by Max Crosbie-Jones
Published: June 17, 2013
|Kriangkrai Kongkhanun's "Oceanic Wilderness 1" (woodcut print, 200x100cm, 2011)|
BANGKOK — In a city where art shows are too often all sweetness and light, it's good to find dark themes dominating “PIM,” or “Print in Mind:” a Silpakorn University masters degree thesis show by emerging artists at Chinatown's Krung Thai Gallery.
By far the best known of the six artists appearing is Kriangkrai Kongkhanun. Phantasmagoric and menacing, the talented 33-year-old's work has been included in several international shows, including ART HK 11 and, as we write this, a group show at New York's Calvin-Morris Gallery. Pitting sad-eyed anthropomorphic creatures against evil fanged fish and other monstrous sea creatures, this set of allegorical woodblock prints entitled “Oceanic Wilderness” finds him exploring humankind's spiritual malaise and descent into the moral abyss. The theme may be well-mined, but these hellish tableuxs are still engrossing, exhibiting Kongkhanum's intricate carving and distinctive style.