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2008

Friday 07th November

Eight Thai Artists & Buddha

Isis Cafe

Starts at 6:30 pm ( finishes at 8:00PM )

Admission: by invitation Only

The launch of the Isis Cafe Gallery

The latest Art Gallery in Levenshulme will be launched with the exhibition "Eight Thai Artists & Buddha"
The Exhibition preview is at the www.isiscafe.co.uk website

Refreshments served from 6.30
Gallery Opening by Cllr John Commons at 7pm

Visual art (as we know it in the west) is a relatively new phenomenon in Thailand. The only type of visual art before the late 20th century was religious, or decorative for palaces or temples.

Buddhism being the main religion, people didn't have other figures such as saints, sinners, martyrs, christs, prophets or any such subjects for painting or sculpting.

The subject matter of self indulgent angst or 'self-expression' which passes so freely for art in the west was of no interest to Thais. Everyone was Buddhist and there was no one to appreciate such self expressions, and life was so hard that there was no time for this either.

With the influx of so many western visitors from the 1980s onwards there came a demand for representational art, as seen in the west and Thai artists began to paint what their clients wanted. To do this they needed to study the west and its art. They did this by copying from the great western artists
in some cases improving upon them.

There is a very interesting school of art developing in Thailand with some very fine 'painterly' painters coming forward. Some of these are melding their own cultural identity with what they are learning from the West.

In the exhibition we have some of the best of these artists, and hope to exhibit more of them in the future.

The photos show the artists in their studios which are open and may have as many as eight artists working together, all at the same time. Children, dogs, neighbours and buyers drop in.

The apprentice system still works in Thailand. The aspiring painter will work for a ‘master’ he admires, doing the work they are instructed to do by the owner of the studio and getting free training in the process. When they feel ready, they will hope to leave and open their own studio.

As most artists are practising Buddhists, the most common subject matter is their own interpretation of the face of Buddha.

As Thai names are so difficult, long involved things, most Thai's have a nickname that they go by.
In the following list the full name is followed by the nickname

Chaiwichit Sappaso 'joey'
Phuwadon Larpudomsuk. 'pisit'
Paisarn Akkasarakul. 'pon'
Anek Pongitmongkung 'aah''
Sairak Leahkimchoy 'vee'
Veechasur Balleevechon 'chas'
Ratchpisek Potbinklang 'pee'
Prachum Thongmee 'mee'

Photos taken during Eight Thai Artists & Buddha

 isis exhibition poster Sairak Leahkimchoy  - Vee (the artists wife and daughter) Veechasur Balleevechon  - Chas (the artists daughter ‘chompoo’) Paisarn Akkasarakul  - pon Anek Pongitmongkung - aah