This latest exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery shows the creativity and boldness of Thailand’s contemporary art scene. 

 

[EXH] No.3_Navins of Bollywood_billboard
Navin Rawanchaikul, Navins of Bollywood, 2008. 
From the second that you step into Thailand Eye , visitors are taken into a strange almost Wonderland like world filled with imagination and creativity that can be somewhat overwhelming if you aren’t used to it.

It is the first major showcase of Thai art in the UK, which is being hosted as part of the celebrations of the 6oth birthday of the Thai Princess, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

There is an extraordinary mix of material on display that celebrates Thai culture in a comprehensive if muddled way. From photography and installations to drawings and paintings, this is an exhibition that is filled with a wide variety of different interpretations of Thailand.

The trouble is that there is no real flow to it and all of the ideas expressed in the work feel as though they overlap and not given any room to express their meanings properly.

[EXH] Pink Man in Paradise #1, 2003
Pink Man in Paradise #1 Pura Luhur Uluwatu, 2003, Manit Sriwanichpoom
But there are plenty of pieces that are easy to enjoy and fascinating to look at. For example Manit Sriwanichpoom’s Pink Man in Paradise series shows the beauty of Thailand but at the same time by adding a man in a pink suit enhances that beauty and makes it stand out even more.

Krit Ngamsom’s A Gift of series also stands out by celebrating the spiritual side of Thailand in a very modern way, with three boxes representing wealth, love and prosperity that will charms and draws the visitor to what to expect from the exhibition.

However, despite the insight that the exhibition provides, it still feels very empty and soulless that it can be difficult to fully appreciate what is on display.

It is a rare opportunity to see what Thailand’s contemporary art scene is like and for that reason alone this exhibition deserves to be seen. The artists showcased here have plenty of ideas and are clearly proud of their culture. But on the other hand, without putting the work into context of the Thai culture it can be a bit confusing.

Thailand Eye is on display to the public until the 3rd January 2016 and is available to visit for free. 

 

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