Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Wild Wild World of Vipoo Srivilasa

When I was in Melbourne I had the privilege of meeting amazing ceramicist Vipoo Srivilasa. Entering Vipoo's world is to take a wild journey through strange creatures that look disquieting familiar but have become, over the years of pollution and environmental neglect encrusted with wonderful, and colourful parasites and symbiotic organisms.

Vipoo's latest show "For the Future" at Uber Gallery in Melbourne explores the issues of being an expatriate Thai in Australia with an emphasis on global warming and the destruction of coral reefs. Coral is a perfect vehicle for Vipoo's fertile imagination, it captures the conflict inherent in the environment fecund and barren, delicate and strong, colourful and bleached. This subject seems to me to capture the essence of what Vipoo does with his ceramics. The surface treatment is rich and the initial impression is of excess, pleasure.

Looking deeper however one gets the disquieting sense that all is not well in this world of mermaids and shell encrusted koalas. Where the cleverness of Vipoo's art lies is in the seduction by surface to lure the viewer in to contemplating deeper issues.

a glimpse of Vipoo's Melbourne studio

Vipoo and Jane Sawyer unveil some work

1 comment:

Yee Hwan said...

Hi there, Vipoo Srivilasa is hosting a series of dinners in Sydney, he has made a new set of ceramic dinnerware especially for this project called Roop-Rote-Ruang (Taste-Touch-Tell), organised by Gallery 4A. He will be cooking a traditional Thai meal and getting guests to participate in some traditional ceremonies. Email me on media@4a.com.au if you'd like to post up pictures of the invite or the dinners. Cheers from all at Gallery 4A