"Euro-Visions" invites Thai artists to express their feelings about Europe and about the world we're living in - it's historical roots, current influences and future.
Following the success of the "Alter Ego" Thai-European Union art project in 1999, which paired 13 Thai and 13 European artists in artistic collaborations, "Euro-Visions" continues the process of exploring the "other self'and other cultures.
This time, 21 Thai artists have been invited to share their impressions of Europe. Most of these artists have participated in a variety of artistic exchanges with EU countries, or have traveled there independently as tourists during the past three years. Three younger artists who have never visited Europe have been asked to participate and express their views of Europe, which have been largely instilled through local education, media and imagination.
By exploring the thoughts and emotions of Thai artists in relation with their European experiences, it is likely and natural that cultural differences and similarities are examined and addressed. Through analysis, criticism, and discussion about art in "Euro-visions", it is hoped that mutual understanding between cultures will be enhanced.
the range of personal and artistic experiences expressed in both
indoor and outdoor spaces through various media including painting,
sculpture, graphic arts, installations, photography, textiles,
performance, fashion and music.
The first generation of Thai artists traveled to Italy in the fifties. The second generation learned from the first and obtained experience in Expressionism and painting. Later, the art world became more open - no more "isms" - just individual artists working in individual ways.
Times change, views change, and today's experience is different.
Nowadays Thai artists have more opportunity to travel. Although it is still considered Utopia for Thai artists to go to Europe and exhibit their work there, much has changed over the last 30 years. Today, instead of trying to follow the gilded yet worn path of European art, Thai artists are creating work seen through Thai eyes and with a Thai perspective.
In the Thai art world, the much-debated phenomenon of globalisation can be viewed as having a positive effect, in that there is no longer an alleged supremacy of European art over Thai culture. European artists today are fascinated with Asia. They are eager to absorb its cultures, philosophies and traditions and to interpret and assimilate them in their own works. The exchange is no longer "one way". There is real and fruifful exchange of ideas among people around the world.
these different directions and experiences yet had the concept
been conceived ten years ago many of the artists could not have
taken part as few had been to Europe, or
"Euro-Visions" shows that Thai art is more fashionable, more flexible and more fun than possibly expected. Yet you will also see how serious the artists are in this medium. Thai artists have learnt how to 'speak' the language of art with a'Thai accent'. While never shying entirely away from the European model, their ideas are rooted in local materials, indigenous concepts, Buddhist perspectives and traditional styles. The participants are capable of constructing their own vocabulary, rooted from local materials, indigenous concepts, Buddhist perspectives and traditional styles incorporating with the knowledge of western format through artistic expressions.
Having entered into the new millenium, we find ourselves swimming in an ever-widening and deepening sea of information. Tourism, economic growth and the E-revolution have resulted in people around the world being bombarded with a dizzying array of new influences and experiences. Yet how can we identify who influences who? Getting away from the 'I talk, you listen'* model, "Euro-Visions" sets out to reconfigure communication between developed and developing worlds and to practice a dialogue of equals.
Themes raised by artists taking part in "Euro-Visions" range from globalisation and the import and export of influences to raising questions about the fundamental tenets of Western philosophy and reexamining the history and memories of Europe.
"Euro-Visions" features a number of dynamic approaches from participating artists. There are many levels of 'talking back'. Some seem to engage directly with European points of view, and critique them openly. While others tackle the core philosophy of European thought by using their own vocabulary, through either a traditional or conceptual approach. Meanwhile some refer directly to the artists'experiences of Europe, in various manners ranging from the straightforward, humorous, satirical, bitter, and sweet yet engaging. Their responses reinforce the notion that the European model is not an out-of-reach Utopia, perhaps not even a Utopia at all. Instead, it's something that's more accessible, and approachable. Meanwhile, and more importantly, we are able to experience, communicate, and critique, as well as appreciate each other.