Artist : Montien Boonma
Montien Boonma is one of the most celebrated artists whose conceptual installations have paved a new way for Thai contemporary art. Works produced by Montien always reflect Thai life which has undergone rapid change. His use of local materials and motifs clearly evokes traditional culture and religion. His mode of expression depends upon Thai traditional culture and yet it is also highly imaginative. Montien Boonma is one of a very few Thai artists who has gained international recognition. His important works include the exhibitions “Story from the Farm” (1989), “Thai-iahT” (1990), Pagodas series (1991), Alms series (1992), Lotus Sound (1993), The Room series (1994), and Temple of Mind or Sala of Mind (1995).
In Montien’s recent conceptual installations are examples of his attempt to express Thai space. They are concentration of the artist’s experience of his spiritual world as well as his cultural and natural environment. Moreover, The Room series, The Mark of Mind (1995) and Sala of Mind have opened up new ways of seeing. The viewers are invited to become a part of his work. In the series mentioned the constructions are meant to be the site of mental activity and practice of calming the mind through meditation. The works have contradictory sensibility, close-open, private-public, opaque-perforated and oppressive-tanquil. To the Thai viewers, Montien’s works are highly spiritual and intellectual.
Montien truly believes that an artist must understand his own place in relation to religious, cultural, social and economic conditions and surrounding. They are the basic elements forming his methodology and aesthetics for creating works of art.
Text by Somporn Rodboon
Assistant Professor, Chiangmai University, Chiangmai, Thailand
From Asian Modernism, Diverse Development in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, 1996, p.256
1953 Born in Bangkok, Thailand
1978 B.F.A. (Painting), Silpakorn University, Bangkok
1986-88 Studied in Sculpture, Ecole Nationale Supeireure des Beaux – Arts, Paris
1988 Studied Maitrise Nationale en Arte Plastiques, Universite de Paris VIII, Faculte de L’Arts Plastique Saint- Denis, France
1988-95 Taught in mixed media scu!pture, Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiangmai University, Chiangmai
1989 M.F.A. (Painting), Silpakorn University, Bangkok
1996 Instructor in intermedia, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
1997 Instructor, Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University, Bangkok
1989 Story from the Farm, The National Gallery, Bangkok
1990 Form and Material, Visual Dhamma Gallery, Bangkok
THAIAHT (Thai-Thai), The National Gallery, Bangkok
1991 Montien Boonma: The Pagoda and Cosmos drawn with earth, The Japan Foundation Asian Cultural Center Gallery, Tokyo and Mitaubiski-Jishe Art um, Fukuoka, Japan
Aum, Visual Dhamma Gallery, Bangkok
1992 Arte Amazonas, Goethe Institut, Bangkok
1993 Works 1991 – 1993, The National Gallery, Bangkok
1994 Marks of Mind, Silom Art Space, Bangkok
1996 Arokhayasan, Visual Dhamma Gallery and Bangkok Playhouse Hall, Bangkok
1997 Montien Boonma, Beurdeley & Cie, Paris, France
Deitch Project, New York City, NY, USA.
Montien Boonma,’Arokhayasala’ Installasjoner, Stenersemuseet, Oslo, Norway Art front Gallery,Tokyo, Japan.
Selected Group Exhibitions:
1988 43 eme Salon De Mai, Grand Pasais, Paris, France
Olympiad of Art in Seoul, Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea
1989 Les Peintre Thailandais Traditionnels et Contemporarains, L’Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris
Contemporary Art Competition ” 89, The National Gallery, Bangkok.
From Outside Looking in, the Gallery of USIS, Chiangmai and The National Gallery, Bangkok
1990 8th Biennale of Sydney, The Readymade Boomerang, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
Von Der Nature in Der Kunst, Wiener Festwechen, Messepalast, Vienna
Asian Watercolor ‘go, City Hall, Hong Koni
1991 Art and Environment, Art Gallery of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University, Bangkok
The Integrative Art of Modern Thailand, Lowie Museum, University of California, Berkeley, California
Thai Spirit, White Group, The National Gallery, Bangkok
1992 Arte Amazonas, Museum de Arte Moderne, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Melancholic Trance, Visual Dhamma Gallery, Bangkok
New Art from Southeast Asia 19922, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Fukuoka Art Museum, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art and Kirin Plaza, Osaka, Japan
1993 Prospect 93: The International Exhibition of Actual Art, Frankfurter Kunstverein and Schirn Kunsthalle Frangfurt, Germany
Thai – Australia Cultural Space, The National Gallery, Bangkok and Chianglnn Plaza, Chiangmai
1994 Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Installation, Beyond the Material World, Adelaide, Australia
Thai – Australia Cultural Space, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
1995 Art and Environment III, The National Gallery, Bangkok.
Content/Sense, The National Gallery, Bangkok
Thai-Tension, The Art Center, Centers of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
Signboard Project, Fukuok, Japan
4th International Istanbul Biennial, Nejat F. Eczacibasi Art Museum,Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
Asian Modernism, the Japan Foundation Asia Center, Tokyo, traveled to Bangkok, Manila and Jarkata
1996 Montien Boonma/Thaiwijit Puangkasemsomboon, Bangkok University Gallery, Bangkok
Container 96, Copenhagen Port, Denmark
ISLAND: Contemporary Installation Art From America, Asia, Europe and Australia, National Gallery of Australia, ACT, Australia
TRADITIONS/TENSIONS, Contemporary Art In Asia, The Asia Society, New York, U.S.A.
INTO THE NEXT DECADE, Tadu Contemporary Art, Bangkok
1997 Being Minorities: Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong
Glimpses into the future 1997, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, traveled to Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
Die Anderen Modernen: Zeitgenossische Kunst Aus Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika, eine austellung des Houses der Kulturen dem Welt, Berlin.
River Project, Taiwan Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, South Africa
Corner, Project 304, Bangkok
1998 Global Vision, New Art from the 90″s, Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece
The Edge of Awareness, Arts for the World project, curated by Adelina Von Furstenberg, World Health Organization, Geneva, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, U.S.A.
2006 – The 51st International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di venezia : “Those Dying Wishing to Stay, Those Living Preparing to Leave”, Convento di San Francesco della Vigna, Venice, Italy