Art Happen
Documenting art and identity in formation: An arts agent's story
Erotic Thai literature illustration

I was traveling in a van with my in laws towards a rural area in a Thai province not far away from a tourist attraction of a modern sheep farm. Its souvenir shop sold some prints that again made me stopped and look. I have noticed this series of erotic illustrations by Nit Jaingewkam since my stay a couple of years back when I stayed in one hotel in Chiang Mai Thailand. At first, I have purchased of two prints of different artists in its lobby store, one of Nit Jaingewkam picturing a man inserting his hands into a woman’s clothes at her genital area, and another of a realist style showing a half nude girl sleeping in the woods with a man sitting by her watching, of name I do not know yet.

Then was my second consecutive day visiting the sheep farm mainly for the reason to browse the adorable sheep souvenirs and some inconsistant items such as the prints of Nit Jaingewkam. This store in particular sold print on canvas with the sliver painted signture of the artist that was simply more than mere postcards print on quarter the size of those that other venues offered. The store lady told my uncle to visit a nearby workshop. What triggered my curiosity was the wide spread distribution and showcase of his illustrations I saw in shopping malls, restaurants, craft centres and hotels in provinces around Chiang Mai. I can imagine the worth of an original watercolour painting of his which I from what I have seen the series contains around 50 pieces.

The lady at the souvenir shop adviced my uncle to bring me to the workshop which I doubt I would meet the artist and unlikely meet my hope that it was Nit’s very own studio. Another person from a craft centre in Lampang Thailand told us to visit the night bazaar in Chiang Mai instead. So I just knew I was going to be nearer to seeing the environment these classics were made.

We took a half an hour drive into a village and called the number given by the store lady. A motorcycle then came to escort us to a wooden mansion where we parked and saw some kids playing a ball game on its sand field.

We saw the studio with paintings of Nit’s style on furnitures and it produces canvas prints from his originals and it was obviously unforunate that it was not the artist’s actual place.

I relate his paintings portraying the women state of self admiration of their own bodies especially their breasts usually in a private place or with another or few other close friends or maybe a bystander. To know whether it was a norm for girls to bare breasts like in Javanese culture requires me to find out more -if my interest would to increase- in the background and history of his paintings as well as an opportunity to speak to Nit, that would tell if placing the women undressed during bath, change or chatting, was in a fable, a coincidence of mindset, a relativity to the subject or an intentional effect.
Many contemporary art works have a basis of putting forward a message and some classicals just mimicking people and society while Nit Jaingewkam series falls in a denomination of voyeurism. Adding to Nit’s cleverness in voyeuristic pictorials, the erotic girls were covered with traditional Thai silk dress within a traditional environment bringing the viewer to a unfamiliar time of the past where they could have thought if was more conservative then, less conservative then, said to be more conservative or if women were conservative but share the liberty of sexuality in their own space, fired with impressionistic brown and green aura, his art compels loveliness of her who voyeurs her self and her who enjoys voyeured. image
The eyes slim and sharp, skin white, hair dark, like most fairytales, a picture discribes its creator’s stand in beauty and aesthetic.

Till I found out more about the series of Nit Jaingewkam and his inspirations, here is one similar piece I found at a restaurant.

2012 Lampang Chiang Mai Thailand.

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