Image of artwork titled "Let there be light" by James  Prapaithong
Image of artwork titled "Let there be light" by James  Prapaithong

James Prapaithong, Let there be light, 2022
Oil painting on canvas
47 × 71 inches

James Prapaithong explores memory, isolation and longing through his filmic paintings, which deliberately use the aspect ratio of a screen, and are devoid of people. Resembling enlarged photographs of known yet distant places, and using high colour saturation with a particular attention to light, Prapaithong’s hazy, dreamlike landscapes communicate the uncertainty of recall, the construction of memory and the space between connection and estrangement. Prapaithong translates personal images of visited places onto the canvas, by layering thin washes of oil paint that induce strong feelings of nostalgia and melancholy, creating scenes that feel at once familiar and strange.

‘Let there be light’ presents a seascape at dawn, the rising sun and its reflection radiating light across the canvas, seeming to illuminate the paint. The warmth emanating from the oil paint lends an atmospheric realism to the work, while the nostalgic, dreamlike quality latent in Prapaithong’s style equally shines through. Here, his painting process is felt: as he explains, it is ‘intended to create flashbacks and remind us of precious moments in our lives that we may have forgotten once we have moved on’.



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