Before Birth - After Death (Sculpture)
Oct.10 - Nov.2, 2014
Based in the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand since the mid-1990s, Kamin Lertchaiprasert considers art as a process for learning about the essence of life and the providence of nature, as well as for gaining a deeper understanding of himself. His approach to his art puts emphasis on the process, with the aim of integrating everyday life and art. The title of this exhibition, “Before Birth - After Death” is the comprehensive name for a project the artist has worked on over six years, between 2008 and 2014, resulting in a total of 730 diary-like drawings, 24 large paintings on canvas, 12 ceramic and 12 bronze sculptures, and an installation with a gigantic skull made up of a total of 1,089 small plastic skulls. This body of work has been displayed part by part at earlier exhibitions in Bangkok and other places, Art-U room excerpts the series of ceramic and bronze sculptures and focuses on them at this show.
As indicated by its title, “Before Birth - After Death” the project has its roots in the state «before we were born, and after we have died», or, put another way, the fundamental questions of human existence; “Where do we come from? For what do we live? And, where do we go away?” Throughout the project, Lertchaiprasert took advantage of various opportunities in his daily life — including introspection achieved through the Vipassana meditation he has practiced for many years, and Zen-style dialogues he had through conversations and exchanges of emails — to delve more deeply into his consideration of the true meaning of life, which tends to succumb to day-to-day distractions. Traces of this search have been chiseled in each work. The skull motif that is incorporated into every work in this project is a symbolic expression of a truth attained by Lertchaiprasert: “Ultimately there is no life or death. Because change itself is the essence of Nature.”
■ Kamin Lertchaiprasert
Born in 1964 in Lop Buri Province, Thailand, he graduated from the Silpakorn University in 1987 where he studied print-making, then moved to the United States. Returning to Thailand in 1992, he developed his interest in Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and established a distinctive creative style of completing a single series by creating an art work a day for as long as one to several years. So far he has held many exhibitions in and out of Thailand and participated in international exhibitions including Venice Biennale (2003), Busan Biennale (2008), Biennale of Sydney (2012) among others. His works are collected by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Singapore Art Museum and other museums and collections. Along with his individual artistic practice, Lertchaiprasert develops social activities rooted in his relationships with others and local society; e.g., ‘The Land’ - an experimental community in Chiang Mai, co-founded with Rirkrit Tiravanija and others in 1998, or ‘31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit’ - an open platform for creativity derived from a project in Kanazawa, Japan in 2008.
● Opening hours: Tue.-Sat. 12:00-19:00. Sun.12:00-17:00. / closed on Mon.
● Reception with the artist: Oct.10, 17:00 - 20:00
■ Supported by Numthong Gallery
JP / ENG
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.37xL.30xH.41cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.26xL.32xH.38cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.26xL.29xH.44cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.22xL.34xH.47cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.26xL.33xH.40cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.30xL.27xH.36cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Raku ware, W.29xL.41xH.39cm, Unique piece
2008-2014, Bronze, W.26xL.29xH.44cm, Ed.3+AP1
2008-2014, Bronze, W.22xL.34xH.47cm, Ed.3+AP1
2008-2014, Bronze, W.26xL.33xH.40cm, Ed.3+AP1
Before Birth - After Death (Sculpture)
2014, Published by Numthong Gallery & Art-U room, 88 pages, 25.5x25.5cm, Text in English and Thai, Price: JPY3,500-