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Treasures of the highest order

Published April 21, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367964

  • A sapkhap khen (howdah with shields) is displayed together with its miniature and a replica of a mural that illustrates how it is used on elephant back.
  • The newly-renovated Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall displays wood-carving masterpieces such as the tall wooden door of the vihara of Wat Suthat and the round wooden raised seat for monks built in the Ayutthaya era.
  • The upstairs room of the Wasantaphiman Hall has been remodelled to represent the residence of King Pinklao.

Treasures of the highest order

Art April 20, 2019 01:00

By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Nation Weekend

Thailand’s National Museum throws open eight more of its newly renovated and interactive halls

WITH THE opening of eight more halls early this month, the decade-long major renovation of the National Museum Bangkok’s exhibition rooms is nearing completion. To date, 12 halls have been entirely revamped and now boast an inviting interior, improved lighting and multimedia presentations that make them fun to explore.

Four halls are slated to be fully renovated over the next three years, bringing new life to a museum long regarded as a dull and boring place.

The newly-renovated Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall displays wood-carving masterpieces such as the tall wooden door of the vihara of Wat Suthat and the round wooden raised seat for monks built in the Ayutthaya era.

The museum compound was formerly a part of Wang Na (the Front Palace) which was constructed in 1782, about the same time the Grand Palace was built. It served as the residence for five viceroys and one second King from 1782 to 1885 during the reigns of Kings Rama I to V.

“Unlike in the past where many artefacts were on show, we have reclassified and highlighted significant pieces that best represent each topic. From the more than 30,000 treasures in the collection, about half have been selected and the layout plan allows space for a 360-degree view of each piece. Multimedia techniques have been added for some exhibits and this provides more visual understanding than boards filled with text. The rotation of the artefacts will probably take place every two years,” says museum director Nitaya Kanokmongkol.

Major improvements include the installation of new and more suitable lighting and specially designed secure glass cabinets fitted with controls to maintain correct levels of humidity and temperature. Visitors are even permitted to take photographs though, as elsewhere, flash and selfie sticks are banned.

“All the partitions that previously separated the exhibition space have been removed to reveal the beautiful and distinctive architecture of Wang Na. This includes the windows and doors decorated with lai rod nam (gold applique on black lacquer) depicting flowers and the mythical Himmapan forest as well as beehive-like crafted wood gussets of the doors that relate the characteristics of artisans of Wang Na,” Nitaya adds.

Four refurbished halls at Moo Phra Wiman – the former residential complex of the viceroys – were opened to the public last year. The Uttra Bhimuk Hall displays the clothes and costumes of the Siamese court; the Thaksina Bhimuk Hall is devoted to Thai musical instruments and art pieces related to the royal performing arts; the Burapha Bhimuk Hall exhibits armaments and in the Patchima Bhimuk Hall, the focus is on metal works.

The upstairs room of the Wasantaphiman Hall has been remodelled to represent the residence of King Pinklao. The wooden bed is believed to have been used during the assumption of the royal residence when he was invested as the second King of King Rama IV.

At the newly renovated, two-storey Wasantaphiman Hall, the upstairs has been remodelled to represent the royal residence with furniture and household items like watches, candle holders, blown glass vessels, as well as the collection of lek lai(extremely rare metal), rhino horns and elephant tusks crafted into different deities.

The centrepiece is a royal wooden bed with an exquisite floral and bird pattern that the museum’s director assumes it was used during Chalerm Phra Raja Montien (the assumption of the royal residence) of King Pinklao, who was the viceroy of his brother King Rama IV and whose investiture raised him to kingship as the second King of Siam.

“An important ritual during the coronation ceremony of Chakri Dynasty Kings is Chalerm Phra Raja Montien to inhabit Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence in the Grand Palace, which signifies the Monarch as the chief of the monarchy. When King Rama IV bestowed on King Pinklao an honour equal to himself, King Pinklao was believed to have performed this ritual in this hall and on this bed,” she says.

 A ranad (Thai xylophone) with a keyboard made of glass is on display next to an ancient cha khe (zither).

Part of the downstairs gallery is devoted to a collection of musical instruments used in royal serenades. Among the rare items is a ranad (Thai xylophone) whose bars are made from glass instead of the usual hardwood, an old-style cha khe (zither), and a large collection of instruments given to King Rama VII by King Manivong of Cambodia during his visit to Cambodia in 1930.

Another downstairs room, once the living area of the viceroys’ entourage, is given over to a collection of royal porcelain featuring the blue-and-white porcelain of the late Ayutthaya Kingdom and Bencharong ware from the early Rattanakosin period, both made in China for the Siamese court.

“In addition to the popular Chinese motifs of chrysanthemums and peonies, Siamese motifs such as flame-like kanok and thep panom (a deity with hands pressed together in prayer) were painted by Chinese artisans to order. Because of the differences in cultures, the thep panom have Chinese faces while the kanok features a twisted stem. However, the Siamese designs and vivid colours of this unique Chinese porcelain make it immensely attractive,” says the museum’s director.

A multimedia presentation showing the step-by-step production of the porcelain is also provided.

An ancient set of Bencharong ware depicts the scenes from Thai literary work “Phra Aphai Manee”.

“Evidence suggests that Prince Wichaichan, who was King Rama V’s viceroy, set up a porcelain kiln at his residence. He ordered the plain white glazed porcelain from China and the painting and firing of the motif were done here. Once he passed away, the production was terminated but a member of his entourage, Phraya Sunthornphimon, later built a kiln at his house, producing porcelain with motifs mainly inspired by Thai literature like ‘Phra Aphai Manee’,” Nitaya adds.

A sapkhap khen (howdah with shields) is displayed together with its miniature and a replica of a mural that illustrates how it is used on elephant back.

The Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall houses different styles of sapkhap (howdah), the carriage placed on an elephant’s back for travelling and for battle. Different sophisticated patterns and fine craftsmanship indicate different royal ranks.

One of the important pieces used in battle is the sapkhap khen (howdah with shields) made from wood and decorated with gold leaf on black lacquer and coloured mirror glass. Three sides of the seats are decorated with big wooden leaf-like pieces believed to act as aegis shields. Poles at the corners of the seat are designed to accommodate weapons.

A miniature sapkhap khen with a touch screen show how the howdah is mounted on an elephant and next to it is the replica of a mural inside the Ordination Hall of Wat Bovornsatharnsuthavart, known as Wat Phra Kaew of Wang Na and now in the compound of the Bunditpatanasilpa Institute, that illustrates a battle on elephant-back.

The newly-renovated Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall displays wood-carving masterpieces such as the tall wooden door of the vihara of Wat Suthat and the round wooden raised seat for monks built in the Ayutthaya era.

The porch houses a collection of exquisite woodworks. Considered one of the finest masterpieces in the Rattanokosin era is the tall wooden door of the vihara at Wat Suthat Thep Wararam crafted in 1822 by King Rama II and his royal artisans.

The door sustained partial damage in a 1959 fire and was brought to the National Museum Bangkok. This lacquered and gilded wooden door features bas-relief carving at different depths with flowers and animals protruding from the background, looking as if they are alive and moving. A touch screen for visitors to learn more about the motifs, the patterns and the carving technique is inviting. Thanks to the 360-degree view, visitors can see the paintings on the back of the door.

Another highlight is the round and raised wooden monk seat used for preaching built in the Ayutthaya era in the 17th century. King Rama VII was gifted the seat by Wat Kangkao in Nonthaburi and later granted it to the museum.

In addition to its round shape, a rarity in Thai woodwork, this monk seat features ancient patterns. Gatekeepers and three-headed nagas are engraved around the base, while the top is shaped like a three-tiered roof.

A rare collection of monk’s necessities, monk’s fans of rank and commemorative fans 

Another two-storey hall, the Brahmesthada, features a rare collection of monk’s necessities, monk’s fans that depict rank, as well as the commemorative fans for royal family members to offer to monks on the special occasions.

Downstairs is a display a collection of mother-of-pearl artefacts, among them a traditional ranad thum (low-pitched xylophone) and thon (goblet drum) dating back to early Rattanakosin era, many from the collection of Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu. The mother-of-pearl artwork is used as insignia denoting the rank of royalty and nobility and visitors can clearly see the lion emblem featured on different containers in the prince’s collection.

Another multimedia presentation serves to illustrate different techniques for working mother of pearl. While Thais prefer the pasting technique, the Chinese prefer inlaying and Korean and Japanese artists use a painting technique.

A set of mother-of-pearl containers from the collection of Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu

The two-storey building Prapat Pipittapan that was built during the early reign of King Rama IX is partly complete. Two rooms have opened and tell the history and the archaeology of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and Thonburi-Early Rattanakosin era.

A gilded lacquer wooden platform believed to belong to King Taksin who established Thonburi as the new capital of Siam in 1767 is the first attraction to catch the eye followed by a reclining chair used by King Rama I on the battlefield.

The treasures of the Ayutthaya Period

The upper floor is devoted to the Ayutthaya period and features a large collection of Buddha images, monk raised seats for preaching and dharma scripture cabinets. Rooms devoted to Lanna, Sukhothai and Rattanakosin-Bangkok collections have yet to be completed.

“The treasures on display don’t only narrate Thai history, lifestyle, society and economy in different eras, but also the cross-cultural dynamics among countries. The lacquer technique was borrowed from Persia during the Ayutthaya era and the crafted woodwork and porcelain making originated in China. The musical instruments were similar to those of Cambodia. We hope the museum will become a living study room for many interesting topics,” says Nitaya.

WHEN YOU GO

The National Museum Bangkok is on Na Phrathat Road next to Thammasat University.

Admission is Bt30 for Thais and Bt200 for foreigners.

It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 8.30am to 4pm.

Guided tours for groups can be booked in advance and are conducted by trained volunteer guides in English, French, German and Japanese on Wednesday and Thursday at 9.30am. Reservation can be made at http://www.Mynmv.com.

Guided tours in Thai are held every Sunday at 9.30am and 1pm.

Find out more at (02) 224 1370 and Facebook:@nationalmuseumbangkok.

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Our lives on stage

Published April 21, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367958

Our lives on stage

Art April 19, 2019 13:55

By The Nation

The world-premiere of the musical “The Workshop, A Dress Rehearsal for Life!”, written by life coach Dr Cherie Carter-Scott and based on the numerous coaching-workshops she has conducted in more than 30 countries of the world and over a four-decade career, will be staged at the Thailand Cultural Centre’s small hall on May 18-19, and May 29 to June 1.

Like the famed Broadway musical “A Chorus Line”, which was about various artists auditioning for the chorus line in a stage-production, this musical is about various characters gathering together for a personal development workshop. The play is comprised of 11 individuals, of diverse ethnicity, occupation, sexual preference, who have individual challenges, and seek solutions.

Carter-Scott and her sister Lynn Stewart wrote the play in order for larger audiences to share this human experience. The characters in the play are everyday people who share the same challenges of contemporary society-boundary management, overweight, overwork, abuse, discrimination and communication breakdown.

American-born Carter-Scott, who started her work in 1974, has written more than 20 books on the subject, including a New York Times Best Seller, which was translated into 40 languages. She has been on the Oprah Winfrey Show twice, featured on numerous TV, radio, print media, and conducted her workshops in more than 30 countries around the world.

Throughout the last ten years, Carter-Scott and her coach-husband Michael Pomije and sister Lynn Stewart have been based in Thailand, conducting workshops, training corporate coaches, travelling to various other countries, to maintain their numerous coach training assignments.

The idea of writing a stage musical production based on her experiences, had been in her head for many years. She had her first draft monitored by a script-doctor in New York, did a full reading with theatre-artists, hired an “arranger” to make the music in her head translate to the piano keys.

To make the drama enjoyable and entertaining, she created more than 17 songs, writing the lyrics herself, and setting them to a diverse range of genres – classical, Gospel, Country Western, even a German beer song. Every character has his/her own special song, which defines and differentiates them.

The choreography and movement director is Darren Royston, who has worked with Royal Academy for Dramatic Art and the National Theatre in UK. This entire cast and the director of this English-language musical are Thais. The ensemble has been intensively trained by English language dialogue and diction coaches. Among the performers are well-known singer Pete Pol and TV star Yah Janya. The stage director Napisi Reyes has also directed multiple musical productions.

Early bird discounts are available until tomorrow (April 20). Visit http://www.ThaiTicketMajor.com.

A mirror to the modern lifestyle

Published April 21, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367882

A mirror to the modern lifestyle

Art April 18, 2019 12:10

By The Nation

 In the belief that the design of household products serves as a mirror reflecting society and the personal lifestyles of individuals, the Japan Foundation, Bangkok, in collaboration with TCDC Bangkok, TCDC Chiang Mai, TCDC Khon Kaen, and the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Gallery, Khon Kaen University, are co-organising the travelling exhibition “Japanese Design Today 100”. It will show at TCDC Bangkok from April 24 to May 26 then move to Chiang Mai from June 8 to 30 at TCDC, and end at Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Gallery where it will show from July 12 to 28

The exhibition features 100 finest examples of Japanese design with a focus on everyday products. It combines superbly designed products of recent years with a group of classic and modern designs. The word “today” in the exhibition thus comprehensively encompasses the time frame dating back from the 1950s to after 2010 that has had a significant influence on the design of today. These designs render a vivid picture of hopes and dreams of the people who use the products as well as the designers and corporations who create them.

Renowned designers both from Japan and Thailand will be guest speakers, among them Kashiwagi Hiroshi, Professor Emeritus of Musashino Art University, Vice-President of Thai Package Design Association (Thai PDA) for academic affairs Assoc Prof Patave Arrayapharnon, Dr Kham Chaturongakul Instructor, Industrial design, Faculty of Architecture , Khon Kaen University and two members of the Bangkok-based o-d-a design group Jutamas Buranajade and Piti Amraranga, who design children’s furniture for Japanese brand, Katoji and produce their own works as o-d-a brand.

Representing whom or what?

Published April 15, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367613

  • Photo/Natapol Meechart
  • Photo/Natapol Meechart

Representing whom or what?

Breaking News April 15, 2019 10:35

By Pawit Mahasarinand
Special to The Nation

A Taiwanese-Thai contemporary dance collaboration questions cultural exchange

CHANG THEATRE in Thung Khru, Thonburi was filled up to capacity on the last weekend of March when “Behalf”, the new contemporary dance collaboration between Taiwan’s Chen Wu-Kang and our Pichet Klunchun, made its stop in Bangkok as part of the 2019 tour which started in Singapore a week earlier and followed on from the world premiere last May in Taipei.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

Taiwanese expatriates as well as those from other countries were among the Thais in the audience, and their level of anticipation, as for any new work by such internationally acclaimed artists, was indeed high. Some 100 minutes later after the surprise-filled performance, no one was disappointed. And that wasn’t just because we’d just had yet another new experience in performing arts collaboration, but also because we had been inspired to think more deeply about cultural representation and exchange.

At the IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Review held a month earlier, critics noted intercultural collaboration as an important trend for our performing arts. They pointed out financial and administrative support from such cultural agencies as Japan Foundation, Goethe Institut and Taiwan’s culture ministry through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand (TECOT) – and their clearly defined Southeast Asia cultural exchange strategy carried out by, respectively, Asia Centre’s Wa project, the International Co-production fund and Southbound policies, as major forces. This is despite the fact that their Thai counterpart, namely our culture ministry, which still favours traditional arts as cultural ambassadors, hasn’t yet shown any sign that it would want to match the investment.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

Partly because of this, Thai artists, in the context of intercultural collaboration, have rarely taken lead, or even equal, roles. All men are, supposedly, created equal; all collaborators are not. Oftentimes, when it comes to decision making in their new creation, it’s the artists from the country who initiated the collaboration and funds the project who will have the final say, while the Thai counterparts give them the world-famous Siamese smile.

Truly a rare case, “Behalf” is anything but.

While Taiwan’s culture ministry is both the matchmaker, who introduced the two artists to each other in the first place, and the supporter, who’s been funding their research, production fees and now touring costs, there’s no pressure for either the production outcome or the deadline. It’s the two collaborators themselves who decide when and how they will put on a show. Reflecting its length and multi-faceted nature, Chen even calls this “an intercultural/dance dialogue and an intimate exchange of physical, emotional and philosophical experiences” with Pichet. Besides, the fact that they’re both listed as dancer and choreographer in the programme leaflet shows that they are, supposedly, creating this work together, before bringing on board Singaporean dramaturg Tang Fu-Kuen, Japanese lighting designer Takayuki “Kinsei” Fujimoto and Taiwanese set designer Liao Yin-Chiao.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

In the performance, after a pulsating prologue performed in the dark by virtuosic musician and composer Sarut “Bank” Baworntirapak and his collaborator, Pichet and Chen entered the stage and took turns performing their solos. Each of these lasted three minutes and was marked, if not interrupted, by an alarm sound from the other’s mobile phone. While one was performing, the other would watch but never do more than that. It was as if their stage time had been equally shared and each would rather “be” in his own “half”. The audience, probably yearning for their duet, couldn’t help wondering whether this could be called a collaboration or questioning what performing together actually meant.

Given the two artists’ very different dance backgrounds – one in western classical ballet and modern dance, the other in Thai classical dance – and the project’s working title “Body Tradition,” one would have expected this new work to show either the relationship between tradition and contemporaneity or some kind of new dance vocabulary the two contemporary dance artists had come up with after working together for three years. Many who assumed that any Taiwanese contemporary dance ambassador would be something like Cloud Gate Dance Theatre had also wondered if Chen’s ballet background would take the back seat in this collaboration.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

We came to realise that the two artists also love experimenting and are not easily satisfied with what they’ve already achieved.

What the audience saw on stage were two well-established dancers and choreographers who had, as evidenced by their movements, been through a long journey, filled with questions as well as doubts, in their professional and personal lives. And as they’re riding waves of

traditions and contemporaneity, their performance showed traits of so many cultures that the audience didn’t need to separate one from another.

In a good number of intercultural collaborations, it’s the collaborating artists who benefit the most, as they learn through the process of sharing and experimenting and the funding bodies who can always take some credit, if not pride. Occasionally, this leaves the audience wondering what exactly we would gain from it and whether the artists would have any opportunity to develop this special relationship further after the funding runs out. “Behalf” makes sure that the audience is also part of it, although we’re only in it for less than two hours not three years like these two artists.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

The post-show Q&A of “Behalf” followed the curtain call so quickly that no members of the audience felt that they should go home or even visit the toilet and it became an integral part of the work. Unlike other Q&As in which the dramaturg or invited scholars might warm up the floor with a few questions, this was truly open for the audience to ask the two artists any questions or voice any comments, in Thai or English. In my attempt to keep the work’s surprises intact, I should only reveal here that as soon the artists saw there were no more questions from the audience – and as usual in Thailand that was quite soon – they wrapped up the Q&A, “Behalf” didn’t simply finish there and a lucky audience member had a chance to end it later.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

In the end, “Behalf” might have disappointed some audience members who were hoping for a Pichet and Chen duet, or th the presumed outcome of this collaboration would have lasted longer than a Sunday afternoon, and one can’t really blame them for feeling this way. Many, if not all, would agree, though, that what we saw in this intercultural collaboration was simply two individual artists who hold passports from two different countries working together: they don’t really represent anything or anyone other than themselves.

CATCH THEM IN EUROPE SOON

With the ongoing support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, “Behalf” will be at Centre Pompidou in the French capital on April 24 and 25. It continues to Festival DDD (Dias da Danca) in Porto, Portugal on April 27 and 28 and Kaaitheater in the Belgian capital on May 4 and 5.

Picasso slept here, so they say

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367235

One of the artisans of Fakaha in Ivory Coast shows what he swears is a self-portrait that Pablo Picasso painted while visiting the remote village “sometime” in the last century, though exactly when is debated./AFP
One of the artisans of Fakaha in Ivory Coast shows what he swears is a self-portrait that Pablo Picasso painted while visiting the remote village “sometime” in the last century, though exactly when is debated./AFP

Picasso slept here, so they say

Art April 08, 2019 01:00

By Agence France-Presse
Fakaha, Ivory Coast

He just stumbled in, no shirt, stayed a while, shared some tips and also learned a lot

“I’M SURE! I tell you, he came. I saw him!” insists Soro Navaghi, keen to extinguish any doubts about Picasso’s visit to a small Ivorian village famed for its painted textiles.

Whether in tourist brochures or online, it is not unusual to find references to Picasso’s reputed visit to Fakaha, a remote village in northern Ivory Coast, some 650 kilometres from Abidjan, the economic capital.

French travel guide Petit Fute describes Fakaha as “internationally renowned” for its hand-spun cotton cloth painted by the Senufo people, which once “charmed a certain Picasso as he paid a discreet visit to the region at the turn of the century”.

One of the artisans of Fakaha in Ivory Coast shows what he swears is a self-portrait that Pablo Picasso painted while visiting the remote village “sometime” in the last century, though exactly when is debated./AFP

A whole mythology has grown up around the question of Africa and Picasso, who never spoke of having been to Fakaha.

For the artist who once provocatively brushed off the subject, saying “Negro art? Don’t know it” was also an ardent admirer and passionate collector of African art.

Highlighting the resemblance between African sculpture and some of Picasso’s work, many art critics see the symbolism and imagery of Africa as one of his sources of inspiration.

One often-cited example is the striking similarity between an African Grebo mask and one of the faces in his 1907 breakthrough work “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”.

“Whenever someone emphasised the influence of African art on the development of his own work, he would shrug his shoulders, annoyed at being reduced to that. Although it is certain he was influenced by it from 1906 when he experienced his first African sculptures,” says Gilles Plazy, one of his biographers.

“Picasso used everything that came through his door and integrated it into the constant evolution of his artistic process,” he told AFP. “He opened up new paths.”

Fakaha has its own widespread reputation in the arts, producing beautiful paintings on white cotton fabric./AFP

For the several hundred residents of Fakaha, there is no question about where the celebrated Andalusian artist and sculptor found his inspiration, after stumbling upon their village 15km from the main road to Korhogo.

For decades these local artists have been hard at work in open huts around a sandy track, where they can be found smearing earth-based pigments onto canvas.

Their dexterity is fascinating, their moves precise. Working with knives or sticks, they plunge their tools into the bowls of colour, quickly transforming the white cotton into a work of art covered with animal motifs and figures in masks.

And there is an element of Picasso in it, with a definite similarity between his works and those of the artists of Fakaha.

But is this just a random resemblance or creative coincidence?

“I tell you, he came here. He was inspired by us,” repeats Soro Navaghi, who’s in his 60s.

AFP

Picasso’s car apparently broke down while driving to Korhogo, and he set off on foot and eventually turned up in the village “bare-chested and without shoes”, Navaghi says.

The artist stayed there for several days and even gave the villagers some advice, they say.

“It was he who taught us to use sponges and toothbrushes to be quicker and more precise,” says Silue Naganki, one of the artists who takes his inspiration from long-dead ancestors.

“Before him, we never used the frames either. It was he who advised us to paint the frames.”

Ducking into his house, Soro Navaghi comes up with the “ultimate proof” – a cotton canvas featuring Picasso himself.

The fabric is covered with multiple motifs of a bald, white man, sometimes wearing shorts, sometimes in a grass skirt, who is variously clutching a pencil or paintbrush or even some twigs.

A self-portrait by the master! Surely there can be no doubt, even for an amateur, that this is Picasso, proclaims Navaghi.

Attached to the canvas is a self-declared certificate of authenticity signed by a travel agent who attests to having witnessed the visit.

A group of women spin cotton in the village of Fakaha./AFP

“Picasso came barefoot to Fakaha in 1968. He worked shirtless and without clothes,” says the document, a copy of the original which is kept in the village archives for safekeeping.

For biographer Plazy, the account would have delighted the eclectic painter, the idea of him visiting Fakaha “like a magician, and infusing the traditional local art with an invigorating breath of fresh air”.

“There were a lot of stories about Pablo Picasso, and since he had a sense of humour, he would sometimes pretend some of them were true.”

Picasso died in 1973 at age 91, and other villagers concede that his visit was probably earlier than 1968, given his age by then.

The world-renowned painter, in his mid-80s, would have had to walk 15km through the bush, chancing upon a village with no electricity or running water and staying there several days.

Even though Picasso continued working until his death, it certainly wasn’t only at the end of his life that African influences appear in his works. But could he have been in Fakaha around the turn of the century, as travel guide Petit Fute suggests?

If he did, Picasso would have had to take a boat to Abidjan, then travel the remaining 1,000km by road in scorching, dry conditions with little shade from the sun – an adventure more suited to an explorer.

Such an epic trip would have taken at least several months, and would likely have featured in one of his biographies.

AFP contacted the Picasso Museum in Paris, which declined to comment, then spoke with several of his biographers, who also refused to be pinned down.

One theory put forward by residents of the city of Korhogo is that it was a false Picasso – a man who resembled the famed Spanish painter and fooled the villagers by pretending to be him.

But that also raises a question: why?

Sex, drugs and no easy way out

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367223

  • In a stunning installation that forms the show’s centrepiece, Headache Stencil stacks up a pile of naked dolls smeared with blood, the word “victims” sprayed on the platform. Nation/Anan Chantarasoot
  • “Sex Drugs
  • Headache Stencil’s take on “The Last Supper” offers a cornucopia of illicit and addictive drugs to ensure your prompt acquaintance with death. Nation/Anan Chantarasoot

Sex, drugs and no easy way out

Art April 06, 2019 01:00

By Phatarawadee Phataranawik
The Nation Weekend

7,434 Viewed

‘It’s complicated,’ says the artist who got Prayut and Thaksin to ‘shake hands’, now tackling other issues

Patpong , Bangkok’s most notorious red-light area, seems a likely enough place to provoke a discussion about sexual attitudes in this country. Even better, have the discussion at Candle Light Studio, a new gallery for naughty art above the Barbar Fetish Club on Patpong Soi 2.

The provocateur is the masked graffiti artist who calls himself Headache Stencil, fresh from skewering the junta government and chaotic election in his previous show, “Thailand Casino”.

The exhibition, “Sex Drugs & Headache Stencil”, officially opens Candle Light Studio, which apparently used to be a go-go bar. Families with small children can easily reach it from BTS Sala Daeng but probably shouldn’t.

The ascent to the third floor entails passing young ladies dressed in sexy cosplay outfits, who beckon passers-by inside to watch decent folks paying indecent folks to spank them. Once you reach the gallery, though, everything gets very dark very fast.

Headache Stencil has spread his edgy art around two rooms. In the first, it’s all about issues related to sex. He’s painted the walls with women in bikinis and university uniforms with dollar signs and there’s a mural of penises – in pastel blue for some reason.

Keep looking. There’s a stencil of a sexy woman with a formidable brain in a jail cell, and another of two male naval officers kissing.

“It’s an open secret that prostitution and drugs, despite being illegal, are widespread in Thailand,” Headache told The Nation Weekend. “But the issues that affect the lives of sex workers and drug addicts are quite complicated.”

The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act 1996 and Article 286 of the Criminal Code seek to handcuff the sale of sex, pimping and running “prostitution establishments”.

The laws don’t seem to be working, though. It’s been variously estimated that anywhere from 800,000 to more than two million Thais earn money as prostitutes, and many of them are under 18.

“It used to be that sex workers were all poor and uneducated, but now in our capitalist-consumerist era, many college students are getting into the sex trade because they want money to buy mobile phones, brand-name clothes and even cars and condos,” Headache said.

The victims of society

In a stunning installation that forms the show’s centrepiece, he’s stacked up a pile of naked dolls smeared with blood, the word “victims” sprayed on the platform.

“Women are regularly raped or sexually harassed in Thailand,” he said. “Some die as a result, but they all suffer in some way. They’re the victims.”

On to the next room, where the subject is drug abuse. Headache’s done a black-and-white stencil of da Vinci’s “Last Supper” on one wall, but with a 3D table that’s set with a feast of street dope. On the menu are ecstasy, yaba, cocaine, amphetamine, Xanax and LSD – none of it real, officer. You have glass pipes as well, plus a bottle of whisky for good measure. Also, stencilled skulls!

The litany of drugs appears on another wall alongside a portrait of a boy holding a marijuana bong.

“It’s like the last chapter in an addict’s life,” explains the artist, who admits he’s done some sampling. “Overdosing on drugs really is the ‘last supper’ before you die.”

As well as harming themselves, however, drug addicts and drunks also plague society with crimes committed to fuel their habits, he said. For teens, the issues are far more complicated, and the government needs to handle the matter carefully.

“The government should separate the addicts who commit crimes from those who are just sick and get the latter proper treatment.

“Both the sex trade and the drug trade are complicated. We need sustainable and realistic alternatives. We need to bring these people back into society.”

Crown’s costumes go on show in US

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367202

Crown’s costumes go on show in US

Art April 05, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

2,493 Viewed

Fans of Netflix’s “The Crown” who are planning a visit the US should be sure to check out Winterthur Museum in Delaware, which is hosting the world’s first comprehensive costume exhibition “Costuming The Crown” featuring 40 costumes from Netflix’s most acclaimed original series.

Running through January 5, 2020, the exhibition examines the role that costumes, and the costume designers’ decisions played in creating Peter Morgan’s fictionalised account of Queen Elizabeth II’s story. It has already won two Golden Globes and eight Emmys and the much-anticipated third season featuring Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman is slated to premier later this year.

Season 1 designer Michele Clapton, Season 2 designer Jane Petrie (Black Mirror) and producer Eve Swannell (Criminal) joined the team at Winterthur for the launch.

The exhibition features 40 costumes from the Emmy and Golden Globe Winning first two seasons including the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe, the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the comfort of clothes worn in private family moments.

Winterthur is America’s premiere decorative arts Museum, and previously hosted a successful exhibition featuring costumes from Downtown Abbey. The admission is $20 (Bt640) adults , $18 students/seniors, $6 children 211 and the museum is opens Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

To book tickets or find out more, visit http://www.winterthur.org/exhibitionsevents/exhibitions/thecrown/

A tale of two mountains

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367146

  • Li Cheng Jie paints as Aphirak reads a poem.
  • Thai-Chinese landscape painters Aphirak Punmoonsilp and Li Cheng Jie join up for the “Borderless” exhibition, which opens next week. They are pictured in front of Aphirak’s painting “Essence of the Yellow Mountain.”
  • Li Cheng Jie with his paintings
  • Li Cheng Jie presents a painting to Anand Panyarachun, Unicef National Goodwill Ambassador, as Aphirak Punmoonsilp, left, and Siri Gallery co-founder Taratorn Tanglitanon look on.

A tale of two mountains

Art April 05, 2019 01:00

By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
THE NATION

3,552 Viewed

Landscape artists from Thailand and China join up for a new exhibition

It is often said that art has no boundaries so it comes as no surprise to learn that two landscape painters of Thailand and China have been brought together to create a new art exhibition simply titled “Borderless”.

 

The exhibition is the first project of Siri Gallery, a group of young entrepreneurs who not only want to create what they call an communal understanding and love of art but also want to close the wide gap that exists between Thai and international artists by showcasing Thai art internationally.

“I didn’t know much about art until the day I went to Chiang Rai was so impressed by a painting that I knew I had to meet the artist. When I had a chance to talk to him and visited him at his home, I discovered his other works and was amazed he was selling them for so little money,” says Taratorn Tanglitanon, the co-founder of Siri Gallery.

 

“To help him, as well as other artists, I created Siri Gallery with my friends Titada ‘Bee’ Sakoolnamark and Suradet ‘Fay’ Chuckchaikul, and started selling the paintings in China, the US and England. Our latest project is this exhibition with China. We will use our portfolio from this exhibition to set up other exhibitions in China and England where we will show the works of 10 Thai artists.”

 

Siri Gallery started work on this, its first project, at the beginning of last year in collaboration with Thai landscape painter Aphirak Punmoonsilp. Taratorn, Titada, Suradet and the 49-year-old Aphirak who was born in Tak province but lives in Chiang Rai, travelled to Changsha to look for a Chinese artist with a similar style of work and eventually found Li Cheng Jie in Beijing. They then journeyed to the Huangshan mountain range in Eastern China, named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1990, where the two artists would create their paintings for the project.

 

“Aphirak and I spent nearly two hours hiking up the steep hill to catch sight of the stone monkey on the top of the mountain opposite. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t favourable for such an excursion. First it rained then after it stopped, the fog came down. We waited for almost three hours and we only saw the stone monkey for five minutes,” recalls Suradet.

 

Aphirak has been painting the landscapes of Doi Mae Salong, one of the most popular destinations in Chiang Rai, for 18 years and most of his works show the wild flowers and grass swaying in the wind in a style that hints at Impressionist masters Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

 

“Van Gogh conveyed his feelings of confusion through wavy lines and that made me uncomfortable. His painting ‘Wheat Field with Crows’ is so intense with a strong sense of isolation under that dark and brooding sky. It is widely considered his last painting and not long after, he committed suicide. Monet also applied his perceptions of nature to his works, revealing the tenderness he felt for the sun and flowers. I too put my feelings and emotions into my paintings,” Aphirak says.

 

Asked what makes him different from other Thai landscape artists, he says: “Paintings often show the same wild beauty and the same mountain but can look completely different depending on the artist’s approach. There has to be something else – a painting cannot be merely a portrayal of the beauty of nature. For example, while I paint views of Doi Mae Salong, they are of a mountain barren of trees. It is my way of expressing my sadness at the deforestation of the land,” he explains.

 

Li Cheng Jie agrees. “Each artist has a different point of interest and focuses on different things. While their paintings might show the same general view, they are different in their depth. Much also depends on the artist’s storytelling and philosophy of life. For me, it’s about reconciliation. I think of my paintings as a reflection of the inequalities of society,” says the Chinese artist, who is in his 60s.

 

“My signature style is black. I use more black than other artists. I mix it with four Chinese herbs: gan bing, zhusha [cinnabar], bingpian [borneol] and shexiang [musk]. Gan bing and bingpian help prevent decay, while zhusha gives a good smell. Zhusha is red. It protects against bad things and gives a feeling of warmth. My paintings incorporate philosophy and humanity.

 

Philosophically, I put myself in my painting. For example, if I paint a mountain, I will compare myself to the mountain and make a communication that relates to the social situation at that time,” explains Li, whose influences include Zong Qixiang, Xu Beihong, who is best known for his traditional ink paintings of horses, and Li Keran.

 

“Borderless”, which takes place at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre from Tuesday to April 21, will feature 29 paintings by Aphirak Punmoonsilp and more than 40 works by Li Cheng Jie.

“All my paintings for this exhibition are new and created during my time in China. I started work on them last year at different places and during different seasons. Some of my paintings show the mountains in Zhangjiajie in the spring and portray the blooms and the greenery while others done in Tachuan in Huangshan in autumn reflect the changing of colours and the sea of fog that shrouds the mountains. I’m a landscape artist so I need to understand nature to be able to create a work of art completely,” says Aphirak, who also travelled to Dong Chuan, Feng Huang, Zhangjiajie, and Tianmenshan.

“Chinese artists Shitao, Huang Binhong and Liu Haisu all inspired me in my travels around China,” he adds.

Li Cheng Jie created some of his works in the same locations but says that other canvases were the result of his travels. “For this exhibition, my paintings are based on black ink though some feature colourful flowers,” he says. “I believe art can connect with managers, physicians and economists. If art has thought and philosophy, it can solve a problem. Paintings should have logic, and be without confusion.”

Different strokes

– “Borderless: Sang Silp Khun Khao Rai Phrom Daen” opens on Tuesday at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre and continues through April 21.

– Admission is free.

Feast for the eyes

Published April 4, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366923

Feast for the eyes

Art April 01, 2019 15:40

By The Nation

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo marks its 60th anniversary with the exhibition titled “Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey” that continues through June.

On view are stunning works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin and other masterpieces, all collected by businessman Kojiro Matsukata. The highlights include Monet’s long missing “Water Lilies” and “Reflections of Weeping Willows”, which was found in France in 2016 and donated to the museum later. This is the first time it is going on display following restoration of the work.

Matsukata collected a massive number of artworks, in London and Paris over a period of 10 years from 1916 with the aim of establishing a museum of art to introduce Western artworks in Japan.

Many of the works were lost because they were sold off or burned in fires. However, the French government returned 375 of the works that remained in Paris to Japan after World War II. The National Museum of Western Art that was established to store and exhibit these works.

Audio guidance in English, Chinese and Korean (paid) is provided; free guide apps and tablets are also available.

Find out more at http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/.

Chiang Mai’s contemporary art museum tells its tale

Published April 4, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366918

Chiang Mai’s contemporary art museum tells its tale

Art April 01, 2019 13:30

By The Nation

2,503 Viewed

The overall story of MAIIAM – a newly-opened private museum of contemporary art in Chiang Mai – is being told in the exhibition, “Temporal Topography: MAIIAM’s New Acquisitions; from 2010 to Present”, at the museum’s Gallery 1.

It will run until March 30 next year and is being curated by Kittima Chareeprasit.

A series of public events and academic programmes with be held throughout the year and include the launch of the museum collection book, artists’ talks, screenings as well as panel discussions focusing on contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

The artists are Albert Samreth, Anusorn Charoensuk, Charles Lim, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Lim Sokchanlina, Miti Ruangkritya, Niti Wattuya, Orawan Arunrak, Ruangsak Anuwatwimon, Soichiro Shimizu, Somluk Pantiboon, Sutthirat Supaparinya, Tawatchai Puntusawasdi, Tiffany Chung, Torlarp Larpjaroensook, Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Viriya Chotpanyavisut.

MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum is one of Chiang Mai’s groundbreaking art institutions, and the museum’s collection is the driving force behind this success.

The focus is on the contemporary art of Thailand and the surrounding region, with an ongoing commitment to supporting living artists. The first acquisition was made in 1992, and since then the collection has continued to prosper, reflecting and responding to the now, whilst also passing the test of time. The exhibition responds to, and re-stages this collection scope.

“Temporal Topography” takes form through the motif of the landscape, both conceptually and physically connecting a landscape, or “common ground” shared between selected Southeast Asian artists working in the region, whilst also focusing on themes including geo-politics, socio-cultural landscapes, and artistic interpretation of topographical reality; “Temporal Topography” weaves and connects these layers. Works in the exhibition speak about territorialisation, urbanisation, conflicts and violence and also state domination and resistance concerning specific historical events. These themes are explored alongside the interconnected relationship between place and identity with works exploring the nuances between the collective and individual.

Visual perspective is used as a tool in this exhibition to give strong vantage points; and to produce the atmosphere of landscape on every scale. The physical space in the exhibition area creates the sense of an illusion which alludes to an actual landscape; beyond the works themselves; influencing the architecture of the space; and the audience viewer engagement. Have a glance at an artwork and get a sight at another, each pieces of art are visually accommodating and creates aesthetically pleasing experience which invite us to look closer; a mise-en-scene. Part of architectural foundation of the exhibition are the sculptures themselves, where the gigantic blue wall is seen metaphorically as a mountain, inherited from the familiar scenery of Chiang Mai.

Temporal Topography appears as a window for observation, offering different perspectives of contemporary art practice that present the spirit of our time.

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