Gallery: Art Supermarket
Opening / Event Date: 21 Nov, 2019
Closing / End Date: 2 May, 2020
Affinity Art is delighted to present Resilience by Praween Piangchoompu, the Thai artist’s first solo show in Hong Kong. Through a series of ethereal woodcut prints, the artist offers a glimpse of his mindscape where both memory and sentiment are visualised.
Set in minimalist, almost stark compositions, the works momentarily root the viewer in a familiar interior. Subtle shifts in light emphasise the everyday objects depicted – be it a desk with a lamp, a chair or two cups set on a bare table, with the glow from a nearby window casting their shadows in an otherwise empty scene. Though void of life, the carefully chosen objects hint to signs of presence – the slightly deflated pillows, half filled glasses, two chairs facing each other. The scenes can be understood as a conversation, or rather, an echo of one happening at another time and place.
In the work Middle of Nowhere No. 2. a pigeon, placed with its back to the viewers, watches his fellow birds fly freely outside. Of this the artist states:
“I want to talk about the median plane found between the inside and outside… The pigeon symbolizes me, of course, and the universal connotation is freedom. I think everyone wants freedom, but at the same time, it is not always the answer. I choose to be in the middle, to find that perfect balance.”
To find this balance – be it between freedom and captivity, light and darkness, experience and dream – one must be able to walk through realms of uncertainty with a mind that needs to be, as Piangchoompu reminds viewers, most resilient.
Piangchoompu brings traditional woodcut printing to another level. Behind the deceptively simple aesthetics lies a highly complex and laborious process.The artist spends countless hours carving the wood, sanding down minute amounts, aligning the paper, preparing his pigments, rolling out each layer, operating the press, then meticulously cleaning the board, waiting for the ink to dry before repeating these steps for the next layer. Each work may take up to twenty-five layers, in contrast to the one, two or up to six layers in the traditional process. This highly labour-intensive and demanding methodology yields works with unique textures, luminosity and subtle, understated visual aesthetics. Muted tones shift imperceptibly into seamless gradients, in contrast to traditional prints where colours, lines and shapes are clearly defined.
About The Artist
Praween Piangchoompu (b. 1989, Thailand) has exhibited locally and internationally, including at The National Art Museum of China (NAMoC), Beijing (2019); The International Biennial Print Exhibition, Taiwan (2016) and Kruangthai Art Awards Exhibition, Thailand (2015) amongst others. Piangchoompu is the recipient of prestigious awards presented by the International Print Biennial, Lodz, Poland (2016); the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2016) ; the Tokyo International Mini Print Triennial (2015); the Guanlan Print Biennale, China (2015), 6th Indonesia International Triennale (2018), The Queen Sonja Print Award, Norway (2016) and recently the Gold Prize at the Ulsan International Print Biennale in South Korea (2019). He currently lives and works in Chiangmai, Thailand.