Golden Grain, the first solo exhibition in New York for Thai artist Songwoot Kaewvisit, opened at Tally Beck Contemporary, 42 Rivington Street, New York, on March 6, 2013, and ran through April 26, 2013. The show featured five new paintings from Kaewvisit’s Golden Grain series and two large-scale canvases from his Snake Oil series.
Songwoot Kaewvisit is an artist and professor of painting at Khon Kaen University in the Isaan region of Thailand. He was born in 1977 and graduated from Thailand’s most prestigious school for art, Silpakorn University, in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in painting. In 2004, the ASEAN Art Awards named one of his early Golden Grain paintings Jurors’ Choice, the highest honor at the national level.
Kaewvisit draws from his regional origin and personal experiences for his subject matter. Located in the northeast, Isaan is Thailand’s largest, poorest and most rural region. In his Golden Grain paintings, Kaewvisit combines elements of Western realism and Thai neotraditionalism that provide both social commentary and arresting formal aesthetics. The compositions idealize his region’s landscape and agrarian backbone. The Snake Oil paintings, two of which are included in the exhibition, are monumental photorealist works that ironically elevate a common Isaan nostrum purported to enhance virility.
After he shot to national artistic fame in 2004, Kaewvisit’s work has been exhibited numerous times in Bangkok. He began working with Tally Beck in 2010 and has since shown in New York, Miami and Houston, and his paintings have been added to distinguished collections internationally.