonpongsri, Thawan Duchanee, Prof. Preecha Thaotong, Thongchai Rakpathum, Dr. Apinan Posayanon and others.



The 1st prize winner Ms.Suwannee Sarakana with her "Mother's Hug" painting, portrayed love and warmth within the family using oil on canvas. 

The 2nd prize winner "We Together - With the Cow Pattern" by Ms.Krissadarng Intasorn reflected the forgotten local culture, using mixed media; and the 3rd prize winner was The Mask by Mr. Amarin Buppasiri, using oil on canvas.

(Picture left) The 1st prize winner, Mother's Hug, oil on canvas, 200x200 cm.




After the show at the National Gallery Bangkok in July 2011, the exhibition was displayed in the northern city of Thailand, Chiangmai, at Chiang Mai University's Art Museum.

Most of the artworks in the exhibition this year were well-executed and displayed good craftmanship of the Thai artists.  After walking through the show, however, I felt a little dissapointed to see some of the Thai artists showed strong influence from Chinese modern art artists; for example: Yue Minjun's style in one of the 2nd award winners, "Black Face; and there were similar themes, compositions and colors to some famous Chinese artists in: "The Mask No.1"; "Portait Plastic", "Wasted" and "Girls".

In my view, at the 9th Panasonic Contemporary Painting Exhibition" 2007 (Art Journal: Thailand 2007), the Thai artists that year produced more outstanding works and with more originality.  Also, interestingly, there were more artists in 2007 sent in their works compared to those in 2011 (in 2011: 201 artworks from 117 artists; in 2007 264 artworks from 177 artists).  As an advocate of art in Asia, I would like to encourage the organizers to promote the event more as this is one of Thailand's largest annual art exhibitions.



(Picture above left) The 2nd prize winner, "We Together with the Cow Pattern", mixed media, 122x180 cm.
(Picture above right) The 3rd prize winner, "Day and Night", Acrylic on canvas, 150x175 cm.


   
(Picture above right) Another 2nd prize winner, "Black Face" and (right) The 3rd winner, "The Mask No. 1", showed strong influence from some Chinese modern art artists.


  
(Picture above right) Honorary mentioned "Black Face" and (right) "Girls", another two which have
 similarities in styles and colors to famous Chinese artists' works.


(Picture above right) Honorary mentioned "Consumerism II" and (right) "Southern Circle", Batik, 180x125 cm.



(Picture above right) "Together", crayon, 150x180 cm.; and (right) "Feeling Moves, Follow", oil, 140x190 cm.



(Picture above) "Grandma's House No.4", mixed media, 200x130 cm.





About the author:

Luo Suya (Soraya Runckel)

Born in Bangkok, Thailand, the daughter of a noted architect and artist renown for his works on Thai architecture, Soraya developed her deep interest in drawing and painting at an early age. She paints in watercolor, pen&ink, acrylic and Chinese Brush paintings. Soraya studied Chinese brush painting for 13 years. She lived and worked in Beijing, China, from 1996 to 1999. Soraya's works have been exhibited extensively, in Thailand, England, USA, Vietnam and China.

The wife of a formal Senior diplomat, Soraya has traveled extensively. Her work reflects culture and scenes of places she has been to. Her work gives positive feeling, details, and variety. In her previous exhibition in London, Soraya was noted as "...an artist with skill and mastery in different styles," by the London Times.

Soraya owned and operated her art gallery in the U.S., Asia Art Gallery, from 2001-2003.



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