Monday, December 28, 2009

Uniform/Uniformity by Tawan Wattuya

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Tang Contemporary Art – Bangkok presents

Uniform/Uniformity, A peep at Thailand’s back parlor

Artist: Tawan Wattuya

Date: 14 January - 14 February 2010
Mon – Sat 11am – 7pm
(Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays)

Exhibition @ Tang Contemporary Art
Unit B-28 (Basement), Silom Galleria
919/1 Silom Road (Soi 19), Bangkok 10500 Thailand

OPENING RECEPTION: Tang Contemporary Art cordially invites you to the opening reception on Thursday,
14 January, 6.30 pm onwards at Tang Contemporary Art - Bangkok.


Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the latest solo exhibition of the acclaimed young painter Tawan Wattuya. Since first appearing on the Thai contemporary art scene in
2000, Wattuya has continuously excelled at translating his provocative social visions into forceful artworks. He uses art as a weapon to break through the conventional image of the society he lives in.

In the exhibition “Uniform/Uniformity” Tawan questions the appearances of Thai social groups. He focuses on pictures from magazines in which gathered people appear, posing in rows. Families posing for a wedding ceremony, politicians, Miss Thailand contestants, students, all groups evoking the social order. He ironically strips some of the models as to make them appear as a group of massage parlor prostitutes. He points out the importance of appearances in the Thai society, the significance of the social status shown by the uniform one is wearing. This will be the starting point on this new search of Thailand’s hidden face, once again related to Thailand’s social identity.

Tawan had already explored what makes the identity of Thai people in his first solo show “Japanese and European” (2000), focusing on the trends followed by Thai teens and their fascination for Japanese and Korean pop culture. His show, “500” (2005) which presented a set of 500 watercolor blurred portraits of the ex Prime Minister Taksin was probably the starting point of Tawan’s politically engaged art, since then he has explored a very personal watercolor technique which has become Tawan’s trademark. He now developed the technique into becoming a concept of its own. In 2007 he proposed a very provocative vision of Thai society in “Siamese Freaks” portraying Thai political figures and Pop stars as monstrous Siamese freaks. Ironically ranging political men at the same level as TV pop stars, or even anonymous porn actors, he revealed the “inversed” power of the media. In his 2008 show with sculptor Haritorn Akarapat “The Inner I” he used street dogs as a satire of his compatriots. By paintings the attitudes of the dogs as being human, pride, self contentment, exerted animal like sexuality, he once again succeeded a very ironic and strong portrayal of Thai people. In his show with the photographer Tada Varich, “Story of the Eye” (2009), he explored sexuality, not only mocking Thai censorship on erotic images but also shaking Thai conventional and prude painting of nudes.

Strong from all his past experiences, Tawan has reached a precocious maturity. In this long awaited exhibition of his new work, two years in the making, Tawan Wattuya returns with a strong and technically accomplished serie. His paintings are a profound exploration of the human condition; an introspection of the Thai people; what makes their identity, their approach of sexuality, their beliefs. Tawan Wattuya uses his painting medium truly as a weapon to raise crucial questions, threatening the apparent uniformity and structure of his own society. Through his work he seems to ask:
In such social conditioning, how could one express himself freely and above all how could one free himself from the tyranny of identity?

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany this exhibition.

For Public and Media Enquires, please contact the gallery @ +(662) - 630 1114
Fax: +(662) – 630 3264 or email:,

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