2021 2.26 - 3.27

©Dusadee Huntrakul
Press Release


Venue: nca | nichido contemporary art
Date: 2.26 (fri.) – 3.27 (sat.), 2020
Opening hours: Tue. ~ Sat. 11:00 – 19:00 (Closed on Sunday, Monday and National holidays)

Busui Ajaw / Pin-Ling Huang / Dusadee Huntrakul / Takanori Ishizuka / Chih-Hung Liu / Jean-Luc Moerman / Tammy Nguyen / Kazuya Sakamoto / Tawan Wattuya

nca | nichido contemporary art is pleased to present the group show “SMALL.”
Putting together a selection of small-scale works, the exhibition investigates the different expressive choices of the nine participating artists.
In a moment when we find ourselves largely confined at home as a result of the current situation the spread of the COVID19 pandemic has brough about, the opportunity to experience art in person has been greatly affected, and museum online viewings are now becoming common practice. We can only rely on our own imagination to picture in our minds the actual artwork, its scale and texture, tapping into our knowledge and visual experiences so far.
While our perception of an artwork’s actual dimension is mainly determined by our own individual nature, surrounding environment and emotions, the participating artists have all experienced firsthand filling large venues with their art. Whether creating small or large pieces, they are used to visualize how their work would resonate with a large space.
Stirring our imagination, each of the works on view possess a strong sense of presence that stretches far beyond their actual size.

Busui Ajaw creates paintings that are intimately connected to her background. Born into an artisan family belonging to the Akha people, a semi-nomadic ethnic minority who lives across Southeast Asia’s mountains, Ajaw embodies her roots into her artistic practice. Stretching from painting to sculpture, her work tells us of the Akha’s history, of their ancestors, their rituals, their culture, which is fading away following the sudden and profound changes the recent spread of technology has brought on their way of life.

Takanori Ishizuka’s work gives shape to fantastic worlds, comical and cynical at the same time, whose inhabitants are imaginary, curious small creatures. Ishizuka draws inspiration from his personal interest in Japanese mythology and folklore. Another source of inspiration is represented by Nishikie (colored woodblock print) and caricatures where animals are used to address societal issues. Taking on from the artist, these creatures touch on a variety of difficult matters, questioning our own environment and the world at large.

Through his interest in growing waterweeds inside water-tanks, Sakamoto has observed similarities between such ecosystems and today’s societies, leading him to investigate the inner side of things using plants as his motif.
The variety of species minutely represented, multiplying and breeding on the canvas, seem to be a metaphor of the constant changes required of life to thrive.

Chih-Hung Liu’s work seems to capture bits from the artist’s everyday life and surrounding environment, drawing inspiration from the landscapes and events the artist experiences during his journeys. Liu’s work goes behind the sole representation of a natural landscape or observation of the world, it frames, on different levels, time, emotions and unresolved feelings. Liu’s versatile nature finds its voice in the use of different media such as painting, installation, video, writing, and sculpture.

Tammy Nguyen’s practice transfers onto the canvas stories about terrorism, diaspora and the harsh reality war leaves behind, which continues to affect people’s everyday life. At the same time, Nguyen takes a look at her own experience as the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who escaped to the USA after fleeing their country during the Vietnam War. Through fearless imagination and research, Nguyen traces the history of the local environment giving it voice as a living and breeding creature, weaving narratives through the continuous overlapping of images.

Dusadee Huntrakul’s production of drawings and small sculptures shades light on the point where individual and collective meet. Powerfully metaphorical, at times surreal, his work evokes innocent childish drawings. Yet, at times it reminds of something primitive that could have been easily made thousands and thousands of years ago, as well as been accidentally created the other day. Regardless of notions of nationality or gender, our memories and emotions make us feel as we are all connected somehow.
And this sense of belonging represents indeed one of the many aspects of human evolution.

Locking down fragments of her memories and life experiences so far inside a sketchbook, Pin-Ling Huang transforms her inner world into landscapes. Fruits of the artist’s imagination, this scenery evokes echoes of a nostalgia we cannot explain, whilst simultaneously blended with a familiar warmth. Unique worlds unfold in front our eyes described by the brush’s movements and a combination of gentle colors and texture.

Moerman entered the limelight with his gigantic paintings filling public spaces and museums, building a versatile career that includes collaborations with firms and exhibitions at international venues worldwide. Regardless the actual scale, Moerman’s work shows no hesitation through the repetition of unique images, conquering its own structure at once. His paintings that seem to flow free, intrepid and meticulous, swiftly react to the subject and the environment, ceaselessly altering their appearance.

Portraits of animals and human figures inhabit Tawan Wattuya’s drawings. Created through the use of watercolor, a rather difficult medium to control, which the artist has been working with constantly for the last few years, Wattuya’s portraits appear distorted and smudged due to the characteristic gradation and blurred effect of this medium, and seem to unveil what is really hiding beneath the surface. Through his portraits, Tawan delivers a sharp criticism towards those problems that have been affecting Thailand, such as the continuous political turmoil, the conflict between ethnic groups, the social hierarchy, the importance placed on physical appearance, and so forth, and questions the contradiction and stereotypes we carry nowadays.

©2009 nca | nichido contemporary art. All Rights Reserved.