b. 1976, Thailand

Chatchawan Amsomkid Biography

Chatchawan Amsomkid was born in 1976, graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology and is currently an Associate Professor at the same institution. He has been featured in several group exhibitions, as well as picking up the bronze (2007, 2009) and silver prizes (2008) in the Mixed Media category of the annual National Exhibitions of Art, Thailand.  He has had two solo exhibitions at Thavibu Gallery in 2010 and at Jamjuree Gallery in 2011.  In the Serpent's Belly is his third solo exhibition. The inspiration behind the sculptures in this exhibition stems from the artist's curiosity of what is the root of corruption and the disastrous effects it has on a country and society.  Corruption carries a heavy price tag.  It is much more than a one-time transaction with a short-term cost on the parties or organizations involved. Its consequences are far-reaching.  Unchecked, corruption becomes a way of life that can paralyze industries, financial organizations, damage economies, destroy governments, and ruin societies. The snakes featured in the exhibition are symbolic of greed, the root cause of corruption, that permeates all aspects of life if left unchecked. A snake's physicality enables it to devour a prey much bigger than itself, which is likened to endless greed that feeds corruption, and vice versa. Not taking heed on whether its victim is a digestible creature or an indigestible non-life object, Chatchawan's snakes blindly devour a piggy bank, lunch box, food cover, thermos, aquarium, TV set, and fish bowls. Such actions are metaphors of the greed-induced corruption that permeates all aspects of human life. Nail heads of various sizes nailed into fiberglass and natural authentic ruby gems were incorporated in creating the sculptures, giving them a disturbingly life-like appearance. Chatchawan hopes to take his viewers on a journey of the evils of corruption and how it is, indeed, a global threat. He hopes it will remind the audience how corruption is a roadblock to economic development and that it aggravates inequality and injustice, and ultimately undermines stability in all aspects of society.

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