Japanese Movement

The Floating World of Buddhist Tales

The concept of the struggle between good and evil that appears in various Buddhist stories invites introspection and reflects on the influence of Japanese manga that Alongkorn Lauwatthana read as a child. It became an inspiration for him to reinterpret these Buddhist tales with a new visual style, diverging from traditional Thai art forms. Instead, he used woodblock prints known as “Ukiyo-e,” which were widespread in Japan from the 17th to the 19th centuries, considered the origin of the Japanese manga we are familiar with today.

The artist used Ukiyo-e to depict the narratives of each story, portraying scenes of battles between humans and various ferocious creatures. These illustrations convey emotions akin to a theatrical performance. Although the imagery is Japanese, the underlying content remains Thai, revealing a process of blending cultures from one tradition to another. This showcases the essence of entertainment and boundless imagination, aligning with the manga concept and the translated meaning of Ukiyo-e, “Pictures of the floating world.”

These works serve as an exploration of a different approach to artistic creativity, deviating from the artist’s conventional style and offering a glimpse into another facet of his expression. It reflects the artist’s relentless pursuit of self-development, akin to seeking ethical principles and practicing virtue. It embodies a state of moral consciousness, self-awareness, and an understanding of thoughts and actions, as well as the ongoing transformation of the world.

Opening reception: 18 September 2023, 18.00 h at MATDOT Art Center