They seem to look at you. Examining you.
Standing in front of you, their only-one-eye mysteriously looked the visitor of Serindia Gallery in Bangkok.
They are the new circular abstract photographies by artist Piyatat Hemmatat from his latest series The New Dawn that it is the first part on three of a long-term project called 3rd Eye Trilogy, showed at Serindia in July and August this year. Concept of the series is a “commentary on the development of individual experiential perception and our creative psyche’s interdependency with the influences and suggestions of art and culture“.
The surface of the abstract visual art of “The New Dawn” is a journey to and through a micro-universe behind what is is hidden into the lens of the cameras, the 3rd eye par excellence, obtaining powerful macro-photographies with a texture similar and visionary to what we imagine the universe is. Beyond the images, words are important too and Piyatat has created the first part of “3rd Eye Trilogy” in collaboration with one of the most famous poet of Thai literature, Phanomtien, who has written sorts of haiku inspired by the art works.
I had several conversations with Piyatat asking him some explanation about his work.
Talking about your last work, you often mention words like “gateway”, “extension”, “space”, “portals”, “distances” and “journey”. All words related to the movement. Should you include also “escape”?
Maybe there are connections with this word in my work that I’m not aware of or haven’t really thought about.
Regarding the movement, how was to move from a recent documentary work, between reportage and street photography, to a totally abstract work?
I enjoy crossing over between different photographic and design disciplines. This is important because it is a way of keeping myself active. Despite the different methods of realisations, all share the same aspiration and very much connected.
A sort of photography close to the abstract art is not so new for you. Five year laters, which analogies and differences have “Verve” and “The New Dawn”?
Verve (2007), my first abstract experiment taught me that it is possible to use photography to explore, learn, make sense of profound, spiritual and logical subjects. 3rd Eye trilogy: The New Dawn (2013) is a development from Verve. Both projects were inspired by philosophies / mythology of Buddhism and Hinduism. I’m very interested in the practical concepts. I try to adapt some into my everyday life. I’m always curious to find experimental ways of applying knowledge and experience into and through my photography. To me, the two projects and the spiritual inspirations are at the borderline between logical science and spiritual philosophies, which is what my photography is about.
Buddhism’s fundamental idea encourages us to depend on ourself, to make our own choices in order to create our own path. The doors with illustrative lights in Verve are sound representations of decision making and different paths. While 3rd Eye Trilogy : The New Dawn is inspired by the 3rd Eye of Shiva, representation of the ability to see beyond ordinary sight. I feel the same connection with my lens, that it is like my 3rd Eye, as it allow me to see, capture, learn, express, be myself and survive in this complex world.
The first part of the Eye Trilogy has apparently different inspirations from several arts like cinema (2001), photography (Man Ray, Christian Schad) and visual art. Can you tell me more about your cultural influences?
I uses inspirations not just from visual works. I also use combinations of philosophies, music, literatures, travels, dreams, meditations and my own experiments.
Grazia Neri, also known as “la Signora della Fotografia”, is almost a legend for many professional and amateur photographers in Italy and foreigners abroad. Her name, after fighting for several years to defend copyright, was credited on hundreds of thousands of published images in Italy, and many people thought she was an incredible and unique photographer who was all over the world , covering conflicts or meeting actors on the red carpets, with ubiquitous power. No, Grazia Neri was the name of her photo agency (she had no time to think about a more creative and strategic name, she says), founded in Milan in 1966. Since then the agency grew from 3 to 40 employees, before the closing in 2009 during the recent editorial and advertising crisis.
Grazia Neri knew almost nothing about photography when she’s started her agent’s career. But later…