The work of Thai artist Morrakot Naksin, on display at La Luna Gallery in his The Way We Were exhibition, highlights the evolution of a talented artist as he has gained perspective over the Thai way of life and its place in modern society.
Morrakot's paintings are notable for the way they represent distinct stages of his life and journey as an artist. In The Way We Were, all of the paintings examine and celebrate traditional Thai values and culture. What is different, however, is the lens in which Morrakot viewed these symbols as his life and career progressed. Here, we will give you an insight into the four eras in the life of Morrakot Naksin as illustrated through his beautiful paintings on display.
1. Early Artistic Life
After graduating from Chiang Mai University, Morrakot sought to further his artistic education in Belgium. It was this time in Europe that allowed Morrakot to reflect on his feelings towards his homeland. In fact, it was the occasionally dreary weather of Ghent that inspired the first works on display in this exhibition.
The paintings from this time represent rural life in Thailand, with golden hues and distant horizons emerging as a defining element of this period of work. While the paintings show regular, even mundane, life, the affection Morrakot holds for Thailand is clear despite the physical distance during his studies.
2. Era of Faith
As with all the series of paintings in this exhibition, the Faith series of works look at the traditions of Thailand. The evolution here, though, is that Morrakot has moved from life in the rural areas to more focused depictions of individuals. Traditional clothing, accessories and hairstyling are given particular attention in these paintings to convey a sense of faithfulness and loyalty.
The fact that this is done while depicting subjects from behind is a testament to the detail and consideration present in each picture of the series. Morrakot believes that he can evoke an emotional response from his audience without needing to use faces. Rather, he uses the subtlety of posture, hand placement and positioning to tell his story.
3. The Beauty of Simple Things
The later era of Morrakot's paintings retain their focus on individuals within Thai culture albeit with a more pointed aim. The subjects of these works are examined in much closer detail with close-ups of individuals doused in rich colour and beautifully crafted human shapes.
The tone of these works is clear; that the simple things in life can bring great pleasure and comfort. That a freedom from desire and suffering can yield great satisfaction. Again, Morrakot crafts these paintings without revealing the face of those in the works, allowing the audience to create their own nuance to his story.
4. Traditional Boat Racing in Thailand
The latest work from Morrakot Naksin retains his trademark focus on the traditions of Thai culture while placing a more specific focus than in any of his previous series of works. These paintings focus on the ancient Thai tradition of long wooden boat racing.
Morrakot visited this tradition in action in order to truly understand it and capture it on canvas. With each painting coming in at over two metres in width, the vibrancy and detail of each work has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. Each stunning piece retains the Morrakot trademark of concealing faces while still maintaining an emotional connection with the audience. The sporting aspect of the tradition is blended expertly with the elegance of the occasion and is the mark of an artist who continues to evolve and percect his craft.
The Way We Were by Morrakot Naksin will be running at La Luna Gallery until February 28th with entry free for all visitors.