Collection 1: Vessels, Pinaree Santipak

25 May 2022

Collection 1: Vessels brings the theme of utsuwa (vessels) into focus, drawing mainly works from the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa collection. The function of vessels varies; created as containers, stripped of their utility or referred to as internal organs of a living creature which evoke memories from nature. The show examines utsuwa from a multitude of angles, seeking to provide an opportunity to ponder their meaning and value. Pinaree Santipak’s practice synchronizes perfectly with the concept of utsuwa and her work, Brilliant Blue, will be showcased in the group exhibition.

Pinaree Sanpitak (b. 1961, Thailand) is widely regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s most important contemporary artists. In the 1990s, her groundbreaking exhibition Breast Works marked the start of the artist’s reference to an emergent and defining iconography: the female breast. The recurring breast motif is distilled into the basic form of vessel and mound, which she relates to imagery of the Buddhist stupa (shrine) and offering bowl. Sanpitak correlates it to primal and sacred forms in nature, Thai tradition and culture, and Buddhist architecture and practices.

Over the years, Sanpitak has redefined notions surrounding the human body (transcending the female breast), looking at the bodily form as a vessel of experience and perception, and the sense of the body in space and the perceived iconographic and conceptual associations they may trigger.

Collection 1: Vessel is presented at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan until 16 October 2022.

Image: Pinaree Sanpitak, Brilliant Blue, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 198 x 250 cm | Image courtesy of the artist, Tyler Rollins Fine Art and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.