The Cycle of Life in the Paintings of Thai Artist Pichai Nirand

Constable, Philip orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9234-1408 (2020) The Cycle of Life in the Paintings of Thai Artist Pichai Nirand. Silkworm Books, Chang Mai. ISBN 978-616-215-155-2

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The paintings of contemporary Thai artist Pichai Nirand (b.1936) are a vivid exploration of the interplay between Thailand's Buddhist roots and its modern aspirations and struggles. From the early application of the ideas of one of his mentors, Sipla Bhirasri (the Italian sculptor Corrado Feroci), to his thought-provoking and beautiful considerations of the role of Buddhism in modern Thai society, Pichai Nirand's history is one of an artist engaging with the world and belief system around him. This book presents a colorful journey through almost half a century of Pichai's artistic output and contributes to the growing appreciation of contemporary artists in Thai society. Accompanying the thirty-seven full-color paintings is incisive examination of the Thai moral and social themes of Pichai's paintings in terms of the Buddhist cycle of life - a concept that appears throughout his work. Philip Constable's sensitive analysis of the social, political, economic and moral dimensions affecting the artist and his oeuvre, coupled with careful reference to other contemporary Thai artists and their work, illuminate the deep meaning and expression behind each painting. The artwork and insights of this book showcase creativity and development of a celebrated Thai artist who has spent a lifetime providing a Thai Buddhist perspective on the dilemmas and contradictions of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

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