Thai artist combines Japanese cartoons with traditional Thai motifs – Bangkok Post

THAI EMERGING CONTEMPORARY ARTIST INTERVIEW

In late 2010, Bangkok Post published an alluring interview with contemporary Thai artist Korakrit Arunanondchai, who at 23-years-old has taken the world of design and fine art by storm. His artworks collate two disparate subjects, Japanese manga and traditional Thai motifs, to produce installation spaces with silkscreen paintings and digital media.

Korakrit Arunanondcha, 'Temple of the Moon', 2008, acrylic on paper cut outs, UV light, 10 ft x 8 ft. Image from gamescene.org.

The premise of print-maker Korakrit Arunanondchai’s works emanates from childhood memories of watching Japanese cartoons and playing video games, and he has always sustained a deep passion for the “ornate temples and serene Buddha statues” found in Thai culture. Visually, his art works “contain representational details of subjects such as animals and trees, while others have roots in Japanese cartoons.”

The power of non-representation

Abstraction is important to Arunanondchai’s work, which is aimed at exercising and stimulating an individual’s mind.

When looking at an abstract art work, different individuals see different things. While I just think about a perfect composition when creating the work, other people may see a bird, or anything they can imagine. Art in my view doesn’t need to reflect anything from real life. Instead, it offers different possibilities with living that one can see.

Korakrit Arunanondchai, '3rd life gallery: Hoarfrost', 2009, acrylic on paper, 76" x 55". Image taken from gamescenes.org.

Inspirational art teaching

The artist’s style was developed when studying as a graduate at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), an elite art school in the US. But what was so inspiring about this institute?

The school offered me a chance to practice unfamiliar art techniques. For example, in some classes, I was told to forget everything I had learned before, close my eyes and do something with all the skills I have, or change the hand that did the work. It was like breaking old habits. They didn’t teach me to draw, but offered new options for doing artwork.

Arunanondchai has expanded into the sphere of design. He was asked by Dell Design Studio to work on multiple pattern design projects, he has a clothing line called Kora-Krit and has designed a sports shoe called Electrolites. His utmost passion, however, continues to be fine art; he sees graphic design work as too closely aligned with advertising, which, in his eyes, is not art.

Click here to read the full interview with artist Korakrit Arunanondchai as published on Bangkok Post.

Korakrit Arunanondchai, 'Dragon Dronga', 2007. Image from work.com.

About the artist

Korakrit Arunanondchai, design for Dell Design Studio. Image from digitaltechnews.com.

After completing a three-year high school programme at the New International School of Thailand (NIST), which offered Arunanondchai a good foundation in art, the artist studied print making and fine art at RISD in the US, where he interned for American artist Ryan McGinness. Following this, he spent a year exhibiting in New York, Basel, Los Angeles, Tokyo, San Franscisco and Bangkok. Fighting stiff competition, he is currently the youngest print-maker enrolled on a two year Master of Fine Arts degree at Columbia University. He hopes to continue his dream of being an artist. “No matter what I do,” he says, “I won’t forget that I’m an artist.”

AN/KN/HH

Related Topics: Thai artists video game art design

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