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balance (2): art

Saturday, December 11, 2004

art

having nothing better to do in the stifling heat of bangkok today ot and i headed towards the queen’s gallery on rachadamnoen road to see an art showing for thawan duchanee. ot’s idea, actually, which surprised me. i have said before that there is not much in the way of original art in thailand, and having been to a couple of galleries here i still maintain this is true. however duchanee was one of the best shows i have ever seen in my life. he is an old, grizzled thai man who owns 35 very unique houses around the world, which he fills with some very curious, sort of twisted art. his work over 3 years filled an entire 3 floors of the gallery- talk about prolific! his paintings are gorgeous- mostly garish, imaginative beasts splashed onto disturbing bright colored backdrops. in addition he creates strange furniture out of various parts of animals- including a magnificent bed of tanned hide (sparse sticky fur still on) stretched across a frame of bone and crowned with a huge beak of some sort of bird. he also makes various gorgeous knives, jewelry, and other implements from bone. what a guy. we left the gallery in a worshipful haze.

then, out of the blue i decided it was time to leave bangkok, and i bought 2 round trip plane tickets north to chiang mai (for $100 total!). we packed up and left within one hour.

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