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Following early and well remarked beginnings in drawing contests in Thailand, Paitoon Jumee, who was born in 1978, has first studied fine arts and painting at the University of Pohchang of Bangkok before continuing his studies at the prestigious school of Vijitsil. Having being trained in many disciplines such as lithography, xylography and sculpture, he ultimately chose painting as his specialty.
Introduction of Portrait Art
At the beginning, mainly in political or funeral vocation in the ancient civilizations (Persian, Egyptian and Greco-Roman), the genre of portrait has significantly expanded and diversified with the rise of the bourgeoisie in Europe in the modern era (15th to 18th century) with the proliferation of ceremonial and devotional portraits or private portraits.
The advent of humanistic principles of the Renaissance resulted in making the Man and his portrait a central theme in painting as well as in sculpture. More than just a simple trace of the past or an official picture, the Renaissance painters were able to infuse their life and personality into their portraits by inventing a reflection on the facial features of emotions.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, challenging the rules of probability and decency which are imposed by the Academy has allowed to explore new techniques of representation and to approach the genre of portrait genre in a more intimate aspect, freed from its strictly mimetic function. Furthermore, photography which began to be widely publicized in the developed countries, thanks to daguerreotype in the mid-nineteenth century, has completely changed the challenges of portrait painting.
So why do we still paint portraits today? Just like Paitoon Jumee, many artists in Thailand today are a product of the University Of Fine Arts in Silpakorn (Bangkok). This university, founded in 1943 by Corrado Feroci, an Italian sculptor commissioned by the Thai government, provides education in history of arts and visual arts in the Western sense of the term. Students practice conventional, impressionist, expressionist and abstract techniques. Then how can they find their own way in a world of art in crisis, where all genres, narrative as descriptive, figurative as abstract, seem to have already been explored? This is where the sensitivity of Asian artists such as Po can give another dimension to the portrait.
Renewing the genre of portrait of face or bust, his paintings focus primarily on the personality of the model, excluding any superfluous detail, and communicate to the emotions that are evanescent and intense, singular and universal.
About Paitoon Jumee’s inspiration
Paitoon Jumee almost devoted himself exclusively to the art of portrait painting by focusing on the face.He uses the entire space of the canvas, in a very tight drawing that gives a sense of immediacy to the viewer, who is in direct contact with the emotions of the model. He is the painter of a series of five paintings known as United Colors of Asia which were painted for Rock Around Asia.This series, painted in acrylic, is the same female figure declined in different colors, one for each country in Southeast Asia, namely Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia. This Asian face, both timeless and universal, also embodies the unity and the diversity of this part of Asia.
Paitoon Jumee painted portraits with a very personal technique. He moistens the canvas and deliberately uses the technique of drip to create a trail of white paint over the model. This intentional and random fabric represents the stimuli from the outside world that is both negative and positive. When the face of his model has his/her eyes open, he is so receptive to everything that surrounds him/her. He is subjected to a constant stream of information which he must contain.On the other hand, closed eyes symbolize retirement itself and detachment of the mind with respect to disturbances that interfere with the elevation.
United Colors of Asia
United Colors of Asia is an artistic concept whose purpose is to connect the countries of Southeast Asia using strong symbolism, in this case a face expressing serenity – an emotion that is shared unanimously all over this region of the world. Each country is assigned a color that may describe the country in question almost by itself. From the painted face by Paitoon Jumee (based on his original painting “My Lady”) and concept by Eric Monteil, Rock Around Asia propose the varieties below (original acrylic on canvas and prints as Limited Editions):
- Face of Laos (Green) / The most beautiful green color is in Laos
- Face of Thailand (Gold) / Thailand is Golden Land
- Face of Burma (Green / Blue) / The time for change has come
- Face of Vietnam (Red) / Vietnam has been under fire for too long
- Face of Indonesia (Blue) / Indonesia surrounded by deep blue water
- Face of Cambodia (Brown) / The Color of Angkor Stone