Ayala Museum, Richard Koh Fine Art bring the ‘altarpieces’ of Thai artist Natee Utarit

In Photo: Theatre of the absurd, 2015, Natee Utarit, oil on canvas, 250cm x 540 cm

Ayala Museum and Singapore-based gallery Richard Koh Fine Art, with the support of the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila, copresent the exhibition of contemporary Thai painter, Natee Utarit.

Nescientia, 2014, Natee Utarit, oil on
canvas, 290 cm x 387 cm

Titled Optimism is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces, the exhibition is on view until April 9, and is part of the artist’s Optimism is Ridiculous series, which began in 2012 and has been featured in various galleries in Asia.

The Altarpieces is Utarit’s critique of Western modernism. It’s a satire of modernism and capitalism, and tells of its seduction of local customs and traditions. Consisting of a total of 12 works, these works are composed of multiple panels forming a diptych, triptych, or polyptych, following the tradition of classical religious paintings with elaborate frames and settings.

Utarit’s interest in Western religious painting stems from his appropriative approach to classical art. “In my paintings here, I offer an interpretation of the world and various beliefs that appear in the Western world from my own Asian perspective,” he said.

Optimism Is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces is a traveling exhibition with Ayala Museum in Makati City, Philippines, as its first stop. After its Manila run, the exhibition is scheduled to head on to Indonesia and Singapore.

Natee Utarit (b. 1970, Bangkok) studied at the College of Fine Art in 1987 and graduated in Graphic Arts at the Painting and Sculpture Faculty at Silpakorn University, both in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1991.

His work is part of many renowned collections, such the Bangkok University, Bangkok; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; as well as private collections in Europe and Asia.

Utarit’s multifaceted practice focuses on the exploration of the medium of painting, connecting it with photography and classical Western art. Light and perspective are some of the elements the artist choose to work with, focusing on painting as a means to explore image-making. His complex pictures, juggling wide-ranging metaphors usually in the format of the traditional still life, allude to Thailand’s current social and political landscapes.

Ayala Museum is at Makati Avenue corner de la Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City, and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm.

For information, contact 759-8288, or [email protected], or visit www.ayalamuseum.org.