Natee Utarit - Illustraion of the Crisis
12 September – 17 October 2012
Opening: 11 September, 6-9 p.m.
ARNDT is pleased to present Illustration of the Crisis, the first solo exhibition of Thai artist Natee Utarit in Berlin.
Initially influenced by German expressionism and abstract art in his early body of work, Utarit has undergone an exploration on the medium of painting connecting it with photography and classical Western art. Light and perspective are some of the elements the artist chose to work with, focusing on painting as a means to explore image making.
Between 2009 and 2011, Thailand was living a series of political contradictions that were affecting public life in the country. It was more a crisis connected to power relations and Buddhist belief rather than just an economical crisis related to the country's development.
In the series Illustration of the Crisis, the symbolic language and the dialogue of the objects portrayed by the artist mix elements of reality and fiction, combining found objects such as bones, brushes, scissors, spoons, old chandeliers, a head of a Buddha or busts of military characters with plastic toys, anatomy models and plastic animal figures. In fact, these animals are not intended to correspond to real animals. More likely, they are metaphors of different human behaviours, thoughts and emotions, as if we would be speaking of characters taken from fairytales. Symptoms of the crisis are visible in the use of animal jaws, such as in Inward Looking (2012), in which the mouth of a shark skeleton, containing an old megaphone, seems to be shouting at the figure of an European woman wearing 19th century clothes, or in The Bridge (2012), where a rabbit lies on an animal jaw behind some toy soldiers facing the front, but also in Crocodile Tears (2011), in which the title itself stands for hypocrisy.
Natee Utarit was born in 1970 in Bangkok, where he lives. He studied at the College of Fine Art, and graduated in Graphic Arts at the Painting and Sculpture Faculty at Silpakorn University, both in Bangkok. Recent solo exhibitions include 'Natee Utarit: After Painting' at the Singapore Art Museum (2010) and 'The Amusement of Dreams, Hope and Perfection' at the Art Center of Chulalongkorn University (2007). His work is part of renowned collections, such the Bangkok University, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Singapore Art Museum, as well as private collections in Europe and Asia.
This exhibition is in collaboration with Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.