Life in the City of Angels: War Zone, 2014, oil and pigments on canvas, 70.8 x 61 inches/179.8 x 154.9 cm
Chatchai Puipia produces paintings and sculptures distinguished by their almost confrontational autobiographical style and satirical tone. His figurative works express anxiety with Thailand’s rapid modernization and the attendant focus on materialism and superficiality.
In 2011, the artist staged his own mock funeral in an exhibition titled Chatchai Is Dead. If Not, He Should Be, one example of how he uses humor and parody to reflect the growing dissatisfaction and sense of loss associated with globalization and Thailand’s turbulent political factionalism.
Life in the City of Angels: War Zone, a self-portrait in which the artist appears surrounded by butterflies, continues this exploration of identity. The artist was inspired by hundreds of butterflies entering his studio attracted by his vivid canvases only to be asphyxiated by the fumes of the oil paint. The work draws on the artist’s views about his death with the butterflies referencing Buddhist ideas of rebirth.
Chatchai Puipia received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Silpakorn University, Bangkok. Puipia has participated in numerous international exhibitions and biennales, including the 3rd Shanghai Biennale 2000 and the Singapore Biennale 2006. He has exhibited at the Silpakorn University Art Gallery, Art Space and Dialogue Gallery, Bangkok; the Earl Lu Gallery, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore; the Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris; the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Germany; the ISE Cultural Foundation, Asia Society and the Queens Museum, New York; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space.
Born in Mahasarakarm, Thailand, 1964 | Lives and works in Bangkok