Good: New Painting 2006

by Michael Shaowanasai

1 – 29 April 2006

Some said that, God punished us by made us speak different languages so we will not understand one another, I think he or she up there has a bigger plan in mind. It is simple really, God wanted us to listen and pay attention to what we are talking a bit more. Come to think of it, there are not a whole lot of stories in our life time. Each of us, no matter what the skin colors or who we worship will face the similar “storyline” in the time on this earth, we just called it differently.

Languages are code. The code that you and me will understand according to our experiences, geographies, diets, tastes and desires. It is unique to us. Yet it can be learnt. Even though we have mastered others’ code, I am sure that there will be

a small percentage of understanding that is preserved exclusively for the code owner. In the other hand, how many languages you can speak, read or write , you will never understood it like your own.

What do Jan Van Eyk’s “Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini” and Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm ( Number 30)” have in common? Techniques? Pigments? Or brush strokes? I have no comments about all those. All I see are the stories those two paintings are telling. If you listen to the paintings carefully, the narrative is loud and clear. Of course they are different stories but they are the stories of our lives, the stories of love and lost, comedie et tragique. But the codes are in front of you.

Do paintings need to tell the stories? I do not know. But I seek the stories in paintings. I can witness the birth of believes. I can feel the end of a life. I can smell the gluttony in front of me and I also can see the vanity in myself. I read paintings like a page of a book or may be like scribbles on the wall. I put myself in it and translate it to my own, to my experiences, geographies, diets, tastes and desires.

We visualize things when we speak. We paint pictures according to our understanding, not understanding and misunderstanding. It is how the brain does the work. We also visualize things when there is a picture in front of us. We are tailoring it to fit, yes, our experiences, geographies, diets, tastes and desires. There is no right or wrong, it just how the brain works.

There is no shame in not understanding others’ code. But it is ignorance to believe that you will never ever understand it. We are human and we have ability to believe that we can. We ought to try and give it our best. It is quite simple, just open up your senses, looking for clues, listen to the tones, smile and then ask someone next to you.

Whatever he or she tell you, you just adjust to your experiences, geographies, diets, tastes and desires.

Michael Shaowanasai.

Krung Thep. Summer, 2006