Inside the art of Vasan Sittikhet

Art April 27, 2018 12:00


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Adulaya Hoontrakul, co-curator of the retrospective exhibition “I Am You” of outspoken artist Vasan Sitthiket, will lead a curator tour tomorrow (April 28) of the gallery on the eighth floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture for the public to explore the show that tracks Vasan’s works from 1975 to the present.

The tour, which starts at 2pm, will be conducted in Thai and will be joined by Assoc Prof Sutee Kunavichayanont, artist and Head of the Department of Art Theory, Faculty of Painting, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University.

Vasan, 61, is known for painting himself in the nude as well as the act of sexual intercourse to mock political and social ills that vary from corruption, dictatorship and sinful monks to the destruction of forests and the construction of power plants.

More than 100 works are on view, some of them from Vasan’s own collection and others on loan from private collectors. The works are not arranged according to a timeline, but divided into themes.

Also on display are several paintings from his controversial 1997 series “Inferno” that evoked misery in hell for, among others, a sinful monk giving out lottery numbers, a gangster and a weapon merchant who profited from suffering and devastation, and a doctor who took advantage of the poor.

Political and economic upheavals are revisited in satirical works such as his politically themed, conceptual art of the Artist Party, set up during the 2005 general election, showing posters and leaflets bearing a facetious Vasan wearing suit and tie.

The most recent work on view is a series of five figurative paintings in red, white and blue and arranged to resemble the stripes of country’s national flag. Titled “Preta”, they compare greedy capitalists and powermad authorities to hungry ghosts due to their support for constructing dams and coalfired power plants.

The curator tour is free and no reservation is required. 

A woodcut workshop will also be held on May 5 at 2pm, following with T-shirt screening with Vasan.

The exhibition continues until May 27 at the main gallery on the eighth floor. The centre is located at Pathumwan Intersection, opposite MBK mall (BTS: National Stadium). It’s open daily except Monday from 10am to 9pm.

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