News from Thailand

A friend of mine living in Thailand recently sent me links to a couple artists he likes and I thought I’d share them here.

First, Yang Bo, a Chinese artist from Pearl Lam gallery in Shanghai (apparently Pearl Lam is the daughter of a Hong Kong billionaire):

Japanese-Thai artist Yuree Kensaku:





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9 Responses to News from Thailand

  1. trueoutsider says:

    Here’s Sun Liang and underneath a link to the description on Saatchi’s website.

    We read in the text that Western museums such as Tate are now making the collection of Chinese art of the last 25 years a priority and New York’s MoMA and the Centre Pompidou are already integrating modern and contemporary Chinese art into their collections.
    In the Philip Dodd’s review we read in regard to Sun Liang’s paintings “As I look at them a sentence of that great US painter Philip Guston comes to mind, a painter once accused of betraying his own lyricism by a studied crudity: he once said that when he reflected on the world he could no longer square its brutality with the fact that when he went into his studio it was to adjust a red and a blue. In certain circumstances, it is necessary, with great care, to appear to be rough and blunt.”

    The objection to Guston’s paintings was voiced by Hilton Kramer most stupidly and will no doubt stand in the same way the moronic critics of Turner’s time now look to us. Kramer wrote that Guston was “a mandarin posing as a stumblebum.” Kramer is another of the long line of American critics that have had ruinous influence on the course of American painting. The few, like Guston, made their great work by completely ignoring the sinkhole American critics pushed American painting into with New York critics and dealers urging it on. It was largely the price of admission to any New York gallery. And of course, current American critics still perform the same service as Kramer did in his time for the most part. One can tune into Bravo TV’s “reality show” The Next Great Artist to see the kind of puerile crap and cynical criticism that largely shapes the kind of vacuous art Americans are supposed to make, and largely do…. all for a shot at becoming THE NEXT GREAT ARTIST.

    There’s plenty of puerile art to go around globally, but one also sees work of real conviction. The show is easily seen for what it really is, a freak show designed to humiliate artists and to ridicule the very notion of artistic integrity. Contestants sell themselves and each other out all naturally promoting the false social Darwinian notions that the free market determines great art through competition. We have only to look at the greatest art of the late 19th century and the exchanges between artists in terms of real camaraderie to put the lie to this myth that great art rises to the top through competition. In effect, the cruddiest work rises to the top through manipulation and sycophancy. The grotesque nature of the contemporary art world is on full display here:

  2. Steve says:

    Shoot,…somehow my excitable after-work post vanished ( no doubt because I did or didn’t push a button ). But these paintings are so intriguing that I’ll have to get back to them soon and reprise my surprise.

  3. trueoutsider says:

    Meanwhile, Steve, here’s another fantastic Chinese artist who has been living in Brooklyn for a while, if memory serves. Yun Fei Ji. I first saw some of his marvelous watercolors on a kind of mulberry paper in a drawing show in Vancouver many years ago.

    What’s striking about all of this work isn’t simply the technical command and spatial complexity… but the freshness and originality of the individual vision. I want to see more and more because I don’t know what to expect. That’s the quality of a real art and real artists.

    That’s why I’m so critical of the morass that American art has fallen into… Artists learning a proven technique or theory and endlessly banging it out over a career. Most of it is tedious to begin with, like Warhol and Johns. The hyped up and inane critical drivel dumped all over it is largely due to the fact that the work is so banal that one can write endless social and philosophical speculations about it. It’s like having a blank piece of paper. The possibilities for meaning just boggle the mind.

    I keep wondering when The Emperor’s New Clothes are going to fall off of the kind of sterile art that has dominated writing about American Art. In an entire career, how much has changed about Frank Stella’s work? The pinstripes, protractors, metal junkpiles…. am I leaving something out? And who can tell one apart from the other. Do some of those metal junkpiles stand out in your mind? Think of the paintings of Edouard Manet…. I can mentally picture almost every single one I’ve seen. What these American artists have been up to is dadaistic fraud writ large. Sol LeWitt had it write. You make up some system and then it’s carried out without the least bit of feeling or interest. It’s a parody of artistic activity. How many times do we have to hear the end of art before these guys finally shut the f… up. Ego trips.

    One of the greatest ironies has to be Stella’s fits of pique over the MoMA destroying the whole narrative of Modern Art by trashing the time line and turning the museum into an entertainment complex. Does Stella actually have the hubris to think he was some kind of extension of Picasso? Yes.

    Stella and his crowd were the absolute extermination of Picasso. While Picasso was making the greatest paintings and prints of the latter part of the 20th century these a-holes were bending metal, putting bricks in lines on the floor, silkscreen Marilyns or whatever kind of pretentious dadaist inanity they could come up with to fit into their own half-baked notions of Modernism…. Stella, of course, doing it by taking literally what Greenberg had written about painting being flat for his particular prescription.

    If he’d had an ounce of visual intelligence, instead of verbal logorrhea (speaking of which) he might have noticed that Greenberg was writing complete bullshit. De Kooning, Pollock and company were the opposite of flat painting. Anyone with a grain of sense could see that. Except of course the legions of graduate students, critics, dealers and on seeing their shot at Modernist immortality.

  4. johnk823 says:

    When I look at all the paintings above it seems like there is alot of death going on in several of them. Or, it could also be representative of death that could happen to you if one gets out of line and doesn’t obey their leadership. Boats, planes, trains, mobile nuk lanchers, fireworks witha nuk taking off, people in a field watching a nuk show with protective glasses covering their eyes and so much feeling coming through the artist vision. The very first picture looks like a village where Yang Bo might live, but look at what’s in the neighborhood, could be frieghtening for most people.

    All the Chinese art you have showedhere speaks about tragety and fear. In a dictatorship environment where fear is the number one public enemy for its citizens, you would wonder not what they may paint as artists, or at least portrey in its proportion within the art. Here we have a great deal of freedom to express ourselves, there they could be put to death for it.

    Yet, two of the paintings are colorful and some what have a different feeling altogether and are more childlike in their mood of expression. The small one, I just don’t get at all, but I’m sure there is a clears and consise message.

    As for the Japanese artist, well World War 2 comes to mind, and now with the tsunami, I’m sure he will have another thousand more paintings like these etched into his brain. These kind of paintings sometimes seem to reflect moments in time of these artist lives or at least moments of time for their country. Look even at the old masters works, moments of their time. We may not all have the skills of the old masters, but were not afraid to express our thoughts with out pens, pencils and paints the best way we know how. Its not how great we can express our thoughts, but rather that we do express them, and art is a great release for expression.

    • trueoutsider says:

      John! Holy cow. You must be reading from some right wing literature or news program to say that Chinese artists can be executed and don’t have the freedoms we have here. China is a capitalist country now!

      Here’s a quote from Chinese Contemporary, a gallery with branches in London, Beijing and NYC that represents artists living and working in mainland China:

      Zhou Nan’s recent paintings capture the eclecticism prevalent in
      contemporary Chinese art circles. These are paintings which could only come from the present day Chinese art scene. It is a scene where artistic trends and ideas from the world over are mingling, interacting and contributing to innovative works of art. There is a unbridled creative freedom feeding on this exchange and dialogue.

      Guo Jin:

      Note, John, there’s an old Chinese curse, or was it Japanese: “May you live in exciting times.” I’d say that these times qualify, wouldn’t you?

  5. Steve says:

    The hits just keep on coming, all the paintings here are a marvel. The Yuree Kensaku painting is quite something; civilization going over the falls behind a curtain, and in story book form! It reminds me of a Medieval wood cut of a man crawling out of the universe. How apt is this painting in light of Japan’s recent disasters? And how delicately the Chinese painter pounds hard realities home, breaking one’s heart with a feather. Though all the images here on this thread appear apocalyptic, the question I ask is : what is ending? Good things or bad things? Both. Old notions of life in the land of plenty and living our forefather’s American dream feel increasingly bankrupt. But the changes the world is going through are inexorable, can’t be stopped. Shouldn’t be stopped, because it’s also the death of a lie , or at least the end of one truth and the beginning of another. In the art realm, that vast phony-ism & cronyism that was built by the got-rocks and deep-pockets of modern art investors, on the advice of blind and spiritually crooked critics, is crumbling. What I like about the new painting going on , and being shown here, is that it can appeal to the common viewer. Most people would ‘get’ these paintings, if they saw them, because it’s about their lives, their times. How many people ever really got the giant soup cans? Or the the goat-in-the-tire ( shown above )? Or the white box in an all-white gallery? Whose life was that about? Was it just art for the smart? That was the lie that the public was lead to believe, that one had to be part of the elite to understand and appreciate it. Really it was, and still is, an cynical and ugly business, another money-maker for those who already have the money. But the new cycle of true art hasn’t fully turned yet, just go to any gallery in any state in our land and what will be found is overwhelmingly formula art. landscapes learned on tv painting shows, or still lifes made up of unrelated textures, or throwback portraits that look like they came out of Vogue Magazine. Nietzsche once said: ” When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my revolver!” So this superficial and spirit-numbing stuff has been going on for a long long time. And, in my opinion, it has once again reached another zombie zenith, in America especially.

    • trueoutsider says:

      Steve, we must keep our Germans straight!! It was Hermann Goering who said “When I hear the world ‘culture’ I reach for my revolver.”

      My favorite Goering quote is this one:

      “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

      Goering understood how it works, just as Bush/Cheney did.

      The Nietzsche quote that you probably had in mind was: “When thou goest to woman, take thy whip.” (I hope Karen Finley doesn’t get ahold of that one.)

      • Steve says:

        Poor Nietzsche, for years I’ve been putting Goering’s words in his mouth. I can almost hear him sigh with relief to be rid of that infamous quote. I certainly see those words in a different light now, a dark light.

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