Richard Koh Projects (RK Projects) is pleased to announce After Hem Vejakorn, an upcoming exhibition by Thai photographer Pattana C huenmana scheduled to run from 25 August – 22 September 2018 at Unit A, 3rd Floor, N22 Art Warehouse, 2198/10-11, Narathiwas Rajanakarin Road Soi 22, Chong Nonsi, Yannawa, Bangkok, 10210, Thailand. The exhibition will present 7 large format photography works that respond to the renowned Thai illustrator, Hem Vejakorn’s drawings. The Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, 25 August, from 5 – 8pm.
Pattana Chuenmana will be presenting photographs based on the illustrations by Hem Vejakorn, a well-known Thai artist and writer, popular for his illustrations for the cover of 10satang pulp novels. Considered one of the most influential illustrator and artist in the modern history of Thailand, Hem was affectionately referred to as “Kru Hem” (Teacher Hem) by many top cartoonists.
As articulated by Pattana, Hem lived in the period when electricity is not widely accessible and that Thai society was generally an agricultural society. Their night lives were lit mostly by torches and lamps. The fear of darkness is closely tied with superstitious beliefs and urban legends of the time, which have allowed the society to imagine and view things in a different perspective. This, in a way, obstructs logical perception in which in some instances, rationality and reason are replaced with ghosts and demons.
Translating this to contemporary life, Pattana has discovered that in modern day Bangkok, there are still corners in the city that are hidden behinds the shadows created by light lit by electricity and neon lamps. These darks corners inspire one’s imagination in a different manner than Hem’s, but Pattana could still sense the mysterious aura from Hem’s illustration in the real life environments.
In an attempt to capture the essence of Hem’s drawings of everyday life in contemporary today, Pattana recontextualizes these compositions and translates them into scenarios where our everyday is lit by the use of electronics and gadgets instead. Reconstructing these scenes with friends and actors, in which at times, as if mimicking reality, the artist himself would play the role of a protagonist.
Pattana Chuenmana (b. 1981, Thailand) lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand. A painter by training, Pattana’s previous series of works explores notions of beauty through destruction as showcased in his 2014 solo exhibition, The Overlapping of Beauty and Truth, Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art, from the department of Painting at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand in 2005.
Richard Koh Projects is a pop-up space setup in 2018 under Richard Koh Fine Art, who has been in operation since 2005 and is regarded as a pioneer for introducing Asian contemporary art to Malaysia and the region. Promoting an adventurous roster of emerging and established artists, the gallery regularly mounts exhibitions locally and abroad with a commitment to emerging practices and challenging media.