Hello Sudrak and welcome to LandEscape. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production and we would like to invite our readers to visit http://www.sudrakart.com in order to get a wide idea about your mulifaceted artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your multifaceted background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as a creative?
Hello to the LandEscape viewers. First of all, I really appreciate LandEscape for selecting my artwork and for giving me such an excellent opportunity for this interview to present views and ideas about creating my work.
I graduated in graphic design. It’s important for my combination of diverse fields into my paintings. So I like to create visual elements in my work that are quirky and unique. You can see it in some of my paintings. I designed the shape of the tree or the clouds in my own style. I use my imagination to communicate feelings of happiness and contentment.
I spent six years practising painting skills, researching and experimenting with many different painting styles to find things that I enjoy and have a unique, unique form that expresses who I am. Until finally, I found that I like to use shapes and stories in nature in order to convey the story of my emotions.
The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of LandEscape has at once impressed us of for the way you invite the viewers to explore the bond between visual reality and the realm of imagination: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do your cultural Thai roots address the direction of your artistic production?
I have a family background living in the countryside of Thailand. My country has a social culture that is agricultural lifestyles that rely on nature. This is essential to instill love and respect for nature to my heart.
I will feel at ease, peaceful and happy with living in nature. Because nature is pure, sincere and never pretend. It is the most real thing that you and I can touch always.
My work presents a whole range of aspects related to nature. Whether it is a lifestyle of human dependence on nature, or even the beauty of the sky on a new morning that the sun is about to rise above the horizon. Flowers are blooming to show off their beautiful colours. Butterflies are flutter their wings and fly through the wind. A little bird that leaves the nest to find food. These things all have their own meaning and reason.
I always use the shapes of nature to symbolize communicating with people. For example, a painting of the morning sunrise or a blooming flower represents hope and joy. And I have carefully chosen the use of shape, colour, composition in the visual arts. To bring the audience closer to the realm of imagination in my mind. Because art is a space you can have unlimited freedom of thought. You can imagine every possibility as you want.
…… And this is the way of art was and will always be.
Your artworks — and in particular the interesting Say love in the wind and Sleep in the forest — are marked out with such sapient combination between refined sense of geometry and wide variety of tones, that provide your works with a unique aesthetic identity: do you create your works intuitivelly, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes?
In “Say love in the wind” and “Sleep in the forest” artworks, I used both methods together. I started by instinctively generating results. I explored the thoughts, feelings, emotions of the images I want to express in my paintings. During the creative process, I went thru thoughts of revisiting several times. And then I chose from the geometric shapes and colour tones that best represent my ideas and emotions in the painting, and of course, for the best visual aesthetics result as well.
We have appreciated the intense and at the same time thoughtful nuances of your artworks, and that in A new day begins draw the viewers to such a joyful visual experience. How does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in your artworks and how do you develop your textures in order to achieve such unique results?
In a part of the background, I started using colours own instinctively. The artist’s instinct stems from years of hard work and practice until getting used to it. I often pick up colours with familiarity and instinctively. I was just thinking about the shade of colour that will communicate the emotion and psychological meaning of the painting that will be produced. In the first works of this series, I used a few colors for the background. So I can see the results and evaluate the aesthetic possibilities. From there, I have expanded the number of colours and tones in subsequent works.
For the background initiation process, I used the colours splash method and let it flow freely mix. I want to communicate the real nature of life. Sometimes we cannot control everything that comes into our lives. All we can do is accept what it is. But we can improve or make it beautiful. To make it suitable with our lives, for life to move forward as best and beautiful as possible. Then I painted the physical of nature as a front ground on dented space. Instead in meaning that life is not perfect. Everyone must experience both suffering and happiness all the time. But in the dented or imperfection….there is something beautiful. Depends on whether we can see it or not.
As you have remarked in your artist’s statement, the bright colors that marks at your artworks reminds to the Thai countryside and way of life old country life. and are inspired by your carefree childhood in the countryside: how do your memories influence your work as an artist and in particular, how does your everyday life’s experience fuel your artistic research?
My childhood memories had a great influence on early productivity. I want to create works that I have a passion for it. When I thought, what should I draw? The first thing in my idea was a happy childhood. I am grateful to my family for good memories, so my early artworks gave a feeling of joy, radiance and brightness.
And later on, I used my everyday experiences to stimulate creativity to produce work, for example, some days when I might be having a certain problem. I was sad and depressed. I drew a picture of “A dawn” or “A beautiful day” to tell myself…..Today there may be bad things that happened to me, but when tomorrow comes, there might be good things that happen to me as well. Therefore, I must not be discouraged. Don’t be in that grief for too long. Do not give up hope.
We have appreciated the unique surrealistic visual qualities that characterize your artistic production, and that in “The road and lotus pond” seem to walk the viewes through the thin line that divides the real and the imagined: how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination, playing within your artistic production?
Some of my work started with design thinking first and then produce it fallow as I thought. And for some work, I start making the background colour first, then I continued to imagine what kind of image I would like this picture to be. For “The road and lotus pond” would be the latter method. I started by doing the background color first. I picked up pink and a few more colour and used them. When I saw the pink colour, I had imagined a pink lotus flower in the pond.
When I was young child. In the evening of the day, the sun would set and the sunlight was not strong anymore. I often took a walk or bike along the dirt roads. It was paths that extend as far as the eye could saw, on both sides of the road were rice fields and lotus ponds. In Thailand, we are growing lotus for commercial purposes. Thai people like to bring lotus flowers to worship Buddha sculpture. The lotus in Buddhism represents purity, bright heart, not shadowy and faith also means enlightenment and attainment and lotus seeds, lotus sticks and lotus roots can be used for cooking.
I bring a true story from the past to combine with the imagination that arises from the canvas in front. I play with both things of these all the time. So some of my works may take the form of reality. And some of them may be composed from imagination. It depends on what affects my mind at that moment.
We really appreciate the way your artworks create such powerful channel of communication with Thai culture, encouraging cultural exchange and helping your audience to capture the positive energy of your paintings, to develop better social attitudes: how do you consider the role of artists in our unstable and globalised society?
My powerful communication is driven by the power of real feelings that everyone can touch. I do works that I have experience and emotions with it. Artists often take the stories of their daily life to devise their work. For me, I used the happy memories of my childhood to did my works. When I am happy, I paint a happy painting. People can touch this feeling when they look at my artworks.
In my paintings, it has a character of the Thai way of life. I did not made it by intention, but it shows in a painting by instinct. Because being Thai is in my blood. It’s the root of my identity.
I think the role of artist is important to society. If a doctor is a physical healer, an artist is a psychological healer. In the world of today’s globalized society, various science makes a lot of progress. But the arts still do a duty to excellently always and long time in our society. Arts is still something that humans create, imagine, convey meaning to build or add value to everything. Arts is also an important part of the development of civilization, culture, spirituality of human society.
The work of art is the product of an artist. Taking arts can make happiness, entertainment and bring wisdom to human beings. Art allows humans to think and modify their own behavior. The viewer of the arts uses the brain for the intellectual effect. In each person had different idea results depending on the experience and imagination came into the mix during the thought process at that time. It is an individual matter.
When we watched the same painting at different times, it has different results. So we love to watch art without getting bored. We are view a work of art today and come back to do it in the next three years, we might not think the same and sometimes get a new vision. We can see many results, in the case of The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, even though more than half a millennium has passed but this painting has a new story happened, let us be amazed and learned all the time.
You often work with large canvass, that provide the viewers with such immersive visual experience: how do the dimensions of your canvass affect your workflow?
There are two main factors in determining the size of my artworks: 1. The energy of the story in the painting that I want to pass on to the viewer. If I want the painting to show the great power of nature The vastness of the sky, mountains or fields, I will determine the size of the large canvas. On the other hand, if I wanted the audience to see the beauty of the small things in nature, such as butterflies, insects and flowers, I would rather use a smaller canvas. In order for the viewer need to walk and take a closer look at the artwork, In this way, they can see the little details in it.
2. The area where the artwork will be installed. If it is an exhibition in a museum or gallery, the area of the room or wall is large. I chose to use a large canvas. So that the space of the room or the wall does not obscure the energy of the artwork. Another way if my paintings will be part of one in a private residence, Often I would go for a medium or small canvas.
Your artworks have often titles that seem to offer guidance to the viewers, allowing you to clarify the message, while sometimes maintaining such elements of ambiguity, as in the stimulating My girl: how do you go about naming your work? In particular, is important for you to tell something that might walk the viewers through their visual experience?
That is my intention to name artworks to guide the audience. But still, it remains ambiguous. Encouraging them to continue thinking and imagining. It is the fun and addictive charm of art appreciation. We look at it to unleash our boundless imagination, with artworks as a starting point.
In my work “My girl”, I paint a picture of a girl and her dog. That girl is the childhood I am still in my memory. And my pet dog is female, so My girl is the term I use to call that girl, or maybe that girl use calling her dog. As for the viewer of this art… this girl may remind them of their sisters, daughters or childhood friends, depending on whether they thought or imagined. Which I have opened up a space of obscurity for them to use for their stories.
We dare say that your artworks seem to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the viewers with freedom to realize their own perception. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers’ imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?
There are two levels of cognitive perception in my paintings depending on the viewer. At the first level is the surface level you can see bright, beautiful paintings. You get the visual aesthetics. And level 2 is a deeper level. You can create the illusion of perception through your thoughts. You will find the truth of life that everything is something that we have come up with. It’s all the illusions, we have initiated. We can suppose this painting to be that or it could be like this. It’s all up to our minds to lead. I draw from illusions that arise from recalling the past. Part of the past is who I am in the present. And part of the present will be me in future.
If a part of me, my paintings, can stimulate people’s visual imagination. that no matter what ideas are relevant to their past or present. I am opened to people’s every level of understanding of my artworks. I don’t think that it is important for me that people not must understand my work as like me. Because arts had no fixed answer, half of the results are from an artist who created the work and the other half from the audience. Therefore, the level of understanding, impression, liking and love of artworks in everyone is not equal.
At least, if my artworks bring them happiness, satisfaction, or wisdom then I consider myself as a successful artist who makes a happy, spiritual joy to the people of society. Humans cannot be physically filled with only objects. We must also fill our souls with aesthetics to become perfect human beings. And it’s the artist’s responsibility.
You are an established artist: your work is in public and private collections worldwide and over the years you participated to lots of exhibitions, both in Thailand and in the United Kingdom as well as in the United States: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces — to street and especially to online platforms as Instagram — increases, how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? (if you like you can include the link https://www.instagram.com/sudrak_artist to your Instagram page, in your answer)
I have a relationship with my audiences as a messenger and a receiver. It was an esthetic conversation. I use art as a tool to communicate with people in society. Art has evolved like human life, it is constantly changing. From the ancient past, art has been in sacred places, to serve religion. Later, art came to serve the elite, the ruling class. And the last is our era, the art is an individual matter. It is to serve the artist who created the work. Begin with an artist who wants to convey things that affect their thought and mind. It is a feeling so overwhelming to must be expressed as a work of art in different ways. Like painting, sculpting, acting, writing or music, etc. So that others can see, hear or touch to get to know the artist’s message.
In the modern globalized world, moving art from traditional gallery spaces to the streets and especially to online platforms. I think it doesn’t change the role or value of the arts, it increases the communication channel between the artist and the art audience. It also helps to make conversation easier, more convenient, wider than before. In the past, people had to go to museums or galleries to see only works of art. Nowadays, they can view art in the streets and alleys of the houses they are travelling around. Or even viewing art in their own home, they can do it. They don’t need to travel anywhere. They just have enough internet access.
But in my idea, I still love to go to see the work of art in a place where the exhibition space is set up to create an artistic atmosphere. It is a good way that allows us to get the most enjoyment in viewing the artwork anyway.
For me, I still focus on showing artworks exhibitions in museums and galleries both in my country and overseas. And I added an online platform to publish my works and artistic activities news on
In order to make it easier for people to approach my stories and artworks in today’s world. During this time when people around the world are facing the coronavirus pandemic. Using online platforms is a good option for artists to communicate their artistic activities with other people.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Sudrak. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
At this time I am interested in exploring the stories of the coexistence between naturalism and consumerism in the 21st century. I am pondering how to incorporate pop art, which represents consumerist society come to be a part of my artworks. I think nature lovers today cannot deny the existence of a consumerist lifestyle. At the same time, those in the consumerism society world have a passion to get themselves in nature. So I’m interested in exploring every possibilities in every way to find the perfect balance and beauty in the existence of these two worlds.
As for my exhibition, I have many projects that need to be postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Especially overseas exhibitions that have to be postponed. In future, the COVID-19 epidemic situation has improved as maybe I come back to continue the project that I have been started at the beginning of 2020. For the end of this year, I will have a female artist group art exhibition and a solo exhibition next year at a gallery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Finally, I am also grateful to LandEscape for giving me the opportunity to share thoughts and visions about my artworks and the process of creation.