In February of
2007, Angels Gate Visual Arts Director Marshall Astor traveled to Thailand, to meet with Jessada Kongsommart, one
top young painters. Over a ten day
period, he visited the studios, galleries and art schools of Thailand, meeting with dozens of young artists,
getting a feel for the flavor of the local art scene and its role in the
culture and history of Thailand. It was immediately apparent that these artists
were doing tremendous work and that there was a unique opportunity to bring
some of that work to the United
States for the first time.
The exhibition, Five Feelings, Angels Gate International
Exhibiton 2007: Thailand, consists of five artists, Jieng Sae Jern, Narupon
Chutiwansopon, Jessada Kongsommart, Pongsak Pechmang, and Narakorn Sittties. Artists Jessada Kongsommart and Pongsak
Pechmang will be traveling from Thailand
to visit the United States
for the first time, and to attend the opening, which will be held in the style
of a Thai art opening.
About the Artists
Jiang Sae Jern’s
mixed-media works, Overseas Panda,
touch on his experience as a Chinese expatriate working in a new land. His self-portraits, wearing an oversize
paper-mache, panda head speak to the constant presence of his Chinese identity,
by appropriating one of China’s
most well known symbols.
Chutiwansopon’s series of drawings on paper, Rhythm of Tide, are a beautiful reference to the importance of
tides, seasons and weather to everyday Thai life.
Jessada Kongsommart lives a double life, with
one foot in his home in a rural village in Kalasin, and another in Bangkok, Thailand’s
bustling modern metropolis. His acrylic
and oil paintings reference the waters, silk and farm life of Kalasin, and are
rendered in a contemporary style that makes bold reference to conceptual art
is a photographer, by day managing a busy wedding photography studio in Sri
where young couples take their final portraits before they begin their new
lives and families together. As a fine
art photographer, he captures images of the clouds and weather that define the
rhythms of Thai life, from the impending monsoon, to the calm sky at sunset.
mixed media paintings of figures, surrounded by deep red backgrounds, their
faces hidden, either by cloth or by shadow, address ideas of identity and
place. These faceless portraits push the
viewers to see themselves in his paintings.
exhibition is a small catalog, featuring two works by each of the five
participants in the exhibition.
International Programming at Angels Gate
Over the past
three years, Angels Gate Cultural
Center’s international program has
hosted major poets, playwrights, journalists and visual artists from the Czech Republic, Indonesia,
Macedonia, and Pakistan.