Quickly seize the emotions before they rapidly change and disappear. Dabbing into black paint and smearing over the plain white surface. These emotions on white space could be quick and unstable in a minute then swiftly change into calmness and tranquility. A very unique artwork of Maha Niyom (Maha), Khun Kreangkrai Sangtong, showing us how to seize, dip, and beautifully dab those emotions on an empty space.
It started by trying to find his own artistic voice that gradually reflects his style from pure realistic to abstract. “Current Moment” is Maha Niyom’s concept using modeling clay, as its shape is flexible and “momentarily” changeable within the expected timeframe, and black paint to express human’s nature and perception.
“The attempt to represent the subject in a naturalistic manner and perfection does not help me improve my art so I started to use other elements and techniques such as imprinting, stamping by using stencils or a carved eraser then I changed my drawing from black and white to colorful art in order to reform the human shape but I felt like they were not the right answers because the expressions can become more intense.”
“It is all because I am too focused on human shape and perfection. I decided to reshape it little by little until I found an answer to my questions that shape is not necessary. I then started to use symbolic elements in my art instead of the main shape. I left these elements for viewers to enjoy discovering their meaning just like the inscription or the Egyptian hieroglyphs,” he explains the reason his style has changed from one to another opposite direction.
Although modeling clay can carry his messages, it has yet to satisfy his needs. He uses his own body elements to create the art as they can respond quickly to the moment. He explains further why he chooses printing ink and textured glossy art paper for his work, “I tried to create my art on several surfaces like paper and canvas but it did not really create the works that meet my expectation. So I decided to print ink to imprint my hands, arms and modeling clay. This type of ink shows all of the fingerprint detail while textured glossy paper shows all of the shape and its detail. It is also very eye-catching and creates new meanings when these two elements combined. Without these elements and details, my art is just the painting of shapes in black and white.”
Apart from the very first work, most of his work is developed from the balance of exercising both left and right brain simultaneously. “It psychologically stimulates imaginations and its response for both viewers and myself. The contrast between the intensity of black and white generously reflects the overall space,” he explains how he uses shapes in his work.
“The art of a headstrong artist” is the on-point definition to describe his work. “I may have carried a mature personality yet I am quite a headstrong person. My mind and feelings also change very rapidly. You may describe my arts that way,” he talks about his personality.
He concludes, “Art is all about learning about human’s feelings that change very rapidly. As you can see in my works, my feelings change from one to another very quickly. This made me realized that I should let them go and learn about them instead. Anyone may use my technique and may represent them differently. It could have been different movements, a different feeling, and perception. I do believe that arts give freedom to the artist.”