b. 1996, Thailand

James Prapaithong Artworks

Working predominantly in oil on canvas, Prapaithong paints dream-like, photoreal images that offer glimpses into moments of everyday life as seen by the artist through photographs—either his own, taken by friends, or accessed through Instagram.

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The artist's paintings often possess a candid, snapshot quality, depicting landscapes, scenes of water, or cropped vistas. Swim (2021) situates the viewer on a bank shaded by trees, overlooking the sea, while in The Moon is Beautiful, Isn't it? (2021), we peer through bare branches to catch a glimpse of the moon amidst the twilight sky.

Process

Prapaithong's distinctive blurred aesthetic is achieved through aggressively scrubbing the paint into canvas, which is primed with rabbit-skin glue. Layers of oil wash achieve a flatness, and light is painted in thick white to create a glowing, diffuse effect.

Relationship with Film

The filmic quality of Prapaithong's works is in part a result of the artist's choice of scale—using common screen aspect ratios to inform the dimensions of his canvases. In conjunction with their subject, these paintings can be seen to operate as 'freeze frames' or cinematic stills. Across the Sea (2021) might be an establishing shot—presenting the golden full moon illuminating clouds, suspended above the sea and distant horizon. Summer Blue(s) (2021) presents a close up of gently rippling water which sparkles under the sunlight.

The artist cites the Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu as an influence, telling Ocula Advisory in 2021: 'He introduced the "pillow shot"—still life frames that would intercept scenes. His films cut to an image of a vase for a few seconds while two people are talking to each other, for example. I think it's similar to how the moon paintings work.'

A Year Ago Today

Emerging from the artist's experience of the Covid-19 pandemic and limitations on travel, Prapaithong's first solo exhibition, A Year Ago Today (2021), presented a significant collection of the artist's photo-reference paintings. In Look How They Shine (2021), we gaze up at the night sky, partly obscured by the cover of trees. In Afterglow (2021), the diffuse moonlight is visible through heavy clouds, a power line intersecting horizontally across the composition.

With scale ranging from intimate vistas to large canvases, Prapaithong's works together operate as a punctuated series of flashbacks—transporting the viewer through familiar, universally identifable scenes in a wistful expression of looking back on memories from a position of stasis and isolation.

Browse Artworks
Sky so Blue by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
James Prapaithong Sky so Blue, 2022 Oil on canvas
30 x 40 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
Pink Moon by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting
James Prapaithong Pink Moon, 2022 Oil on canvas
30 x 40 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
We’re All Heading Somewhere by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting
James Prapaithong We’re All Heading Somewhere, 2021 Oil on canvas
150 x 200 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
Swim by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting
James Prapaithong Swim, 2021 Oil on canvas
120 x 180 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
Afterglow by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting
James Prapaithong Afterglow, 2021 Oil on canvas
40 x 30 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
Look How They Shine by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting
James Prapaithong Look How They Shine, 2021 Oil on canvas
40 x 30 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
Summer Blue(s) by James Prapaithong contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
James Prapaithong Summer Blue(s), 2021 Oil on canvas
180 x 120 cm
WORKPLACE Contact Gallery
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