Some people pass through our life briefly but leave a major impact and imprint on our minds. They inspire, encourage, and influence our future direction.
The late Chavalit Soemprungsuk, a student of Silpa Bhirasri, was one of those people. Throughout his long career, he regularly exhibited his work in Thailand while residing in the Netherlands’ capital, Amsterdam, which has the opportunity to accommodate many Thai artists. In 2013, he donated over 4000 pieces of his work and collections to the Thai government for educational purposes. This led to one of the most interesting exhibitions where his Amsterdam studio was reconstructed in the middle of Bangkok. From 2019-2020, we have seen his last and most memorable 80+ Art Festival Thailand to celebrate his career with his latest works in 6 locations.
The great thing about Chavalit was his energy, continued learning, and openness to new ideas, technology, and new ways of representation. Since 2011, he had regularly posted his digital works and his thoughts on a Facebook page. What is profound and stands out was his professionalism, passion, dedication, and belief in being an artist, in making artwork. Working in art is not easy ,and to have someone that we truly admire as a role model is crucial and at times a necessity, especially for young artists. By displaying his published written messages along with his latest work, we hope we can capture the essence of his life and work philosophy, what was left as his legacy.
From generation to generation, we learn and get inspiration from those that come before us, like how Silpa Bhirasri influenced young Chavalit until the last day of his life. Now, through his practice and work, Chavalit, in turn, has become a source of inspiration for new generations to come.
Chavalit Soemprungsuk graduated from Silpakorn University in 1962. He is one of the last groups of students to have a chance to study with Silpa Bhirasri. He also leant from many Thai masters of that generation including Paitoon Muangsomboon, Fua Haripitak, Sanan Silakorn, Khien Yimsiri and Tawee Nandakwang.
After graduation, he received a scholarship from the government of the Netherlands and was the first Thai student to study at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Unsatisfied with the teaching style, he left school and started a career as an artist. He then got accepted as a government-sponsored artist of the Netherlands, the first and only Thai artist. This allowed him to be able to work in art full-time.
His art practice has continued to develop over time, starting with realistic styles while in Thailand, gradually becoming more abstract, focusing on geometric forms, straight lines ,and color fields. He has worked with various media such as painting, drawing, printing, sculpture ,and mixed media.
For the last 6 decades, Soemprungsuk has become a prominent figure in abstract art and non-objective art. In his exhibition, ‘In Amsterdam with Chavalit Soemprungsuk’ 2013, he donated over 4000 pieces of his collections to the Thai government. These include artwork, books, furniture, belongings and even structural parts of his Amsterdam studio, under the condition that all these assets must be accessible to the public to benefit younger generations of artists. In 2014 he was honored as a National Artist of Thailand, visual arts.
For the last decade, Soemprungsuk has switched from making large sculptures and art pieces in his studio to digital works displayed through social media platforms. He later produced a tangible digital print, a one-off image that he created daily until the end of his life. Part of these works was exhibited at the ‘80+ Art Festival Thailand’, a festival of exhibitions in various locations from November 2019 – March 2020 to celebrate the artist’s career at his 80th year of age. Locations were Silpa Bhirasri’s House, Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Center, Lhong 1919, Baramee of Art, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), Numthong Art Space ,and Nan Riverside Arts Space. The plan is also to continue to publish his works in other more places in the future.
B.1976, currently lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand
Graduating with a Masters’s degree from the Faculty of Fine arts in Media Arts and Design, Chiang Mai University, he had his first solo exhibition in 1997 in Otago Polytechnic, Ritual, the Internationalem Wandertheater-Festival, Germany (2001), Tiger’s eye: ASSORTED ASIAN TIGERS, Camden Gallery, London (2003), Soi Project, Yokohama Triennale 2005, Traces of Siamese Smile: Art+Faith+Politics+Love, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) (2008), Brightness of the past, Vagueness of the Present, GALLERY point-1, Japan (2010), The Elusive Memories, RMA Institute Gallery, Bangkok (2013), New Zealand while being an exchange student. Since then, he has exhibited extensively including Shades of Red at Gallery VER, Bangkok (2017)
His works have involved and developed over various issues from identity, new media, colonialism to globalization. His inner self, memories, times, loss, abstraction, and death has also been his inspiration and fascination.
He is a manager founder of the ARTIST+RUN gallery, Bangkok, since 2016. He was also a Co-Curator for the Singapore Biennale 2013, the Singapore Art Museum ,and a curator for the Chiang Mai Now! 2011 at BACC. He also works as an independent curator for WOOFPACK and YELO HOUSE Bangkok.
B.1962, currently lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand
Jinsing Somboon is an artist and designer. He graduated in fine art from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University. In 1986, he received the 2nd Prize, Silver Medal, The 32nd National Exhibition of Art, and Award Winner, the 8th Kasikorn Bank Contemporary Art Exhibition.
He was always up for new challenges. He took a position as a designer for Greyhound for almost 20 years before overseeing and managing a new brand, Playhound by Greyhound, for another 15 years. He received the Designer of the Year Award, Silpakorn University, in 2004.
While still managing, consulting, and teaching art and design participates in many exhibitions, including “Let’s Panic!”, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2010). “Here is ZINE 8th Bangkok – Tokyo, Tokyo (2014), King’s Inspiration, The Royal Thai Embassy The Hague, Netherlands (2016), “THAI COMBO, BKK-NYC 2016” New York (2016), Sculpture ‘Chang Kid,’ Chang Chui (2018),
“Character Me,” JWD Art Space (2019) In 2018. He was selected to be part of the first Bangkok Art Biennale with his project ‘Faithway’ at Wat Pho.
B.1971, currently lives and works in Ratchaburi, Thailand
Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch is a ceramic artist who is also known for his photography, sculpture, installations ,and public art. He is the owner of Tao Hong Tai Ceramic Factory. He earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Universitaet Gesamthochschule Kassel, Germany. Believing in the accessibility and sustainability of art, he found an art center, d Kunst, and Art Normal, Ratchaburi’s first public art event.
Supanichvoraparch has exhibited in leading galleries and museums worldwide ,including Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Taiwan and Singapore. His works are among private ,and public collections presented at Hessische Landesmuseum Kassel, Le Meridien, Bangkok, Shizen Lifestyle Spa Resort, Tel-Aviv, Bangkok Sculpture Center, Ratchaburi National Museum ,and Ministry of Culture, Thailand.
In 2013, he was selected to be Thailand’s representative at the 55th Venice Biennale. He had also received the Wattanakunathorn Award in 2013 and the Silpathorn Award Winner for Design Section in 2010 from the Ministry of Culture and Thailand Designer Award in 2007 from Silpakorn University. His work is selected for the 2nd Bangkok Art Biennale 2020-21.
B.1967, currently lives and works in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand
Studied in Painting and Architecture from Rajamongala Institute of Technology Nakhonratchasima, Fasang Nava-aran works in mixed media, painting ,and installation to create abstraction. Found objects and color hues were constructed and arranged into geometric forms. His work’s appeal is not in its order but in its harmonious combination that might at first look unintended. The straightforwardness and sincerity of his work are revealed displaying the materials’ natural substances and textures.
He has participated in many groups and solo exhibitions in Thailand and abroad including “Form and Intent”, Abstract Project, Paris (2019), “Painting-Installations-Objects”, Gallery Kierat, Szczecin, Poland (2017), “Are Different”, Marsi Gallery, Bangkok (2013), “A moveable model”, Hof Art, Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC)(2011), “Appropriate”, H Gallery, Bangkok (2008), Swirling, Gusty Wind, Gallery 55, Bangkok (2005) and ArtSingapore 2002: The Contemporary Asian Art Fair. In 2013, he participated in the Biennale Internationale d’Art Non Objectif (International Biennale of Non-Objective Art), Le Pont-de-Claix in France.
B.1988, currently lives and works in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Pannaphan Yodmanee combines found and natural object, and painted elements that recall traditional Thai art and architecture. Through her works, she explores Buddhist philosophy and cosmology. Her works imbue the designs and motifs endemic to traditional Thai art with the universal themes of loss, suffering, devastation, and the karmic cycles of death and rebirth.
Pannaphan Yodmanee has widely exhibited her work internationally, including “Myth History II: Shanghai Galaxy,” Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China (2015), Thailand Eye, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK and Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), Bangkok, Thailand, “Singapore Biennale 2016: An Atlas of Mirrors”, Singapore Art Museum (SAM) Singapore, Solo Exhibition “TIME LAPSE,” Tang Contemporary Art Gallery, Beijing, China, The 1st Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), “In the Aftermath” site-specific installation in The 9Tth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) at QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art) Queensland, Australia, 11th Bienesse Prize, Fukutake House, Shodoshima Island Japan (2019), “Quarterly Myth” site-specific installation 15th Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale, France (2019-2020)
She received numerous awards such as the 1st Prize, Bualuang Gold Medal, The 35th Thai Traditional Painting Awards (2013), and the 1st Prize of the 1st and the 2nd Young Thai Artist Awards (2006, 2007). In 2016, Pannaphan Yodmanee also won the prestigious 11th Benesse Prize.