Sovereign Asia Art Prize Winner at Craig Scott Gallery - Introducing Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew
INTRODUCING UTTAPORN NIMMALAIKAEW, WINNER OF THE SOVEREIGN ASIA ART PRIZE, AT CRAIG SCOTT GALLERY
TORONTO, FEBRUARY 10 – MARCH 4, 2007
Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, February 10, 3:30-6:30
To see images of the exhibition works, go to: Exhibition Page for Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew
From February 10 until March 4, 2007, Craig Scott Gallery, in partnership with the Tall Poppies Group, presents an inaugural solo exhibition by one of Thailand’s – indeed, Asia’s – most exciting young and rapidly emerging artists. “Introducing Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew” presents 10 works in the unique style of Nimmalaikaew’s winning entry in the Sovereign Asia Art Prize competition of 2006. Nimmalaikaew has developed a mixing of media that produces magical results. One image accompanying this press release, entitled “Image of Body (Mom) No 8,” is the Sovereign Art Prize winning piece. The Sovereign, now in existence for some five years, is widely regarded as having become one of the, if not the, leading Asia-wide painting prize. Prior to the Sovereign, Nimmalaikaew had already won several national prizes in Thailand (selected list below), and he is a finalist in Japan’s 2007 BEPPU Biennale.
Nimmalaikaew’s works start from a canvas backdrop that is set inside a deep casement, and that is then lightly veiled by multiple layers of thread and netting. The artist paints (as well as prints with an Ink Jet) not only on the canvas but also on the thread and netting in order to create shimmering portraits and figurative scenes. He creates a depth of field that goes beyond three-dimensional space; rather, his work captures a time-space dimension in a way that has few parallels in the history of art. Yet, to put it that way is still an understatement, for Nimmalaikaew’s genius lies in the way he imagines, and is able to execute with astonishing virtuosity, what might be called a ‘meta-dimension’ that fuses time, space and spirit. At a thematic level, his present work expresses a deep reverence and love for family.
Nimmalaikaew speaks of his work in an interview with Jonathan Thomson of Asian Art News shortly after being presented with the Sovereign Asia Art Prize at a Hong Kong ceremony:
It took me quite a long time to develop my concept. The layers help represent the complexity of life and relationships and all of the stages of life. The actual technique started with a mosquito net and things seen through the netting. I intentionally draw the threads through the netting and leave them drooping to suggest a life flowing, of aging, and physical degeneration. It is part of my concept that people have to look through my work, not just at it. People have to see my work and experience it…. It is impossible to replicate my work in a photograph.from “Inevitable Cycles,” (July/Aug 2006) 16 Asian Art News [Interview of Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew by Jonathan Thomson]
At age 27, Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew is at the forefront of a new generation of artists in Thailand. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in Bangkok. He then completed his Master of Fine Arts (Painting) Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Printing, Silapakorn University, Bangkok. He is now an Art Instructor of Painting, Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Bangkok; he plans to continue on to doctoral work in art.
Amongst his recent art honours are the following:
>> Selected finalist for BEPPU Biennale of Contemporary Art award exhibition to be held in Japan, 2007
>> First Prize, The Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2006 (Hong Kong)
>>First Prize, Gold Medal, Painting Section : The 51st National Exhibition of Art, 2005, Bangkok, Thailand
>>First Prize, 7th Panasonic Contemporary Painting Competition, Bangkok, Thailand
>>First Prize, 17th Toshiba “Brings Good Things to Life” Art Competition, Bangkok, Thailand
>First Prize, 18th Thailand Petroleum Authority’s Art Competition "Painting the Dreams for A Virtuous Society", Bangkok, Thailand
>>First Prize, 5th Panasonic Contemporary Painting Competition, Bangkok, Thailand
>>First Prize / Gold Medal, 19th Exhibition of Contemporary Art by Young Artists, Thailand
>>Special Award, 14th Toshiba “Brings Good Things to Life” Art Competition, Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand is a country noted for exceptional technical training of its artists and for a culture brimming with artistic creativity. Thai art, too long a hidden gem in the art universe, is poised to make the world sit up and take notice in the coming years, on the coattails of a group of senior Thai artists who have established themselves on the global art scene in recent years and with the energy and vision of a new generation.
As one measure of the emerging artistic genius of Thailand, Craig Scott Gallery is pleased, simultaneously with “Introducing Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew,” to display works by two of Nimmalaikaew’s colleagues in the Tall Poppies Art Group (see www.tallpoppiesart.com), Chainarong Kongklin and Narakorn Sittites. Chainarong’s figurative paintings comment on society, especially youth, bound up in modern technology; his works are rendered in a unique form of hyper-realism in glowing and neon-like colour schemes. Narakorn’s paintings are dominated by rich reds and blacks as he conveys a personal search for the right path as an inner struggle between enlightenment and passion.