Self-portraiture, floral displays and bath-tub anthems – Hot ‘N’ Gold chats to the lovely Peng Janthasorn! We pick her brains over thereupetuic colours, 17th century painting and her fantastic series Flower Baby.
Hello Peng! Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello there! First of all, thank you for having me. I am a Thai national but consider myself half British as I was brought up in the U.K. I enjoy long walks on the beach, romantic novels, black coffee, doing the sudoku and looking at history paintings. Art was my favourite subject in school because there are no right or wrong answers. There are infinite amounts of medium you can explore so I'd say it has stemmed from there.
My love for 16th-17th century paintings have led me to experiment with colour palettes. Things like dutch, surreal and chiaroscuro paintings are a huge influence to my work because I really respect artists who can use a paint brush to create such beautiful things on canvases. Living in the 21st century you have to adapt to what is popular today - due to the rise of the digital influence in the art world I still feel that it is important to remind people that paintings and the characteristics that they bare are beautiful and should not be forgotten, therefore, I create painting-like images.
Besides photography – what else are you passionate about?
Sure! Being a semi-practicing Buddhist I wanted to created something relating to spiritual traditions and in this case, aura/aureole. Buddha represented in the Indian religion has an aura of colours so by portraying colours as flowers, not only it has allowed me to realise my creative intentions but also flowers symbolises emotions and feelings (depending on their types and colours) - which is what an aura is in a nutshell.
I am generally a happy person so I portray my negative and gloomy side by using those tones and hues. These creations are mainly for therapeutic purposes influenced by emotions and my past.
What’s the significance of the blue tones and cold hues throughout your images?
How has the process of self-portraiture helped you to develop as an artist?
I am currently going through a blue stage of 'my aura' so portraying those feelings has helped me to discover my creative abilities. I moved away a couple of years ago from my beloved friends and family and this has played a huge part in my life. To help express the feelings of lost and sadness in a non physical way I chose to express it in a two-dimensional way.
What kind of things influence your photographic practice?
Hot ‘N’ Gold loves the art-direction in your series ‘Flower Baby’ - can you talk us through this body of work?
I really REALLY love food. I love the smell, taste, colour and just everything about it! Whether it's something like boiled chicken feet or stir fried water snake with holy basil, I would still put it in my mouth. Food plays an important part of everyone's life, it brings people together, it is a way of living, giving, sharing and also you learn a lot about different cultures through their cuisine.
Can you recommend another contemporary artist that deserves our readers respect?
My favourite artist of the month, Takato Yamoto, have inspired me a lot. His work is beautiful(aesthetically) yet gruesome and haunting at the same time. So at the moment I'm working on portraits which is somewhat similar to his style of work. I really enjoy Ashkan Honarvar's work. As quoted in his statement "Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes" - which is so true!
Finally, what’s a great song to listen to in the bath?
If you're looking to have a nice relaxing bath time - Moby - Porcelain.
If you're going to have a bath with your lover and surrounded by candles - High Highs - Flowers Bloom.
If it's going to be a playful bath time with lots of bubbles and bath toys - Four Tet - Ninja Dinosaur.
And if you're going to eat a delicious slice of pizza in the bath then it has to be Al Green - Let's stay together.
All images copyright © 2014 Peng Janthasorn
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