One of Thailand’s most forefront artists, Mit Jai Inn is well-known for his large scale abstract paintings that come in bright colours with unique textures.
Mit (b. 1960) was born and is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Before beginning his artistic career, he was trained as a novice monk and in Muay Thai. He eventually began his artistic training in 1983 at Silpakorn University (Bangkok) and later Angewandte Kunst Wien (Vienna). It was at the latter where he worked as a studio assistant of Franz West from 1988 – 1992. Returning to Thailand in 1992, Mit and several other artists co-founded the Chiang Mai Social Installation (CMSI). Notably, Mit also participated in large-scale exhibitions such as at the Yokohama Triennale (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007), REDCAT, Los Angeles (2007), Singapore Art Museum (2014), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017), Biennale of Sydney (2012 and 2018) and IKON Gallery, London (2021).
In Paphonsak La-or’s Prospects (2021), Mit created a collection of landscape paintings of sunrises and sunsets. Tunnel and Screen depict these temporally opposite scenes on opposite sides of the canvas. For instance, the twilight of sunset is depicted on the outer surface of Tunnel and the dawning sky of sunrise on its inner surface.
In the small exhibition room, there is a series of 12 paintings unfolding more of these celestial scenes from the countries where Thai political refugees seek asylum. The collection on the left wall mirrors sunrise, and the right wall sunset, with the centre wall depicting daytime. Small square paintings are placed on each piece acting as windows to a different time of the day.
Mit makes use of these scenes to reflect the current state of Thai politics in light of ongoing political crises. Amidst the clashes of principles and ideologies, Thailand’s political scenario is uncertain, making it difficult to transition or move forward, similar to the indistinguishability of dawn and dusk.
The exhibition was named in dedication to Paphonsak, a Thai artist who creates works addressing political issues in Thailand. Mit hopes to invoke a narrative that reflects Paphonsak’s and refugees’ prospects on Thailand’s political predicament.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of works in this series will be donated to support democracy in Thailand and the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), as well as to support the space for new-generation artists to exhibit their work.