Chatchai Puipia: Celluloid Traces

100 Tonson Gallery and Thai Art Archives
24 Sep 2015 - 03 Jan 2016

Chatchai Puipia: Sites of Solitude/Celluloid Traces

24 Sept. 2015 – 3 Jan. 2016


Curator: Gregory Galligan, Ph.D., Director/Co-Founder, Thai Art Archives™, Bangkok

Filmmaker: Ranitar Charitkul, Lecturer, Department of Computer Graphics and Multimedia, Bangkok University International College (BUIC)

Interviews with the Artist: Gregory Galligan, Ranitar Charitkul, and Vichaya Mukdamanee, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Oxford

Installation Design: Patri Vienravi, RA, NCARB, LEED AP, Director, Works-V™; Co-Founder/Creative Director, Thai Art Archives™, Bangkok

CHATCHAI PUIPIA: SITES OF SOLITUDE/Celluloid Traces marks the Thai Art Archives’s debut of three filmic “portraits” of Puipia, who speaks informally in two of the films about his past, present, and imagined future. Lightly prompted by various interviewers and speaking candidly in his studios in Bangkok and Nakhon Chaisi, Puipia recounts his early studies and artistic development as a student at Silpakorn University; his early aspirations as a journalist; his artistic beginnings as an abstract painter engaged with themes of Buddhist spiritualism and the occult; and—among other subjects—Puipia’s subsequent ventures into self-portraiture, which featured a “Siamese Smile” that led to the artist’s global renown by the mid 1990s as a satirist of Thai society and its contemporary art scene.

Conceived by Thai Art Archives™ as a series of intimate “windows” onto Chatchai Puipia’s creative life in self-imposed solitude since 2010, two digital interviews—recorded at sites of enduring significance to the artist—have been crafted by emerging filmmaker Ranitar Charitkul in virtually “one-take” format. A third film comprises a collaged “trace portrait” of Puipia, who is captured silently in unprecedented intimacy, including during a recent countryside sojourn with his son, emerging fashion designer Shone Puipia.

These filmic traces tease out from recent history poignant, lesser-known aspects of Puipia’s life and work—from his early life to the present—thus complementing the historical perspectives featured in CHATCHAI PUIPIA: SITES OF SOLITUDE/Still-Life, Self-Portraiture, and the Living Archive, an exhibition that featured rarely-seen still-lives and self-portraiture, as well as a “living archive” created by the artist exclusively for that occasion. 

Celluloid Traces will also continue to feature “sneak previews” of the website-in-development. A celebratory reception will be announced during the show’s extended run to early 2016. The show will also feature tours by the curator; and an accompanying, digital catalog will be made available to the public in early October.