There’s more to the universe than what we can see and touch, and our senses can’t understand the vastness of space and time. Napanant Rangsrithummakhun revels in these unknowns. The Thai artist seeks to give form to these mysteries with paintings that blur the lines between the here and now, between life and death. “Our knowledge and education are not enough to understand the things our senses can’t define,” he says. “We can’t touch love or hate, but our bodies and souls give them shape. They’re definitely real. What else could take shape from our bodies?”
宇宙不只是人们所能看见和触摸到的世界，时空的浩瀚远远超出了我们感官的认知和理解。泰国艺术家 Napanant Rangsrithummakhun 沉迷于探索这些未知领域，试图用绘画来模糊时空与生死的界限，将这奥秘具象化。“人类现存的知识和教育储备不足以去理解我们感官无法定义的事物，”他说道，“我们不能触摸爱或恨，但可以透过身体和灵魂使其具象化，它们是真实的存在。那么单从我们的身体角度出发，能将哪些模糊的概念具像化呢？”
Rangsrithummakhun was born and raised in Bangkok. He used to paint pop art up until a few years ago, when he found himself all alone in a new home listening to an audiobook about how life and death are part of the same storyline. Fascinated by the concept, he started exploring the themes on a deeper level, reading books and watching movies with a similar philosophy. This included research on the Egyptians, which would become the foundation of his current style.
His work now draws on Egyptian theology and art. He contrasts deep, dusky blues with regal golds on canvas in layers of sleek and smooth paint that float on rough textures, with shelves of consciousness and content. Faces and bodies are stacked on top of each other like pages from a book, overlapping at the eye or mouth and cut into jagged edges that resemble cliffs over expansive skies. One area of the painting may be crisp as a clear day, while another is bathed in Martian-red hues or blurred in a semi-opaque fashion. Heads float weightlessly and eyes are cut out to expose the world beyond. Other characters’ eyes bulge with their skin restricting tightly as if they were embalmed.
Rangsrithummakhun is captivated by Egyptian frescoes and hieroglyph reliefs. The way they discuss the afterlife and lay down a path for our current life, all within elegant but simplified artwork. The fact that they were so advanced in such an ancient time. He sees it as mysterious and insightful at the same time.
While his work was never intended to be Thai in theme or style, Rangsrithummakhun feels it really is somehow. “I can’t really explain why though,” he says. When it comes to Buddhism, there is some clear overlap. “In Buddhism, our life is only an illusion. We’re stuck in the present time, unable to return to the past or move forward into the future until we complete certain tasks. We’re all connected by karma.”