Image of artwork titled "Departure #2" by James Prapaithong
Image of artwork titled "Departure #2" by James Prapaithong

James Prapaithong, Departure #2, 2022
Oil on canvas
16 × 12 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. Often 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.

Prapaithong’s works are often preoccupied with sky, and in ‘Departure #2’, the land is absented altogether: a plane is suspended on the blue, otherwise uninterrupted canvas. The plane’s sharp, mechanical points of light play against the muted, crepuscular sky, its own depths of light and darkness captured in layered brushstrokes. There is, at once, an atmospheric realism inherent in the work, as well a latent sense of distance, wonder, and understated awe.



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