Paphonsak La-or’s sharply realistic drawings, paintings and conceptual works critique Thai politics and history. His recent series ‘Silent No More’ features empty landscapes around Fukushima and Futaba in Japan, areas abandoned following the 2011 nuclear disasters.
La-or viewed the terrain obsessively through Google Maps and discovered a connection between his fascination with these quiet, uninhabitable landscapes and his frustration with the current political situation in Thailand. At the time, Thailand was experiencing a period of political instability, resulting in the May 2014 military coup. The series title is taken from Charles Keyes 2010 book Silent no more: A brilliant survey of the cultural and political history of the Isan region that specifically investigates why communities in north-eastern Thailand have become such strong supporters of the Red Shirt movement (a pro-democracy movement against dictatorship) following the crackdown by the military in Bangkok in 2010.
Finding similarities between the beautiful, lush landscapes of Japan and those around his hometown of Chiang Mai, La-or emphasises the contradictions between the apparently serene and peaceful scenes and the turbulent situations they represent. Each painting bears text in La-Or’s unique technique of painting with dust, conveying a sense of uneasiness and distrust, further undermining their idyllic tranquillity.
The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT)
is the Gallery’s flagship exhibition focused on the work of Asia, the Pacific and Australia.
21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016
Exhibition Founding Sponsor: Queensland Government
Exhibition Principal Sponsor: Audi Australia