Artist Interview: Ruthorn Rujianurak
Independent & Image Art Space: Hi Ruthorn. Have you always been interested in painting since you were a child? When was your first time started to paint?
Ruthorn Rujianurak: I don’t remember exactly when did I make my first painting but I start seriously thinking about art when I was nearly 20. At that time, I preferred installation and conceptual art to painting. But, when I was 23, I moved to New York City and found many good paintings there. I mean some kind of painting you have never seen in Bangkok. It is super interesting how far painting can go in the 21st century. So, I decide to be a painter since then.
Independent & Image Art Space: You said, “painting is a standstill since modern art”.According to your opinion, what problems do the painting of today are facing? Do you intend to discuss or solve the problems in your work?
Ruthorn Rujianurak: Well. Even though I said that but the truth is today, we have many talented painters like Richard Prince and Mark Grotjahn. So, in my opinion, I, as a painter, think that painting is facing two problems.
The first is how to deal with a digital screen. Like your phone or computer mirror screen. Because we spend a lot of time looking at these smooth screens. Of course. You cannot completely see a painting via your phone. Because of a size and scale. but for me the digital age makes me don’t want to paint a flat painting anymore. so, many painters start to put a thick paint on canvas to create a non-smooth texture. I also paint on a non-smooth surface.
The second we are facing is the idea after conceptual art. I mean I like Sol Lewitt’s painting too but it is better to see his real painting than only his instructions. so, I don’t think we should ask for the concept behind every painting we see. The painting is there and we can appreciate it without any explanation needed. The painting does not need to refer to the external world. It can complete by itself.
Independent & Image Art Space: Your creations now exhibit at RE-SEE are works collaged with a variety of surfaces, like cotton canvas, bristol paper, blotting paper, tissue paper, and wood panel. It seems that they are not just about to paint in two-dimensions, but more about mixed media in three-dimensions. Is it an impression that you expect from your viewers?
Ruthorn Rujianurak: Yes, I don’t want people to get bored. Like when we use social media. We just scroll past pictures that boring away in a second. So I want viewers to look at my painting in distance and then move close to look at it again and then start to wonder which layers are front or back.
It always a good thing to see people take time to look at artworks.
Independent & Image Art Space: Who are the artists that influence your understanding of art? In what aspect?
Ruthorn Rujianurak: Many artists influence my work. But if I have to choose one, I will choose Frank Stella.
“What you see is what you see”
Independent & Image Art Space: During the pandemic, do you have any new reflection or new ideas? How is going with your new works?
Ruthorn Rujianurak: I think this pandemic affects every people. It can change the way you live. and, if the way you live changes it will change your perception of art as well. At the start of the pandemic, I was thinking about ‘memento mori’ but I am not sure how much that affects my works.
So, I think we have to wait and see an art scene after this global pandemic together.