Udomsak Krisanamis Interview20/02/2012
New York's Gavin Brown's Enterprises currently plays host to Thai artist Udomsak Krisanamis's 'Space Out' exhibition. The artist's work has long since been characterized by his specific use of collage, creating obsessive patterns made from newspaper, noodles, cellophane and paint. Krisanamis is perhaps Thailand's greatest art export and we took the opportunity to talk to him about his unique and consistent style.
Angela Crane: The art of collage has enjoyed a resurgence over the last decade but has always been integral to your work...what has drawn you to this technique?
Udomsak Krisanamis: I am drawn to collage because it give me the opportunity to create a unique surface that’s never been done before.
AC: Do you agree with an interpretation of your work that says there is no constant narrative? Or would you say there is indeed a consistent message?
UK: I don’t see a narrative or a massage in my work. What I am trying to do is to make a beautiful painting and I think a beautiful work of art can feed the soul.
AC: Can you share a high, or low point of your career that has particularly informed/shaped the journey?
UK: The greatest high of my career is always my latest paintings.
AC: How do you work? Are you a man of habit or more erratic?
UK: I go to my studio everyday, whatever I do there ultimately informs my paintings.
AC: You began working as an artist in the early 90s ... what did life look like before then?
UK: It was cheap living, great music, parties and the art scene. I lived in New York for 8 years, including some time in Chicago. I was in my 20’s-everything was fun.
AC: I read that aspects of your style were informed by the process of learning English - can you share more about this?
UK: That comes from when I was first a student in New York. We were asked to do a conceptual piece, so I got a newspaper and crossed out everything except the words I didn’t understand. Beyond that, no connection really.
AC: What is important in your life, outside of your work?
UK: My family
AC: Is the world more convoluted/confusing than it was when you started out and how does this help or hinder the next generation of artists?
UK: The world is always changing but people are always the same. Really a good artist will do great work no matter what the social/political environment.