On 5 December of every year in Thailand, all Thai people realize this to be a national Father’s Day since it is also the late king’s birthday. On this occasion, the Thai government and private organizations set up activities to express gratitude and give awards to many good fathers who can be role models for others. Sons and daughters who live in the city may come back home to visit and take care of their parents who live in the countryside. In turn, parents give them blessings and encouragement.
This month I would like to give a present to you. Here are mixed media paintings that I am very fond of and impressive. In my view, the artist used the color of coffee in his drawing to enliven the atmosphere in the paintings very well. Whenever I see his paintings, I feel that they are eye-catching and full of artistic quality. I will introduce a Thai artist who has many art exhibitions. We can clearly see the gentleness and sincerity in his artistic creations.
Yuttana Phongphasuk is a freelance artist who is passionate in drawing portraits. He was born on 26 March 1967 in Bangkok. After secondary school education at Pratuengthip Wittaya school, he studied art at Thaivichitsilp School, achieved a diploma and then received an advanced diploma and Bachelor’s degree of Art from Poh Chang Academy of Art in Bangkok.
Here is the interview:
JY: Tell us about the success of portraits you have drawn of King Rama IX.
YP:I’d rather call these paintings my happiness. I am always really happy whenever I draw a portrait of His Majesty the King. For several years, I smiled with delight or cried with thankfulness at the King’s benevolence, depicted in the reference photos for my paintings. If this is my success, I would be grateful to people who truly see my love for the King.
JY: What is your primary impression about HM the King that you want to express to readers in Thailand and abroad?
YP: If my entire lifespan could prolong his life by just a minute, I would gladly give it to him. The reason is his kindness towards his Thai people. For the 70 years that he reigned and worked, there are over 4,000 royal projects throughout Thailand. Most of them are large projects that take decades to complete. Besides all of his projects, the teaching he gave us can be applicable in most daily living situations. As far as I know, the late King fought against the poverty of Thai people for their happiness and well-being. I could not forget the image when he bowed to receive flowers from people.
JY: What about your previous exhibitions and awards you received?
YP: For many years, I continuously drewn portraits of King Rama IX . I am always happy whenever I paint them. I feel that there is much room for me to work on my techniques and skills of painting. However, at this time I decided to omit many of those skills. My main concern is how to draw happily.
Around six to seven years ago, my artist friend (Chingchai Udomcharoenkij) and I collaborated to set up an art exhibition called “Two Feelings”. That year, the late King was very sick. Both of us were worried about his health so we decided to have this exhibition to give him blessings by drawing portraits. After finishing a portrait, I usually said “Long live the King”. The exhibition was held at C.P. Seven Art Gallery, Sathorn Road for one month.
Later, one of the portraits was featured in “Sawasdee Magazine” by Thai Airways. That portrait was made by using only ball-point pen on paper. There was another set of my 13 portraits featured in the music video called “The King Rama IX”. At that time, this music video was broadcast on every Thai television channel at 6 PM every day.
For the awards: I won first prize (Foam carving) of the central region when I studied at the diploma level and I got a bronze medal from Title Fair in Japan in 1995.
JY: What do you think about collaboration among artists in Thailand currently?
YP: At the moment, I think the collaboration among Thai artists is very strong and purposeful. This can be clearly seen in construction of the royal crematorium for the late King this year. Many kinds of masterful and beautiful traditional arts were used in the construction and decoration. All of the artists who worked on this were not interested in commissions or wages at all. We could say that their hearts truly became one. With all my heartfelt respects to all artists in this project, I really appreciate their works. Lastly, I will remember the date 26 October 2017 in my heart. It was the day when Thai people combined all of their hearts as one. Likewise, I cannot forget the image of an elderly woman who patiently waited and slept outdoors three days before the king’s funeral. The most important issue is the one who came up with “sufficiency economy theory” and cannot be forgotten in my heart.