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An expansive muse on feminine beauty

091001_17
Thai artist Attasit Pokpong with one of his larger-than-life ‘Lady Story’ canvases.

Attasit Pokpong’s painting exhibit “Lady Story”, which will open at Chinese House tonight, features a series of portraits of young women staring out at onlookers with bleak, expressionless faces.

The 33-year-old artist says the paintings are an expression of his own emotions, which are surprisingly subdued when compared with other pre-eminent figures in the contemporary Thai art scene.

Whereas many Bangkok artists have begun to explore the perversion and money swirling around them, Pokpong uses his brush to create images of passive feminine beauty that seem timeless. His original muse was his girlfriend before he began to paint women he envisioned in his head.

“Lady Story,” part of Chinese House’s ongoing effort to bring art to Phnom Penh, will be Pokpong’s first exhibition in the Kingdom. An award-winning artist in his homeland, he has held exhibitions in Thailand and the UK. In 1997 he opened the Magic Art Gallery to provide a space for local artists to display original work.

Pokpong began his career using watercolours, but now uses a mix of oil and acrylic media on canvas. The paintings in “Lady Story” use muted colours, with some portraits measuring 2 metres in height.

Chinese House owner, Alexis De Suremain, said that when he first saw Attasit’s work in Bangkok in October last year he thought it would be a great match for Chinese House.

“I bought those two paintings, and I met him. I told him it would be really cool if [he] could come to do an exhibition in Phnom Penh,” he said.
But at the time Chinese House had not yet opened.

“But since then we have had many exhibitions here, and I went back to him to discuss a good time frame” he said.

“Lady Story” will be showing at the Chinese House, south of the Japanese Friendship Bridge on Sisowath Quay, until October 15. Pokpong will also be exhibiting in Paris and New York this winter.

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