The Toot Yung Art Center is proud to include for the first time this year Thai contemporary sculptor Sommai Ma-On as one of its represented artists. “Reminiscence”,a selection of old and recent works, will give an overview of the artist’s refined body of works.
Sommai’s sculptures are infused with Thai history and folktales inducing an ageless feel. The materials are sourced from the nature and resonate with ancestral craft techniques and history. Clay from the Sukhotai grounds, teak wood from primary Thai forests, natural pigments such as turmeric or crushed bones are elements commonly found in Sommai’s sculptures. The elegant and simple lines of his works are also a memoir of Thailand’s rich cultural past, with features often evoking Buddhism, death and ephemerality.
In his most recent work, “Procession from my childhood”,Sommai worked with local craft women from Thung Luang terra cotta community, bringing to shape figures emerged from his childhood’s bedtime stories. The lyrical procession of animals and villagers emanate all the charm of past folktales and ancestral craftsmanship, keeping the long tradition alive. These women also craft small terra cotta marbles used by the farmers to chase away the birds. Sommai plays with hundreds of these basic shaped beads to convey metaphysical concepts of the body and its impermanence.