Vasan Sitthiket

Thailand 1957

Installation, Sculpture, Performance Art

Vasan Sitthiket
Vasan Sitthiket
Male
Thailand
1957
December 17, 2014

Vasan Sitthiket is an artist from Thailand, born on October 7, 1957 in Nakhon Sawan Province. He is one of Thailand’s internationally known artists who graduated from the College of Fine Art in Bangkok, and produced works in many creative fields, including painting and poetry.

Some of Vasan’s paintings are related to natural or erotic motifs. However, most of his pieces address problems within contemporary Thai and international societies, such as the exploitation of the poor by the rich as well as corruption among politicians and bureaucrats. One of his works depicting these problems was a performance, involving fake rubber breasts and buttocks and simulating rape of the entire nation of Thailand. He uses several media to express his opinions on these subjects. Paintings, drawings, woodcut prints, installations and performances are some of the media used to put his ideas into practice. Vasan has also staged three plays, written more than 10 books of poetry, children’s books and political writings.

In addition to numerous shows in Thailand, he has participated in frequent shows abroad. In 2000, an exhibition of a new collection that included 50 paintings featuring Thai politicians and military officers in sexually compromising poses, was cancelled by Chulalongkorn University, five days before opening. At the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003, he displayed some large-scale portraits of George W. Bush and other world leaders, created on canvas by using custom-made rubber stamps. In 2005, he had set up the Artist Party, a political art project that mocked the then-ruling Thai Rak Thai party and Prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. In 2009, Vasan held exhibition at Thavibu Gallery titled Capitalism is Dying! He has also supported the People’s Alliance for Democracy (Yellow Shirts) against Thaksin. The group has used his artwork as backgrounds for their demonstration stages, on their T-shirts and propaganda outlets, and Vasan appeared at the rallies to recite poems or perform music. As the curator Steven Pettifor said: “In Vasan’s art the world is largely divided into two polemic camps, that of heroes and villains. But unlike predictable Hollywood yarns where the downtrodden and beaten rise triumphant, for Vasan it is the villains who have the crushing upper hand.”

Vasan Sitthiket is often labeled the “enfant terrible” of Thai art and a firebrand. It can be difficult to pin him down since the artist opposes anyone in power and loathes the hypocritical ways of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as of business leaders and “capitalists”. He seems to be an anarchist at heart.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014The Roving EyeContemporary Art from Southeast Asia - ARTER - space for art, IstanbulGroup
2013Concept Context Contestation: art and the collective in Southeast AsiaBangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), BangkokGroup
2012Vasan Sitthiket - HypocrisyThavibu Gallery, BangkokSolo
2012To Be Continuedvwfa Valentine Willie Fine Art - Kuala Lumpur, Kuala LumpurGroup
2012The Nude CollectionSombat Permpoon Gallery, BangkokGroup
2012Monumental: Paintings from Southeast Asiavwfa Valentine Willie Fine Art - Kuala Lumpur, Kuala LumpurGroup
2011Vasan Sitthiket - Lost InfoYAVUZ Fine Art, SingaporeSolo
2011Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two decades of contemporary art in Southeast Asia 1991 - 2011Singapore Art Museum, SingaporeGroup
2011ARTHKNumber One Gallery, ThailandGroup
2011NEXT: The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging ArtChicagoGroup
2010Chaotic VictoryWhitespace Gallery, BangkokSolo
2010Asian Art 2010Tally Beck Contemporary, New York City, NYGroup
2009Vasan Sitthiket - Capitalism is Dying!Thavibu Gallery, BangkokSolo
2009Vasan Sitthiket: Vasan's Women - vwfa Valentine Willie Fine ArtKuala Lumpur, Kuala LumpurSolo
2009Shabu ShabuEthan Cohen Fine Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2009Distinguished EncountersSombat Permpoon Gallery, BangkokGroup
2009Headlights 2009VWFA Singapore, SingaporeGroup
2008Scale Of BlackValentine Willie Fine Art - VWFA Singapore, SingaporeGroup
2008Scal18 Of BlackVWFA Singapore, SingaporeGroup
2008The Power of the BrushEthan Cohen Fine Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2008The Dark AgeNumthong Gallery, BangkokSolo
2008Colors of BodiesSurapon Gallery, BangkokSolo
2007From Message to MediaBUG - Bangkok University Gallery, BangkokGroup
20066th Gwangju BiennaleGwangju Biennale, GwangjuGroup
2006Darkness AgeThammasart University, BangkokSolo
2006Made in LA18th Street Art Complex, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, USASolo
2006Out of American DreamPlanet Thailand, Brooklyn, New York, USASolo
2006Heaven on Earth, Drawing installationChulalongkorn University, BangkokSolo
2005ALL ABOUT MISERYNUMTHONG GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2005Kunsten Festival des ArtsBrusselsGroup
20052 VisionsTuba, BangkokGroup
2005Neo-NationalismThe Art Center, Chulalongkorn University, BangkokGroup
2005Sex Bombs (24 hours)HOF Art Gallery, BangkokSolo
2004TRUTH IS ELSE WHERENUMTHONG GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2004Asia Traffic (Truth is Elsewhere)4A Art Gallery, SydneyGroup
200350th International Art Exhibition Venice BiennaleLa Biennale di Venezia, VeniceGroup
2003Thai-TanicEthan Cohen Fine Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2003EROSPOLITICBANGKOK ART GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2003RED PLANETBANGKOK ART GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2003Woman in PoemBangkok Art Gallery, BangkokGroup
2003Art ExhibitionSanam Luang, BangkokGroup
2002NIGHTMARE IN PARADISEVALENTINE WILLIE FINE ART, BALI, INDONESIASolo
2002LIVING ON EARTHAKKO GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2002COMMON DELUSIONBANGKOK ART GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2002EV+A 2002: Heroes + HoliesLimerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, IrelandGroup
2002Story of the IChiangmai Art Museum, Chaingmai, ThailandGroup
2002Gwangju BiennialeGwangju, South KoreaGroup
2001WHAT IS IN OUR HEADS (WITHNESS)SIAM ART SPACE, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2001WE COME FROM THE SAME WAYNUMTHONG GALLERY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2001THIS WORLD IS NOT A THEATRESI-AM ART SPACE, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
2001Thai ContemporaryValentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala LumpurGroup
2001PortraitNumthong Gallery, BangkokGroup
2000WHAT IS IN OUR HEADS?CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY, BANGKOKSolo
2000WAITING FOR NOTHINGGAJAH GALLERY, SINGAPORESolo
2000HANG 49 THIEVES: SENTENCE THE CABINET TO DEATHACADEMIC RESEARCH ART GALLERY, CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY, BANGKOK, THAILANDSolo
1999CHAOSBangkok Gallery, BangkokSolo
1998Farmers are FarmersTadu Art Gallery, BangkokSolo
1998Black ListAium Chunn Pub, BangkokSolo
1998The Art Exhibition of Vietnamese-Thai ArtistBlue Space Fine Art, Ho Chi Minh CityGroup
1998The Art Exhibition of Vietnamese-Thai ArtistHanoi Fine Art University, HanoiGroup
1997German ExoticSunday Gallery, BangkokSolo
1997DasachatiNumthong Gallery, BangkokSolo
1997Back to the Hug of the SeaBangkok Gallery and Akko Gallery, BangkokSolo
1997Conversing ContemporaryNumthong Gallery, BangkokGroup
1996With Love and HateArt Forum Gallery, BangkokSolo
1996Blue OctoberSunday Gallery, BangkokSolo
1995NO FutureSunday Gallery, BangkokSolo
1995Asian ModernismThe Japan Foundation Asia Center, TokyoGroup
1994I Love Thai CultureNational Art Gallery, BangkokSolo
1994Nature is DyingBangkok Gallery, BangkokSolo
1994Prints InstallationNational Art Gallery, BangkokGroup
1993First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, QLDGroup
1993There Must Be Something HappeningArt Forum Gallery, BangkokSolo
19931st Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary ArtQueensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Group
1991INFERNONational Art Gallery, BangkokSolo
1991Voices of SoulsPublic Hall, Hiragata City, JapanGroup
1991Enneagram 9 – NineVisual Dhamma Gallery, BangkokGroup
1991Art ExhibitionThammasat University, BangkokGroup
1990Sketch Books from JapanBook & Beer, BangkokSolo
1990Beauty NightmareAlliance Francaise, BangkokSolo
1990Asian WorksAnri Gallery, Nagoya, JapanGroup