Whitewash

Solo exhibition by Kanya Charoensupkul

The majority of the artworks showcased in this exhibition were created during the 1990s, a period marked by Thailand’s socio-political and economic disintegration. The tumultuous events that plagued society, from the violent suppression of pro-democracy protests during the Black May 1992 uprising to the economic crisis that triggered the collapse of the regional financial system in the early 2000s, served as a backdrop to Kanya’s artistic expression.

Amidst the diverse interplay of visual elements, one stands out with striking clarity: the pervasive presence of “white.” Despite the riot of colors scattered across the background, it is white that asserts its dominance upon initial glance. It imparts a sense of tranquility and gentleness to the overall composition, standing in stark contrast to the underlying intensity of the events that served as inspiration.

The frequent appearance of white evokes the concept of “whitewashing,” both in its literal sense of applying white paint to cover elements within the picture and in its metaphorical connotation of attempting to conceal or diminish the severity of wrongdoing. In this artistic endeavor, the wrongdoing in question could be interpreted as the enduring tragedies and irregularities that plague Thai society, often stemming from unseen mechanisms operating in the background. Kanya’s white, in this context, serves as a veil, obscuring the “deep state” from view beneath the captivating aesthetics of abstract art.

These artworks stand as profound reflections of Kanya Charoensupkul’s deeply contemplated emotions. Her psyche, deeply affected by the reverberations of countless narratives, has been meticulously explored and examined, culminating in visual expressions that resonate in poetic harmony with the societal context.

Exhibition period: 4 June – 7 July 2024 at Matdot Gallery
Opening reception: 4 June, 18.00h

Whitewash: Stone No. 2
1995
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Whitewash: Stone No. 3
1995
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Whitewash: Stone No. 4
1995
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

White World No. 5
1993–1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Wind 1
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Wind 2
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Wind 3
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Floating
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Two Characteristics No. 1
1994
Mixed media canvas
100 × 100 cm

Two Characteristics No. 2
1994
Mixed media canvas
100 × 100 cm

Tide
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Tide 1
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

Land No. 1
1997
Emulsion on canvas
95 × 95.5 cm

Land No. 2
1997
Emulsion on canvas
95 × 95.5 cm

Land No. 3
1997
Emulsion on canvas
95 × 95.5 cm

Land No. 4
1997
Emulsion on canvas
95 × 95.5 cm

Land No. 5
1997
Emulsion on canvas
90 × 90 cm

Thai-Land, No. 8
1997
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

State 2
1997
Mixed media on canvas
90 × 90 cm

Hope
1994
Mixed media on canvas
100 × 100 cm

The Abstract Trace 1/2550
2007
Acrylic on canvas
100 × 100 cm

The Abstract Trace 2/2550
2007
Acrylic on canvas
100 × 100 cm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanya Charoensupkul

Born in Nakhon Ratchasima in 1947, Kanya dedicated herself to nurturing the next generation of artists as a professor in the Printmaking Department at Silpakorn University. Her unwavering dedication and artistic excellence have solidified her position as one of Thailand’s most prominent and influential female artists.