Development and Concept of Alongkorn Lauwattana's work

All of my art works are based on the beliefs and faith in Buddhism and Thai culture mainly, Occasionally some issues have emerged on astrology , gods and other religions in the form of symbols that require interpretation about the inner thought and feelings. The subjects also include issues on the environment, Society, concepts of karma and merit one accumulates. The symbols involve animals, gods, or angels,
people ond other things. The first period dealt with applied Thai symbols and later it was developed into symbols of value and the analogy such as animals, low level beings, snakes and rodents that represent ignorance.

At some point I became interested in fortune telling, astrology, human beliefs, sacred things, offerings of some kind to find some things to hold to. These were developed into cultural heritage and customs such as the candlelight and water floating festivals of Loy Kratong to worship the water goddess, "Khongkla'' to apologize for those intended and unintended offenses. I look at smaller sections of society first , namely family, friends and acquaintances. As for life conduct and the impact on it I became keen on astrology. For example, different days of the week or months in which someone was born have a certain effect on their characteristics. Thus, I came up with the ideas that create work related to gods who control man's fate resulting in set of gods, symbols, universe energy and of saints or gods of birthday.

In the later period, I became obsessed with birth, sickness, old age and death or Sangsara, the uncertainty of life, using my own life as a means of narration : all things I have experienced, my philosophy of life, merit, Karma, Kusola, reincarnation, Iiving in the human world, accumulating goodness, committing sin, all depends on one's actions. I also talk about the middle path which consists of black and white always in order to learn about how to conduct one's life. This is self teaching as well as giving moral lessons to others. When I had a chance to look at the painting on the wall of Phutthapratheep temple in London , England , and those of Wat phrasingh in Chiang Mai, Tum Temple in Ayutthaya, Khao Bangkland in Prachuap Khirikhan and elsewhere, I became interested in Dhamma study more and put it into practice During that period, I produced works related to the four elements : earth, water, wind, fire, including trees, which represent the Lord Buddha and his teaching. I got a variety of ideas and created a set of works about trees. My trees represent certain characteristics, their living together. In the differences there are also some basic beliefs instilled in them about nation, religion and the monarch.

At that period, I wanted to work more devotedly so I went to India to be in contact with the origin of Buddhism and other cults and various beliefs.

The first trip to india was for pleasure. I felt warm, thrilled, delighted in new and unusual things whether style of dress, architecture, people's faces, colors of cities and towns so it motivated me to stay on to work. Thus, I went back 2 months later to study , are for 2 years.

In the first period of my study in India, I stayed in Santiniketon, a university town established by Taphin nathakore. The people there use Bengali (a native language) and English. As I had problems with language. It was very effective. I made new friends from many nations. This inspired me to create that set of work using hands and fingers to represent man (Body) or the five khanta and eyes to represent life and spirit.

My impression of Bengali was that they pronunciation and meanings are sometimes very similar to Thai. Particularly their music, dance, and even complexion of various shades like black and red, dark blue, dark brown with some yellow, the women's costumes in bright hues which sharply contrast with their skin color, their big black eyes, housing, architecture (made from a mixture of clay and cow manure). People sat sipping tea from earthenware cups in the midst of natural surroundings. Indian music makes you feel dreamy, People walking barefoot makes one feel close to the earth, simple with none or little make up, natural, innocent and carefree both with the surroundings and in their thinking. This was the inspiration for the work entitled "khurubali to Santiniketon'' Kurubali is a village of teachers (Kuru = teachers, Bali = home) and Sanfiniketon means the city of peace. They have a university under the trees. We sat and studied on the ground under the trees. It is a university famous in philosophy, music art and performing arts. Every week there was good artwork and music from various outstanding artists from all over the country as well as abroad performed for the public. The city really had an artistic atmosphere.

I worked on this writing in the fashion of a journal paintings to the conditions that I have a feeling for include the environment and feelings : for example when I took a trip, spent time with friends, became fascinated about some girls. I would express my feelings and describe what I saw exactly as I felt and saw. Usually I would sketch the picture before I stated painting. But during that time, I chose to pain them immediately to respond to my immediate feelings like a poet composing a poem or a musician composing his music Impromptu or with improvisation.

The exhibit ''Kurubali to Santiniketon is on of these sets that I finished in India : pictures of hands, fingers, eyes representing the story of figure and name (rupa and nama) done in a variety of techniques and feelings as a record of life through painting expressing my feelings towards the surroundings, people, etc, that I was exposed to in another land of strong endless beliefs and faith.

English Translator (Essay) :
Somporn Varnado

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2001 Exhibitions