31 Dec Exhibition : Digital meets Traditional
Digital meets Traditional
31 December 2018
For nearly 50 years, Thai artist Wattana Wattanapun has been promoting art in all of its forms, constantly exploring new horizons, as evidenced by his new collaboration with Billy Braithwaite, a Canadian digital artist.
From December 3 to April 5, Wattana Art Gallery welcomes the outcome of the meeting of the two artists’ encounter, an exhibition that mixes classic paintings and digital kaleidoscopic mandalas.
“I paint, I do not know anything about machines. When I met Billy, he showed me what he was doing and after hours of discussions, he asked me: Why don’t you paint on my works?” explains Wattana Wattanapun.
A graduate of Silpakorn University in 1968 and Rhode Island School of Design in 1976, the artist spent his life between Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai, the United States and Canada where he taught art and made many exhibitions.
In 2011, he opened the doors of his gallery located in the Wat Umong District. Imagined by Wattana, the building is halfway between a museum and a gallery. Inside, the visitor can discover hundreds of paintings, representing nearly 50 years of creation: oil or acrylic paintings, mixed media, engraving on stainless steel, paintings on bamboo blinds or decorative objects.
The artist likes to use different techniques and supports, with a constant: the‘phaa sin’, this traditional fabric that envelops female bodies, an element that comes back in most of his work.
“At first, I thought he was mixing the media by embedding real pieces of fabric in his canvases,” says Billy Braithwaite, “then I realized that every pattern, every detail, was hand-painted to the point of seeming real.”
Self-taught artist, Billy realizes his pieces on a computer, for a psychedelic result with flashy colors. Initially, the Canadian had only come for a vacation in Thailand before being seduced by its charms and settle down. Chiang Mai quickly established itself as a place of residence, for its artistic side.
From the meeting of the two men were born a mutual respect and artistic admiration, but above all, fun. “At first, I thought I was just going to have fun, but then later I started to take it more seriously, to question myself, to look for what touch I could add to Billy’s Mandalas, to have more and more ideas. This is the first time I’ve done this with another artist, to paint over someone else’s work!” says Wattana.
In total, the two artists will present, alongside the other paintings of Wattana, twenty artworks under the theme The Universe is You.