By Minh Thu
For Thai artist Wattanachot Tungateja, he finds inspiration from something that cannot be seen but is all around us.
He believes energy is his motivation which brings him endless ideas to create his works. And whenever he comes to Việt Nam, the energy follows him.
“It’s the movement of wind in the air, it’s even the beauty of the natural surface of the land that people overlook or ignore and transformed it into a form of abstract art,” he said.
“I have represented them with art elements that consist of strokes, colours, dots, surface, shapes and available space, so to create a balance in visualising and reflect the imagination of my personal concept of nature.”
After some years living and working between Việt Nam and Thailand, he has finished series of Dreamscape and Earth and Sky acrylic paintings where he feels free to express his feelings and motivation.
He showcased the latest paintings at a joint exhibition with Japanese sculptor Katsumi Mukai and Vietnamese painter Công Kim Hoa organised recently in Hà Nội.
The exhibition attracted a large number of visitors. Artist Vũ Hồng Nguyên appreciates the art of Tungateja a great deal.
“Through the paintings, I understand that Tungateja is a serious and painstaking artist,” he said.
“Each stroke takes much time to paint. Each one is like an underground source of energy in the painting.”
Tungateja came to Việt Nam for the first time for Hà Nội March Connecting in 2016, an event gathering Vietnamese and international artists to join a creating workshop.
The bond between Tungateja and Vietnamese artists comes from Trịnh Tuân, co-founder of Asia Art Link organisation. They’ve known each other for more than six years and have joined many art events together in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Tuân told Tungateja about the idea of Hà Nội March Connecting some years ago. Tuân shared with him the opinion to increase the knowledge of art education in Việt Nam by learning from professionals outside of the country.
So, that’s why Tuân started Hà Nội March Connecting, with much comments and encouragement from Tungateja.
Energy from nature
With main the concept inspired from nature, Tungateja has applied the principles of visual art elements to express the abstractness in his work.
”The elements are the core to the art creation and I have used dots, lines, colours, volumes, shapes, forms, texture, and rhythms reflect nature.”
"These rudiments of arts are used to reflect atmosphere, time, emotion, feeling, calmness, motion, and the changing world to raise awareness of the current situation and what the future may hold,” he said.
The conceptual ideas for his paintings are inspired by features of the diverse scenic views that are aesthetic and extraordinary. The impressive artwork reflects various emotions and atmosphere as well as echoing the positive and negative changes in the nature, in turn impacting oneself and society.
“This is a reflection of Thai people living in the countryside who have grown to respect nature,” he said.
“My paintings are usually not painted by visual eyes but by feelings, when I’m traveling and looking at atmospheres all locations of each of the places I remember what I feel.”
He uses a complicated artistic technique on canvas, paper, and wood using acrylic colours, water colours, pencils and oil, and other media such as metal, stone, wood, glass, and soil through scarping, scratching, flicking, water spraying, and wiping to synchronise harmony and conflict.
“Vietnamese and Thai people have been familiar in culture and behaviour, we can understand so easy and respect each other,” he said.
“That’s why I always feel comfortable and close when I come to Việt Nam.” Apart from Hà Nội, Tungateja has visited Hạ Long Bay, Huế, Đà Nẵng and Hội An.
“I love the country, not because of only beautiful land but food, friends and cultures are impress me.”
Tungateja was born in Thailand in 1960. He studied printmaking, painting and computer graphics in Thailand and the US. He received many international art prizes.
His artworks have been exhibited in various countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Poland, Myanmar, Malaysia, China, Japan, the US and Việt Nam. — VNS