Thai Contemporary Art and Literature and the European Surrealism”

Sodchuen Chaiprasathna


After our research on Surrealistic trend in Painting and
literature in Thailand from 1964 to 1984, we found that this trend
has not completely disappeared nowadays. Surprisingly, in 2003,
two exhibitions of paintings in the Surrealistic style were organized
in Bangkok. Therefore we decided to do another study on the
impact of Surrealism on Thai artistic and literary works after 1984
up to the present day.

What is different from the former period is that while there are
fewer artistic works, they are more varied : besides painting, there
is sculpture, print, drawing and art installation. Among 18 artists
studied, 7 had created works during the first period and continued
to work after 1984.

What is similar is the pure writers are fewer than visual artists,but
most of the artists are also writers. Each one works individually, not
in a group like the original movement in France. Their favorite
Surrealist models are still Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Max Ernst
and Joan Miró. Striking Surrealist images are praised by Thai artists
but Surrealist philosophy or doctrine and revolutionary spirit are
always ignored. Selective Surrealist techniques and styles are
borrowed and adapted in order to express personal experiences
and imagination as well as to modernize Thai traditional art.

In conclusion, we can confirm that Surrealism has still had an
impact on Thai creativity during the last two decades and will be
one of the sources of a variety of inspiration for future creations but
only to a minor degree.

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