October 25, 2012 00:00
By Phatarawadee Phataranawik
Singapore Art Museum hosts Buddhist-inspired exhibition
The Singapore Art Museum is hosting a major exhibition, “Thai Transience”, featuring works by 25 Thai artists. Opening tonight, it’s part of Singapore’s Thai Festival, aimed at boosting friendship and cultural exchange.
Curator Apinan Poshyananda says the exhibition is inspired by monk Lung Por Cha Supanttho’s teachings on the transience of life. It includes both rare antiques and modern art, ranging from paintings, sculptures, installations and films to videos. Some of the pieces are part of the museum’s permanent collection.
“We have antiques from Ban Chiang – statues of the Buddha from different periods, from Ayutthaya to Rattanakosin,” Apinan says. “We’ve tried to emphasise that art has roots. Artists often talk about their roots and inspirations in discussing similarities and differences in their work.”
The show’s highlights include drawings by National Artist Thawan Duchanee that have not appeared in public before. They’re from his Tri Bhumi series, done in Germany and Thailand during the 1980s.
Imhathai Suwantthnanasilp’s sculptures, made with her own hair and that of her late father, deal with how she dealt with the loss of a parent.
Phatyos Buddhacharoen lights up the museum with his spiritual installation “Namo Buddhaya: A Path toward the Divine Light”, surrounded by lit candles.
Rirkrit Tiravanija sent an assistant to paint a mural on the gallery wall that depicts everyday life, inspired by the muralists of the past like Klua Inkhong.
And Pratchaya Phinthong has created a new installation based on Buddhist philosophy.
Later this year and next, Thailand’s Fine Arts Department will also mount the exhibition “Enlightened Ways: The Many Stream of Buddhism”, and Thailand Post will present “The Postal Connection of Thailand and Singapore”.