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Art lovers don’t miss!
Dear friends, collectors and art lovers,
We are pleased to announce our new opening in honor of Thai painter Jirasak Anoujohn and French photographer Jessie Lie
Please join us for the opening of “Belief over Beauty ” the 7th of September. The press conference will be held at 6:30pm and the opening ceremony will start at 7:30pm.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to interview the artists or for any inquiries you may have.
S gallery Team
“BELIEF OVER BEAUTY”
An exhibition by French photographer Jessie Lie and Thai Painter Jirasak Anoujohn both exploring through different mediums some of the oldest and most respected Thai traditions
Text by Joe Cummings
For nearly a year, French photographer Jessie Lie penetrated deeply into the world of sak yan, the Thai tradition of hand-tattooing ink designs on the body for spiritual purposes, to assemble this special collection of black-and-white images.
It’s a world of magic and mystery that outsiders find difficult to access and to understand. With patience and perseverance, Lie enjoyed extended periods of time inside Thailand’s relatively guarded khru sak (tattoo master) community, living amongst them, sharing food with their families, and attending special ceremonies such as the annual wai khru, in which disciples pay homage to masters past and present.
From within this remarkable subculture, she was able to document the tradition with her camera whilst engaged in deep dialog with both masters and disciples.
The resulting photo collection, carefully curated with the assistance of S Gallery’s Martin Gerlier, offers a rare glimpse into the everyday sak yan world that most people, including many Thais, know very little about.
About sak yan: As elegant and eye-catching as the art may be, it is intended to be far more than simple decoration or cosmetic enhancement. Each design represents a specific magico-religious purpose, served not only by the design itself, but by the master who applies the tattoo and, just as importantly, by the self-discipline and morality of the wearer.
While some foreigners harbour the impression that Thai tattoo masters are always Buddhist monks (hence the misconceived nickname “temple tattoos”), there are in fact many more laymen applying sak yan than monks. What both have in common is a long apprenticeship under an older khru sak, whether monk or layperson. The apprenticeship is deemed complete when the master feels that his apprentice has fully absorbed the master’s weecha (magical knowledge) and is fully capable of tattooing on his own.
Note: Yan is the Thai pronunciation of the Pali-Sanskrit yantra, meaning “sacred (or magic) design.” Some English-language transliterations of the word appear as “yant,” which is illogical since neither the “t” nor the “r” is ever pronounced in the Thai version of the word.
Jirasak Anoujohn is a Thai artist from Lop buri, Thailand. With his passion in portrait painting, he won many awards such as The International Purchase Prizes Award, Panasonic Contemporary Painting Award and Most Promising Artist of The Year Award from UOB.
In this exhibition, he expresses the story of the philosophy and beliefs in Buddism related to The Three Wise Monkeys, sometimes called The Three Mystic Apes story.
Together they embody the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”
There are various meaning ascribed to The Monkeys and the proverb including associations with being a good mind, speech and action.
His painting also refers to similar ideas in Buddism which is about the Buddha’s practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from suffering, attachments and delusion, which finally leads to understanding the truth about all things.
Address:S Gallery, Sofitel Sukhumvit 189 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10110