Theerapon Rurngpaisitporn is a well known Thai artist who was born in 1966. His work has been frequently exhibited and has won several awards.He graduated in 1989 from the prestigious Faculty of Decorative Art of the Silapakorn University in Bangkok. In addition to being a professional artist Theerapon has also worked in the advertising, design media and animation businesses as an illustrator and artistic director.
I remember buying this captivating painting at an exhibition of Theerapon’s work around a decade ago and I am fascinated to see that he still uses it as his principal example of his Peaceful Smile collection on his website. On his first visit to the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, Theerapon was deeply impressed by the grandeur of the statues but also by the strong emotions of peace and joyfulness radiating from the sculpted stones. He comments “This collection is inspired by a trip to Cambodia. The thing I liked most is Angor Thom. It is architecture of Khmer which called Bayonne. I like the unchanged surrounding and atmosphere, full of leaves and roots. The surface of architectures are full of moss, fern and lichens. It reflects time passing through the future. This collection I made it look serene by adding smiles to faces, showing mercy like the Buddha.” Anyone who has visited the temples of Angkhor will have been particularly struck by the Bayonne and its many incredible and huge stone faces. Theeraporn adds a sense of mischief and humour with his cheeky monkey perched upon the ruins.