09 Jun The World We’ve Made – exhibition at Rosewood Bangkok
Eng | ไทย
S.A.C. in collaboration with Rosewood Bangkok
The World We’ve Made
a solo exhibition by
during 18 June – 31 August 2019
at Rosewood Bangkok Hotel
While air pollution has been a serious problem in Thailand for many years, many people have paid it little attention or overlooked it. It may be because most pollutants cannot be seen by the naked eye, even though they exist. And mostly, the evidence of its harm to people’s health has often been concealed or denied. Therefore, Pichai Pongsasaovapark came up with the concept of creating works that actually captured the problem of air pollution.
In 2017, Pongsasaovapark created series called “Poison Flowers” and “Exhaust Man.” In these series, he wanted to show the truth of polluted air from carbon emissions and allow people to see that air pollution exists. The artist used pieces of drawing canvas to cover the exhaust pipes of various types of vehicles and machinery which emitted toxic carbon dioxide. This process resulted in the carbon fumes making the shapes of flower patterns on the canvas. The vehicles and machinery used in creating the works were common cars, motorcycles, pickup trucks, vans, ten-wheeled trucks, agricultural combines, harvesters and tractors.
In 2018, Pongsasaovapark decided to expand my environmentally-focused works to address other larger issues linked to climate change that contribute to global warming, such as urban pollution and rising oceans as a result of the melting icebergs and glaciers. With the sea level rising, the ecosystem of many countries is gradually being destroyed and biodiversity reduced.
Clearly, uncontrolled urban growth contributes to this outcome. Industrial pollution through the emission of carbon dioxide and other gases pouring into the atmosphere, the pollution of water and soil, and the decimation of forests and green lands have all contributed to the destruction of our environment. Pongsasaovapark decided to address what individuals can do in the face of such destruction. He believes that if we are to change the direction in which we are going, it must start from individuals, then communities, then nations taking action.
Each individual must be aware and must join hands with one another to solve the problems for the sake of future generations. To visualize the solution, Pongsasaovapark created a series of works called “Why did you go away?” and “Macro and Micro.” They reflect that virtually all the countries of the world signed the “Paris Agreement,” an agreement under the United Nations convention on climate change, to support policies that will protect our planet. However, the United States, previously a global leader on the environment, has withdrawn from the agreement.
In 2019, he again created a series called “The Mess We Make,” which refers to the deficiency of lawlessness, management, and information around air pollution. The works were inspired from the toxic smog that has periodically blanketed Thailand with the air-borne particulate PM2.5. Because of a lack of systematic and urgent air pollution management, the problem has risen steadily in Thailand, leading to a serious health risk and danger to the public. As an artist, he believes that he can do something to make people notice this issue and how dangerous it is, as well as bring attention where they live. Additionally, some people have no idea as to even when and why they should wear such masks, or even what types of masks they should use to prevent harm to their lungs from breathing such air pollution.
While artists cannot solve the problems we face as a society, we can always try to bring greater attention to the issues and possible solutions.
About the Artist
Pichai Pongsasaovapark is a Thai artist creating abstract work using acrylics, mixed media, and photography, with a focus on environmental issues. His work is in private and public collections, including the Luciano Benetton Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has been shown in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Marseille, New Delhi, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tampa, and Venice, and has been commissioned by the City of South San Francisco. He has an MFA in Painting from Chiang Mai University and a Certificate in Museum and Gallery Studies from California State University East Bay.