Prolific local artists who each have an immediately recognizable style
This 32-year-old painter creates unforgettable artworks that almost invariably depict big-eyed women (à la Margaret Keane) who appear at once both doll-like and fiercely powerful. A graduate of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University, Anchalee Arayapongpanich has had her work displayed in such local galleries as: Sathorn 11 Art Space, River City Bangkok, and the Ardel Gallery of Modern Art. She readily admits that movies are her main inspiration for her creations, as they provide multi-layered dimensions of feelings, ambience, and lighting. Still, no matter how recognizable the film alluded to may be, in the end the style is 100 percent Anchalee.
Since his breakout solo exhibition back in 2012, street artist Alex Face (real name Patcharapol Tangruen) has taken the Bangkok art scene by storm. He almost always uses as his central character a three-eyed, animal costume-wearing baby (or is it a disillusioned grown up?), and this iconic character can be seen on countless walls in and around this city’s urban landscape, as well as in painting and sculpture form in galleries, restaurants, and other venues. Alex’s style seems to borrow as much from Maurice Sendak as it does the Impressionist art masterpieces that the artist has always loved and admired, but in the end the look is uniquely his own—and has become as synonymous with 21st century Bangkok as Keith Haring was to 1980s New York City.
Born in Chumphon province, Sajja Sajjakul studied painting at the College of Fine Art, Silpakorn University. He worked in an advertising agency during the 1990s, and in film and theatre for a few years after that, but for the past 15 years he has devoted his time to teaching and creating art. He has had his works displayed locally in venues such as Number 1 Gallery and Sathorn 11 Art Space, as well as internationally (most recently at the ARTexpo NYC 2018). His exquisitely detailed and intricate paintings reflect upon the trials of modern life—from political injustice and cultural conflicts, to the inner condition of peoples’ minds. And while the content may be serious, Sajja always searches for ways to present it in a satirical and ironic way in order to point out the overall absurdity.
In one of her most ambitious projects, Thai-Japanese artist Yuree Kensaku took over Bangkok’s 100 Tonson Gallery for a total of 16 consecutive months—from February 2016 to May 2017—transforming the cube-like interior into the artist’s own alternate universe (and, in turn, making one of the artist’s biggest mural paintings to date). Yuree is one of the leading Thai new wave talents whose works are exhibited and collected both locally and internationally, appearing in renowned institutions that include the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai. The artist is known for her bright and colourful multi-media paintings and sculptures, which are inhabited by characters influenced by a wide range of sources, from mythology to popular culture, Japanese Manga, folklore, fairy tales, and more. Combined with her witty wordplay, the result is a visual narrative with often unexpectedly serious underlying messages.
Born and raised in Bangkok, to a Thai mother and American father, Kathy MacLeod attended international school locally before going to Wesleyan University in Connecticut to study fine arts. She always loved to draw, but it wasn’t until college that she realized she didn’t want to do anything else. She is now a successful commercial artist and illustrator, but to most Bangkok residents she is the talent behind BK Magazine’s long running weekly comic strip entitled ‘What She Said’, which began back in 2011. Her unique drawing style—which appears at first to be naïve, and almost childlike—deftly conveys, in deceptively simple lines, the wacky world of Bangkok’s colourful cast of characters—from hipsters and Hi-Sos, to shopkeepers and sexpats.