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Creativity and Spirituality

Buddhist art at Gallery 116

Gallery 116 hosts an amazing display of Buddhist art.

By Jai Pee
The new art exhibition which opened on this month at Gallery 116 on Charoen Muang Road is a marvelous collection of deeply spiritual Buddhist canvasses which show that the artist – 38 year old Pakaphong Thongkaing – has enormous talent and creativity. This is his second exhibition and is entitled “Buddhist Awareness and Blessings of the Devas” and is well worth visiting. All the paintings, acrylic on canvas, have been inspired by the artist’s deep personal beliefs in Buddhism generally and by the more localized beliefs of Northern Thailand. Born in Chang Dao, Pakaphong is largely self-taught in terms of his artistic style and technique. He explained that many of his works were inspired by the temple murals to be found locally and the belief in the Devas, whether personal or related to our birthday or birth year. His work is very thought provoking – almost all his pictures are a mixture of various hues of orange, brown and gold. They give a feel of something far deeper than mere paint on canvas – as the great former UK poet laureate William Wordsworth once wrote when inspired by his second visit to Tintern Abbey in 1798: “And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the living air and the blue sky and in the mind of man – a motion and a spirit that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought and rolls through all things”. Those eloquent and much loved words from over 200 years ago could just as easily have been written after looking at the paintings on display.
The canvasses are fairly large – some measuring 200 by 150 centimetres through 150 by 130 centimetres and to 80 by 70 centimetres. All are for sale at very reasonable prices ranging from 30,000 baht to 200,000 baht. Whilst impossible to single out one particular piece, the canvas ‘Enlightenment’ is a vivid portrayal of the simplicity of understanding life through meditation, with its focus on the holy man in lotus position surrounded by a myriad of patterns and colorful images that offer an instant escape from the complexities of this life into a state of peacefulness and tranquility. Similarly engaging in its beauty is the painting entitled ‘Urn for a Holy Relic’ a marvelous collage of images and colours.
It is a great tribute to Mrs. Wanthip Nimmenhaeminda, the Gallery 116 owner who has a unique gift for discovering emerging talent and this exhibition is no exception. The exhibition is open until April 30th 2557. For more information phone 053 302 111 or 089 853 2488 or email: [email protected] But do not miss this unique opportunity to share in something very special at the heart of Chiang Mai.


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Creativity and Spirituality