THE COLLAGE MASTER

ART & CULTURE

STORY ― THAMMATOUCH W.
PHOTOGRAPHY ― NAKROB MOONMANAS

ONCE IN A SOCIAL NETWORKING LIFE TIME, I BET YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THESE WONDER COLLAGE WORKS, THE WESTERN MASTERPIECES COMBINING WITH THE ANTIQUE THAI PHOTOGRAPHS , PATCHING THE DELICATE DETAILS TOGETHER IN ONE FRAME. THIS IS THE SIGNATURE OF AN EYE — CATCHING ARTIST — NAKROB MOONMANAS.

I must confess, not exaggerated, that for the first time I saw Nakrob’s work, I was thrilled with the joy for his creativity and excellent of the works. This Thai-born artist brought an icon or a representative of traditional Thai-ness as historical photograph: the royals, great statesman, and local costume dancer. Tore it apart, made it fragments and then placed the pieces with the world-famous western art. From Renaissance Raphael’s work, Rococo decoration motif, Bouguereau’s Neo-classicism painting, or famous Pre-Raphaelite “Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais to modern Hollywood photos, Nakrob mixed exotic eastern style and western flavours.

“For me, it was hard to categorised what is an authentic Thai or Chinese. People from each generation actually selected and adapted their appreciation, or what belongs to their taste into their lifetime. So, I want my works to represent this issue to state that there are no boundary in culture. It was a process that I put what I appreciate into my work, just to tell who I am.” Said by the artist (via adaymagazine)

Beyond the unique style, it is a bravery – a courage to criticise the definition of boundary, not only for Thai-ness but whole world culture. Surely, in one way, his works caused frictions of different voices in our society. Is it appropriate to bring the icons that people respect or worship into sensitive issue or in a modern context? But in other way as an art observer, Nakrob’s work symbolised a rarely perspective to meaning of Thai in the present of time.

“Thai society is like a collage art that filled with full flavour of differences, conflicts and unbalances. But we can live together. The representative that named as Thai-ness, should it be reserved or emerged to create way even if now we are either in the modern or post-modern world? I considered Thai-ness in the way we actualised. The attitudes, thoughts, our identities – they are so various. So, each ones’ Thai-ness could not be the same.” Nakrob illustrated diversity on his works [via GQ magazine]. Now you’re ready to explore the new definition of Thainess.