Oslo based artist Apichaya Wanthiang (B. 1987, Bangkok Thailand) Graduated in 2009 with a BA from Sint-Lukas Brussel, Belgium and 2012 with a MA in Fine Arts from Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway. Wanthiang construct environments in order to study how they influence our perceptions, behaviours and interactions. In her practice she works with a range of media, including painting, installations, architecture, video and movements. The artist pays particular attention to the landscapes we surround ourselves with, the material, textural, atmospheric and weather conditions in which we exist; the narratives that we share and how we choose to (re)tell them. Between 2013 and 2019, Wanthiang worked part time as guest teacher and Assistant Professor both at the Faculty of Fine Art in Bergen and Trondheim Academy of Fine Art. Currently she is dedicated to her artistic practice.
Wanthiang’s most recent paintings, is a continuation of an investigation in the phenomenon flood(ed), initially explored in her solo exhibition “Driftwood and Ghost Hunters” at LNM (2018) in Oslo, Norway. In the past years, there has been an increased flooding in the North-East of Thailand. Submitting her family, and many others in this part of Thailand to unstable conditions. In her work she attempts to relate to these conditions, by mediating a sense of instability and restlessness through her painting. A flood is a weather phenomenon, a material condition and also a psychological state. It is the amalgamation and collapse of these different aspects of an event Wanthiang aims to explore through her art. To find a painterly language to something that is inherently fluid, affective and fugitive, always trying to escape a singular reading.
Wanthiang often paints with a thin and fast-drying acrylic paint, causing some surfaces to appear almost washed out, and unexpectedly dry. She paints motives as if they are floating on the canvas, and vegetation as if they are anthropomorphised, with movements sweltering through the layers of paint. Brash and lively strokes of paint are evident through the painted landscapes, moist or cracked surfaces. Breaking through Wanthiang’s dynamic brush strokes are the straight lines of simple structures, which somewhat coarsens her motifs; defined, but full of movement and vibrancy. The humid landscapes depicted display strange elements, as if things lurk from beneath the transparent yet oblique surfaces. In some of her paintings, we nearly are able to discern human-like figures, often without details such as facial features and clothing. Instead, they appear as outlines or silhouettes, evoking after-images or presences past.
In addition to her exhibition at LNM in 2018, Wanthiang exhibited at UKS (Young Artists’ Society) in Oslo that same year. The exhibition titled “Evil Spirits Only Travel in Straight Lines” evolved around a breathing, mountain landscape, where she created an omen through a topography of dried clay, which was elevated in the UKS main galleries. The gallery was heated to the temperature of the sun-scorched ground in Wanthiang’s birth place, Thailand.