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Phuket Art: From hedonism to spiritualism

PHUKET: Last Saturday (June 21), Breeze at Cape Yamu held an opening reception for Richard Skene’s exhibition of contemporary art, ‘The Road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom’, which runs until Sunday, January 5.

Friday 3 January 2014, 02:56PM

In addition to having a Thai flavour, a common theme of Richard’s collection is the “pursuit of happiness”, which is one of the three “unalienable rights” in the United States of America’s Declaration of Independence, and a key principle of Buddhism.

That such superficially conflicting forces of capitalism and religion share the same destination, suggests the path to happiness may not be straightforward, and short cuts may be counterproductive.

For example: while Thailand is a welcoming, tolerant and spiritual place, Bangkok provides abundant opportunities for hedonism.

So, like the Yin-Yang, Krung Thep, the ‘City of Angels’, is a centre of energy, within which seemingly contrary but complementary forces co-exist.

Those who deviate from the true path may, after a period of trial and error, reach the same conclusion as William Blake, who wrote, ‘The Road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom’.

In short, the collection represents a visual journey: from hedonism to Buddhism in Bangkok. The result is a stimulating and provocative collection, comprising graphic design, photography, video and light installations.


The artworks are beautifully simplified and stylised, incorporate wit and wisdom, and reveal influences from Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein.

Richard Skene was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

“I first came to Thailand as a backpacker in 1990 and returned to work in Bangkok in 1995. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working in Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui for over eight years, so have a close affinity with Thailand and a great respect for Thai culture.

“I am delighted that Breeze agreed to sponsor my exhibition in Phuket as I believe the restaurant’s contemporary style and funky character complements my collection," says Skene.

For more information visit breezecapeyamu.com or richardskene.com

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