Tawan Wattuya mainly paints watercolour. Born in 1973, he lives and works in Bangkok. His works explore the social fabric and identities of his country. His paintings are often inspired by images gleaned from social networks. They represent current issues drawn from around the world. His works reflect his vision of a human race losing its ethics and aspirations.
He is participating to the 2nd Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB 2020- Escape Routes) starting october 2020.
« I paint humans in animal bodies ».
In his Animals Farms series, Wattuya explores the lowest behaviours and instincts of humanity through his bold depictions of dogs, pigs and wild animals. Wattuya’s choice of watercolour is a deliberate attempt to convey the speed, dynamism and complexity of the contrasts of contemporary society in its universal dimension.
His creations are raw. They oscillate between detailing the individuality of a creature and capturing its universal essence. This universality, however, is not without critical comment from the artist.Tawan Wattuya, through spectral studies of panthers, dogs and pigs, suggests an Orwellian vision of the hypocrisy that underlies human society. Tawan began to paint animals by first focusing on those we prey upon, and then on predators. He reminds himself travelling in Eastern Europe during a Residence in Budapest, and meeting a taxidermy exhibition in front of the National Museum in Prague, which was closed on the day he wanted to visit it. On his return to Thailand, he began painting from the photos of stuffed animals he took there.
« Every country has its own national animal. Every zodiac has an animal sign », Tawan observes. « I wonder why so many countries have lions or tigers as national animals when they are not even local ».
He finds contradictions in the myths and stories that people and nations build around them. What is it about these animals that we want so badly to identify with? Through his iconic brushstrokes, both fluid and precise, the intestines emerge from inside the animals.
Seen axiomatically, dogs bark, tigers hunt, pigs have sex. It is as if one can only be free to behave according to one’s true temperament when one is stripped of one’s human skin.