The Dawn of Day (Illustration of the Crisis Series)

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Zurich, Art Seasons Gallery, Illustration of the Crisis by Natee Utarit, 1 March - 30 May 2011

  • Literature

    Natee Utarit: Illustration of the Crisis, Kuala Lumpur, 2013, pp. 18, 19, 232 (illustrated, pp. 19, 232)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “There is no irony. There are no optical illusions. Everything is meant to tell a story in the same direct manner that characterized paintings for centuries.” Natee Utarit, 2013

    Beneath the ordered compositions and painterly aesthetic of Natee Utarit’s canvases resides a latent anxiety that expresses the complexities and contradictions in the experience of modern life. In The Dawn of Day, Utarit’s accomplished painterly style and use of traditional compositional framing most closely associated with classical still life painting lulls the viewer into a false sense of familiarity. What appears to be a scene of a worker surrounded by a group of animals is disrupted by the inclusion of a scientific model of an eyeball which draws our attention to the unnatural scale of the elements in the painting, and the eventual discovery that all of the objects in the painting are artificial – revealed most clearly by the plastic base supporting the two geese. Foregrounding the artifice of his subjects, Utarit complicates earlier philosophies of painting that were concerned with creating accurate representations of reality within the picture plane, and critically redeploys the techniques from that early period of Western art history. The realistic rendering of his lifeless subjects results in an uncanny stillness and Utarit reveals his critical perspective through a complex blurring of reality and artifice.

    Utarit’s subjects are painted from the calculated arrangement of his collection of figurines and found objects, carefully positioned in real life before being translated onto his canvas. The Dawn of Day sees his strange menagerie turned away from the viewer, effectively rejecting a traditional reading of meaning into the picture. In doing so, Utarit leaves to viewers the challenge of interpretation. With their backs turned, Utarit shows through the long shadows cast by the figurines that they are also turned away from the light source ironically suggested by the title of the work. Looking away from the light into what we can only assume to be the darkness, the positioning of the disparate figurines begins to reveal deeper meaning. Led by a figure holding an authoritative posture, two geese turn in the same direction and serve as a critical metaphor for blind groupthink. Despite the presence of the great eye beside them, they all mistakenly look away from the source of the light. Utarit offers us a bitter consolation in the inclusion of a deer which turns its head attentively in a different direction, however it too inevitably fails to turn away completely. Their positioning, filling the entirety of the large picture plane suggests a purposeful existence on the cusp of some great discovery which Utarit effectively reveals as futile and misguided.

    The Dawn of Day is a significant work from Utarit’s Illustration of the Crisis series that sought to capture the individual and collective turmoil in Thailand over the increasing escalation of events in the political landscape beginning in the mid-2000s. While reflecting the specificity of his context, Utarit’s work succeeds in tapping into a universal feeling of ennui as a consequence of the modern condition.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「並無反諷。並無錯視。一切都旨在用數個世紀以來繪畫一貫具有的特質來講述故事。」納堤·尤塔瑞

    納堤·尤塔瑞作品畫面中看似井然有序的構圖與詩情畫意的審美下潛藏着當代生活體驗中紛繁複雜與自相矛盾所觸發的焦慮感。作品《黎明的曙光》中,尤塔瑞繪畫風格嫻熟精湛,採用與古典靜物畫息息相關的傳統構圖取景,將觀者帶入一種熟稔的錯覺。場景看上去好似一個工人被一群動物所圍繞,直至眼球狀的科學模型吸引了觀者的注意力,從而關注到畫面中比例失常的元素,最終意識到畫中全是人造物,支撐兩隻鵝的塑料板尤爲明顯地證實了這一點。通過將主題的奇思妙想置於前景,尤塔瑞將早前繪畫哲學中涉及於畫面中精準寫實表現的理論複雜化,有所篩選地重新運用西方藝術史早期技巧。將無生命的物體刻畫得栩栩如生,呈現一種非同尋常的寧靜感,尤塔瑞藉由真實與虛構的模糊邊界來展現他的批判視野。

    尤塔瑞細心擺弄他所收藏的小塑像與現成物品,在現實中精心安排擺位,然後再繪製到畫布上。《黎明的曙光》呈現背向觀者的一群奇珍異獸,直觀地抹殺了傳統意義上看圖說話的機會。藉此,尤塔瑞將詮釋畫面的挑戰留給了觀者。小塑像背對觀者,尤塔瑞通過他們投射的頎長陰影表現出他們同時遠離光源,與作品標題中反諷意味的曙光相對立。視線離開光芒轉而看向我們所臆測的黑暗,看似風馬牛不相及的小塑像的擺放位置開始呈現出更深層次的義涵。在一位權威姿態的塑像的引導下,兩隻鵝轉向了同樣的方向,作爲盲目從衆的關鍵比喻。不顧旁側出現的巨大眼球,他們都錯誤地忽視了光線的來源。尤塔瑞聊以慰藉地在畫面中加入一隻擰轉頭望向另一方向的鹿,卻也無法使它完全轉向。小塑像幾乎佈滿整個畫面,無不暗示了他們有意地出現在這偉大圖謀的風口浪尖,然而尤塔瑞最終揭示了這發現不過是徒勞無功且誤入歧途。

    《黎明的曙光》是尤塔瑞「危機圖解」系列的重要作品,旨在充分體現自2000年中以來泰國日益升級的事件所引發的個人與集體騷亂。儘管尤塔瑞的作品具有特殊背景,依然成功地透過現今境遇,激發出現代人普遍的倦怠感。

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10

Property of an Important Southeast Asian Collector

The Dawn of Day (Illustration of the Crisis Series)

2010
signed, titled and dated 'Natee Utarit 10 "The Dawn of Day" Illustration of the Crisis Series' on the reverse
oil on linen
170 x 140 cm. (66 7/8 x 55 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2010, this work is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity issued by the Art Seasons Gallery.

Estimate
HK$500,000 - 700,000 
€56,100-78,500
$64,100-89,700

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2018