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After “Joy Land,” this is Narod’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, which will present fourteen of his most recent works.
Relationships have always been the focus of Narod’s paintings: cats meow and curl around the feet of their owners; lovers embrace one another; men and women falling in love, running toward each other wild with joy; and nude men and women striking different poses wander into a dream-like world. In his work, people, animals, and nature are connected and long for one another in different ways. These images, painted in bright, warm colors, often convey joy and healing; everything Narod paints coexists in a city permeated with a strong fragrance.
Like everyone else, Kitti Narod has experienced a lot of complex emotions in the last year. In addition to the global coronavirus pandemic, Thailand experienced political, economic, and social turmoil. Narod observed and participated in various public gatherings advocating for the protection of people’s rights, equality, and freedom. These economic and social issues became fresh sources of inspiration, which are presented in his new work using his characteristic style. He depicts dozens of scared or angry cats expressing their emotions, or men and women shedding their clothes to show that all people were born naked and equal. “Regardless of socio-economic status or sexual orientation, everyone is the same… Everyone’s shared spaces and circumstances are represented in a utopia, or my ideal society—we respect every individual and equality.”
Narod draws a lot of inspiration from Renaissance church painting. The simplified features, slender bodies, and physical shadows of the figures in his work are reminiscent of early Christian painting. In an overall effect that blends numerous elements, he repeats and layers one dozen or one hundred forms, without the space feeling cramped; these compositions draw on the way that Christian religious painting incorporates an array of complex details. He clearly segments the simple backgrounds with straight lines, then spreads the people and animals over the painting in the most direct yet subjective way. Narod makes easy and free use of individuals and parts, combining techniques and elements from Matisse and South American art. He portrays different features and identities with the simplest of forms. These forms are then grouped and layered into an agreeable, comfortable whole, achieving a complex unity in the paintings. These works embody personal memories and emotional experiences, transformed into shared memory.
In an era of social divisions, Narod’s work reminds us to appreciate simple joys and to focus on the ordinary, basic details of everyday life. As in his solo show “Joy Land,” he wants “Fragrant City” to express the desire for togetherness, unity, and equality. For Kitti Narod, this exhibition is a healing process for a beautiful city, but it also offers us a brighter perspective on our relationships with a challenging world.
B. 1976, Thailand.
Currently works and resides in Pathum Thani, Thailand.
Kitti Narod trained at the Wittayalai Poh Chang Art College, Bangkok from 1996-1998 and later obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Rajamonkong Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand in 2000. He has exhibited extensively in Bangkok and internationally, including London, Bath, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin, Cork, Montreal, Melbourne, and Shenzhen.
Kitti Narod creates paintings that convey a sense of joy and optimism through the gentle and warm portrayal of daily life and human connectedness. In his paintings, everyone and everything exists together in a utopia. This notion may seem unrealistic to some, especially during an era of social division, but the artist’s work tries to remind us to appreciate the simple pleasures and to pay attention to the mundane or basic details of daily life. Perhaps then, euphoric feelings will not seem so unattainable. The artist considers his works to be a meeting place for diversity, where all the physical and spiritual are equal.