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Press Release: Conversation in the Garden

5 Mar 2015

Yavuz Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. Entitled Conversation in the Garden, the thematic presentation will feature new and recent works by renowned Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak, which typify the formal and conceptual concerns that define her celebrated practice. This will mark the first time that Sanpitak’s works are exhibited in Hong Kong.

Pinaree Sanpitak (b. 1961, Thailand) is widely regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s most important contemporary artists, known for her ongoing exploration of the female body, typically expressed in an abstracted motif of vessels, stupas and clouds. For over twenty years, she has created a compelling and diverse body of work that encompasses a wide range of media such as paper, silk, glass and stainless steel, often produced through creative collaborations and partnerships with artisans and craftsmen.

At the centre of the booth will be The Hammock, a glass installation created during Sanpitak’s recent Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) residency at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, Ohio, USA and presented here in its Asian debut. Originally displayed outdoors in the Museum’s gardens, the installation comprises over 600 hand-blown glass beads – each unique in size and shape – strung together on steel cables to form a life-sized hammock. Despite size and solidity of the installation, the transparency of the glass beads lends to a sense of weightlessness and delicacy, while the hanging form conveys rest and repose, solace and tranquility.

Sanpitak’s interest in glass first began in 2007, after a chance visit to the studios of the famed Murano glass masters in Venice, Italy. This initial meeting resulted in numerous collaborations, including Sanpitak’s Quietly Solid – Blue sculptures. These two Murano glass sculptures, blown by famed glassmaker Master Silvano Signoretto, recall the shape of clouds, or can appear almost liquid-like, transparent blue orbs with an amorphous blue centre.

Also on view will be a selection of sculptures from Sanpitak’s 2013 Breast Stupa Topiary series, futuristic trellis-like objects that in form recall both the female breast and the stupa, a traditional Buddhist funerary structure found in many parts of Southeast Asia. Like The Hammock, these stainless steel structures were originally exhibited outdoors. With the largest sculpture measuring 3meters tall and almost as wide, curious viewers are invited to crawl between the legs of the structures, catching sight of their reflections in the highly polished surfaces and experiencing it from a different angle.

Complementing the large-scale structures will be a series of works on canvas, including a selection of her seeds paintings, and two new collages created especially for the fair. Populated with Sanpitak’s widely-known motif of seeds, breast clouds and vessels, and some dotted with surprising details such as torn paper used in earlier works and dried flowers pressed by the artist herself, these works ask us to not only look but to interact, inviting a perambulatory viewing and intimate inspection.

Taken altogether, these works in various media – the hammock, topiaries, seeds and clouds – come together to form a garden scene, creating a quiet and meditative space within the busy exhibition hall. Conversation in the Garden offers a space in which to slow down, and with which to play. Based in the fluid forms of nature, the works on show are pared back to such pristine precision that the social becomes central. Here, one can imagine the many conversations Sanpitak has engaged in with her creative collaborators and partners, and can enact conversations with of own.

Click here to learn more about the project, and here to visit Art Basel Hong Kong online.