Our Artist of the Month for July is Thai artist Sujin Wattanawongchai and his abstract paintings.
Born in The capital of Bangkok, Sujin Wattanawongchai received his Bachelors from Chulalongkorn University. He went on to receive an MFA in Fine Art at Fort Hays State University. He spent a few years in New York before finally returning to Bangkok to open his own studio.
Wattanawongchai’s colourful abstract canvases are inspired by a variety of subject matter, from the education system in Thailand to members of the royal family of Thailand, such as King Rama 9.
Despite these seemingly disparate sources of inspiration, Wattanawongchai always engages with the raw emotions through which he responds to the subject. The end result is a unique work of art that vibrates with an energy that makes each of his works truly unique.
Wattanawongchai has exhibited his works across various locations in the world, including Jeju Island in Korea, Sobatpermpoon Gallery and YenkaArt Villa in Thailand.
Looking at “04-2016”, one cannot help by notice the harmony within the acrylic on linen work. Wattanawongchai’s use of dynamic hues of blue, orange and white - a reflection of Thailand’s own vibrant colours - are perfectly balanced within the square of colour.
This is consistent with his darker and more muted canvases such as “05-2016”; flecks of white, red, yellow and purple are interspersed consciously and carefully throughout the largely deep brown, almost black canvas. There is a sense of rhythm in the way that Wattanawongchai applied his colours and paint strokes.
Sometimes, Wattanawongchai overlays with his abstract canvases with large text in a mixture of English and Thai, with slogans like ‘NEW DAY’, ‘TO MORROW’ in large bold letters. Time is often a feature of these slogans, speaking to the importance of time in our contemporary condition and our obsession with progresses and development.
In 2015 Wattanawongchai was part of a group exhibition ‘Copy-Paste’, in which Thai artists responded to the method of rote learning prevalent in Thailand. One of his works was a monolithic diptych that was severely pared down in terms of colour, employing the use of horizontal and vertical strokes in repetitive manner. The work mimicked a book with no clear text, which critiqued the education system, and creating an impactful presence within the space.
Wattanawongchai is an artist that is sensitive to the world around him and his works reflect his inner-world of thought and feelings in a beautifully elegant visual narrative.
See more of Sujin Wattanawongchai's works here.