Solo Art exhibition
by Orn Thongthai
5 DEC 2018 – 5 JAN 2019
Aside from the numerous Buddha-shaped sculptures, prints and paintings on display, this exhibition is not so much about religion as much as it is about life itself. Balance – Beam is Pongpan Runghiranrak’s first exhibition of his latest Spectrum series and his printed work. Works here are a result of a self-expression and raw intuition inviting an open dialogue.
This exhibition is about ‘Balance’, physically and psychologically. How each individual tries to find the ideal way to live and achieve the equilibrium within a universe where change is constant and stability requires determination. It’s how in every moment, we are walking on an imagined balance beam, trying not to fall while keep going forward.
His Spectrum series is represented by ‘Beams’ of lights and colors . Seeking answers through a lengthly process of self-study and reflection, this series is Runghiranrak’s way to express and explain his experience on human emotion and perception. He has drawn an inspiration from his own interpretation of the ancient Eastern concept of the Seven Chakra System, representing each of the seventh points of human’s spiritual enegy through an aura of color emanation. Each color beam reveals layers of our emotion and reaction in responses to circumstances. Sometimes,
these spectra are in chaos with many colors revealed, but there are times when all colors are in balanced, stable and still.
Spectrum, his newest sculptural series, subtly presents hints of various hues on bronze using a unique technique while the Perspectrum is a result of the reduction process paradoxically by applying and adding black Chinese ink on top of multiple layers of colored screens. Also include in this exhibition are his ealier abstract works and his sculptures from previous series.
Phra Dharmakosacarya, also known as Buddhādasa Bhikkhu, once said Buddhism is mainly Buddha’s teaching. It’s an abstraction; all other aspects included within the religion are merely an addition, not the core. So then how do we explain the material objects, statues and printed works in this exhibition?
Is a reduction of details, form, a peeling of layers and textures of the Buddhist symbol guiding us to the right path? Or do the ideas and artworks shown become hypocrisies of the artist, contrary to core preaching? How does this reflect on the current role of numerous objects and materials of worship within the religious context?
Finding the right balance may provide an answer. When we understand and are open to the idea that nothing can be completely right and wrong, that all depends on perspective, then we may open our mind to new and opposed ideas. Things and situations in life can be easily misunderstood and misjudged: nothing is black and white, but include a range of colors, the whole spectrum, representing all realities and possibilities. The less we hold on to our ego, the less judgmental and more compassionate and receptive we become.
In Balance-Beam, anything excessive has been reduced. The emphasis is not on perfection but the natural harmony of form and material. Many works are the result of mutual benevolence and cooperation manifesting into knowledge and understanding that is based not on blind belief but on thoughtfulness and contemplation.
b. 1976 (Trat), lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand
Pongpan Runghiranrak is an artist, creative director and guest lecturer. He received a Bachelors in Fine and Applied Art in Film and Video (2000) and has been working in creative industries and as an artist.
He works primary as a sculptor, starting from his first ceramic classes where he spent time solely sculpting the form of Buddha, an influence that might be a result of his prior, brief but intense, monkhood. He then later explored other media, has been exhibiting regulary and been part of numerous art auctions. From 2013-2014, he worked with leading artist,Kamin Lertchaiprasert,as part of Lertchaiprasert’s solo show, Before Birth, After Death.
Runghiranrak is one of the founders of GOOD for the good of it, a charity group that aims to benefit society and the public through a variety of art projects. He also started a webpage, Happy Normal, as a place to discuss happiness and the aesthetic of Buddhist art . He is currently a guest lecturer at Bangkok University International.
His work and artistic career has always been guided by his intuition. He once said, ‘When I sculpt, the form that appears as an output, is dependent on how my intuition diffuses and converges during the time of sculpting. When it’s in my palm–when I hold the clay, once it balances my inner energy–it means that it’s completed.’
He has participated in various groups and solo exhibitions including This is a book, Dialogue Coffee & Gallery, Bangkok (2019), A flower of King Rama IX, Noble Ploenchit Gallery, Bangkok (2017), Getting Zero, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2016), Bangkok Clay Connections, Hof Art Space, Bangkok (2014) and Before Birth After Death, Numthong Gallery, Bangkok and Art-U room, Tokyo, (2014). His works are part of many public and private collections. In 2018, the artist had a chance to present his work. พระสุขใจ (Happynormal) to the Dalai Lama at Wat Pa Bodhgaya, Gaya, India.
b. 1980 (Bangkok), lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand
Nim Niyomsin is an independent art curator. She received a Master of History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London. Niyomsin specialises in contemporary art, photography, and public art events.
Prior to working independently, she worked with the Artist Pension Trust and Horniman Museum in London and was recently the Marketing Department Manager for international art and culture at the Emporium & EmQuartier (Bangkok), organizing public art festivals and cultural events.
She is currently an independent curator with exhibitions at Objectifs – Centre for Photography and Film (Singapore), Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Center (Bangkok), 1PROJECTS (Bangkok), Subhashok The Arts Centre (Bangkok), SO Gallery (Bangkok) and Forty7 Gallery (London). She has written for magazines such as Fineart Magazine, Why Magazine and the Bangkok Trader.
Duration: 5 December 2018 – 15 January 2019
At JOJO KOBE Fine Art Gallery, Nimmanhemin Chiang Mai, Thailand