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Iniala unveils illustrious new collection

PHUKET: Presenting some of Asia’s most talented, established and emerging contemporary artists, Iniala Art Collection is a dynamic new art repository of over 40 contemporary art works that enrich the unique design interiors and exterior landscaping of the Iniala Beach House and Aziamendi restaurant.

Friday 16 May 2014, 12:00PM

Located on Natai Beach in Phang Nga just north of Phuket,Iniala Beach House is a 10-suite residence combining contemporary art and design to conceive a visual and cultural experience. 

A continuing evolution, the Art Collection’s initial focus has been towards the burgeoning art scenes in Thailand and Indonesia.

Aside from the geographic location of Iniala within Southeast Asia, the interest in these two countries comes with the proximity of Iniala to Phuket, a historical port that has long established trade and cultural ties within Asia.

The concentration of Indonesian artists is also due to Iniala founder Mark Weingard’s strong philanthropic ties to the country, especially the island of Bali, where he opened disability facility the Annika Linden Centre in 2013.

Iniala supports the Inspirasia Foundation, which is dedicated to funding exceptional health, disability and education projects across Thailand, Indonesia and India.

Incorporating a wide range of themes, media and materials, several of the collection’s most outstanding works are situated in and around the Beach House villas.

Inspired by the decorative glass encrusting Thai temples, the collection begins at the residence’s entrance with a glimmering site-specific glass mosaic created by Maitree Siriboon.

In Villa Siam the focus is towards Thai art and the suite designer Eggarat Wongcharit’s preoccupation with Buddhist philosophy.

On view is a delicate tapestry assemblage embedded with found amulets by Jakkai Siributr, a tactile yarn wrapped ceramic pagoda sculpture by Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch, and a vibrant light box triptych by renowned photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom.

In the adjacent Villa Bianca Indonesian artists predominate with textural narrative paintings by Bali’s most established artist in Made Djirna, taut art industry parodies by Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (aka Hahan), and Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo’s sublime series of resin-based abstractions layered with volcanic ash.

Installed in Aziamendi restaurant is a fascinating multi-media display that includes Entang Wiharso’s series of brass relief wall sculptures that feature imaginative storytelling of personal and familial experiences with references to Indonesia’s history.

Alongside, charismatic artist Nasirun’s elaborately carved musical drums and illuminating lantern installation are reinterpretations of Javanese cultural mythologies.

Thai, Indonesian Art to be featured in initial exhibition

Splash Beach Club

Rabbits, Robots, & Ramakien marks the inaugural exhibition of the new Iniala Gallery at the Iniala Beach House on Natai Beach, near Phuket.

Situated within the luxury art-design and gastronomy focused residence that is home to an extensive contemporary art collection, Iniala Gallery will also host imaginative art and cultural events to promote and develop the local and regional art community.

Featuring 15 paintings, prints and sculptures by five established and emerging artists from Thailand and Indonesia, ‘Rabbits, Robots, & Ramakien’ looks at the influence of popular culture and local mythology within the two Southeast Asian countries.

Drawing from everyday media such as comic books and animé, as well as folk and street art, are internationally recognised artists Entang Wiharso and Eddie Hara from Indonesia, alongside emerging Thai artists Yuree Kensaku, Jirapat Tatsanasomboon and Alex Face.

Eddie Hara is one of the first generations of Asian artists to create a personal visual language from grafitti and street culture. He has been influential to an emergent generation of Indonesian artists, including the Jogja Agro Pop movement.

Across in Thailand, younger artists Yuree Kensaku and Alex Face are part of a growing trend towards public mural painting. Both Yuree and Alex employ saccharine colours and seemingly innocuous childhood characters to deliver pertinent personal messaging.

Traditional modes and mythologies are also present, as in Jirapat Tatsanasomboon’s Nonthok character from the Ramakien, the Thai version of the epic Ramanyana. Jirapat’s adaptations invoke the flat stylisations indicative to historic temple murals.

Similarly, Entang Wiharso’s dramatic relief metal sculptures are reminiscent of temple murals and relief carvings, like those that adorn the world’s largest Buddhist monument of Borobudur, located a short distance from the artist’s studio in Yogyakarta on Java.

Aside from references to the exhibition imagery, the alliterative title of ‘Rabbits, Robots, & Ramakien’, playfully extends the R ‘n’ R abbreviation, suggesting some of Iniala Beach House’s core mantras of ‘Rest, Recuperate, and Rejuvenate’.

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