General Press Releases Friday April 28, 2017 11:20
Bangkok--28 Apr--TQPR

Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) is pleased to present It Would Be Sill y to Be Jealous of a Flower by Bangkok- based Natee Utarit at Richard Koh Fine Art, 229 J alan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 18 May – 8 June 2017. The opening reception will be held on the 18th of May(Thursday), from 5 - 8 pm.

"Flowers and paintings of flowers aren't the same thing – even though there is a connection. In a still life the flowers are free. They are what they are. They are brought forth to be a painting. They are not meant to be an image representing flowers." – excerpt from Forget Me Not With Artist Palette, 13 -12-2016, Artist Note by Natee Utarit.

Thai artist Natee Utarit returns to Kuala Lumpur with 29 still-life paintings of flowers, 4 years since his last solo feature held in this city. Utarit's most intimate series to date after the highly successful Samlee & Co., The Absolutely Fabulous Showwhich was shown in Jakarta, It Would Be Silly to Be Jealous of a Flower serves as follow up series to the artist's most recent survey project of the 5 genres within the traditions of classical Western art.

The loose depictions of melancholic and imperfect botanical images journal the questions and observations of Utarit's everyday life which he brings to the easel. Flower still-lifes, to Natee, navigate fact and fiction, through painting flowers the artist contemplates life, the human consciousness, reminisce fond memories, questions propriety, custom and ethics that govern our everyday lives. The artist records his ruminations through the painting of these classical metaphors for virtues and vice.

Considered as Southeast Asia's most accomplished painter of his generation, Utarit questions the disdain that contemporary art has brought upon these subjects that had been tirelessly painted for centuries. Viewing these paintings suggests questioning the modern day perception of these floral and botanical objects, at a time where notions of authenticity for all things are at stake, these painted flowers address the evolution of symbolism and reverence which they no longer carry. Scrutinising the making of these still-ifes, Utarit suspends his inhibitions between the canvas and frames which enunciates timelessness in its embodiment of reality.

Natee Utarit (b. 1970, Bangkok) studied at the College of Fine Art in 1987 and graduated in Graphic Arts at the Painting and Sculpture Faculty at Silpakorn University, both in Bangkok, Thailand in 1991. Solo exhibitions include Optimism Is Ridiculous, The Altarpieces, Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines (2017) Illustration of the Crisis, Bangkok University Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand (2013), After Painting, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2010) and The Amusement of Dreams, Hope and Perfection, Art Center of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2007).

Recent group exhibitions include Thai Eye, BACC, Bangkok, Thailand and Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2016/2015), Art of ASEAN, Bank Negara Museum and Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2015), Time of Others, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2015) andAsian Art Biennale 2013: Everyday Life, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan (2013).

His work is part of many renowned collections, such the Bangkok University, Bangkok, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, British Council, Bangkok, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Thailand, Lasalle- SIA Collecge of the Arts, Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, Fine Art Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, Burger Collection, Hong Kong and Switzerland as well as private collections in Europe and Asia. Utarit's multifaceted practice focuses on the exploration of the medium of painting connecting it with photography and classical Western art. Light and perspective are some of the elements the artist chose to work with, focusing on painting as a means to explore image making. His complex pictures, juggle wide- ranging metaphors usually in the format of the traditional still life, allude to Thailand's current social and political landscapes.

Richard Koh Fine Art has been in operation since 2005 and is regarded as a pioneer for introducing Asian contemporary art to Malaysia and the region. Promoting an adventurous roster of emerging and established artists, the gallery regularly mounts exhibitions locally and abroad with a commitment to emerging practices and challenging media.

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