B. Thailand 1925-1991
Sampan Boats on River, 1974
Signed and dated “Tawee 1974” on lower right
Oil on canvas
53 x 67 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
RM 20,000 – RM 32,000
Tawee was born in Lampoon Province and graduated from Silpakorn University, Bangkok and the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, Italy.
Tawee Nandakwang was recognized and regarded as one of the Thailand’s leading artists in Thai contemporary art. His life and works have been recorded in Thailand’s history of modern art. A pioneer in approaches to painting still-life, portraits and landscapes, he spent his entire life consistently creating excellent works. He was rightly named Thailand’s outstanding artist, a National Artist (1990) and also in the same year, he was named ASEAN Awards Outstanding Artist in Visual Arts.
Tawee’s initial creative works from his schooldays between 1947 and 1948 can be classified as Impressionism. Tawee was greatly inspired by the French school of Impressionism partly due to the influence of Silpa Bhirasri who introduced his students to modern art.
Among his masterpieces was Lotus painted in 1956 which won him a gold medal in the seventh National Exhibition of Art. Tawee is also influenced by the Western style called Cubism. Such influence is apparent in his painting Ayatthaya, Suwannee, a painting of Tawee’s first wife was named the best portrait of the year at the 9th National Exhibition of Art. The significance of this painting rests in the attempt to avoid the close resemblance of the subject: detail does not seem to take priority. Tawee used his brushstrokes to accentuate the structure of the counternance and other parts of the painting. Not only was the artist able to portray a face that was telling in emotion and feeling, he also succeeded in conveying with accuracy and liveliness the characteristics of his wife Suwanee. Another special attribute in his portrait which is consiedred a pioneering step in Thai portrait painting is the use of bold lines to give prominence to the model and prevent her from being blended into the background.