Mon Art Du Style
An exhibition featuring garments and accessories from the wardrobe of Patsri Bunnag with new artworks and key pieces from the museum archives. Curated by Pring Bunnag, scenography by Ampol Jiramahapoka
MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum is proud to present the exhibition Mon Art du Style (or “my art of style”). The title, which is also a pun in Thai meaning “look at art, see style” sums up the key message of the exhibition. Rather than a “fashion” or “art” exhibition in the traditional sense, Mon Art du Style aims to showcase a particular vision or philosophy of “style” through the collective presence of the garments and artworks.
Notable works by Montien Boonma, Pinaree Sanpitak, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Chatchai Puipia, Niti Wattuya, Navin Rawanchaikul among other emblematic figures of Thai contemporary art are presented alongside of a selection of pieces by international and Thai design houses, including Lanvin, ISSEY MIKAKE, Yohji Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Nagara, TIRAPAN, and PICHITA to name just a few.
The garments and artworks are presented together thematically—largely based on their visual or cultural resonance. The exhibition does not attempt to show the pieces based on any historical or chronological order, but takes the viewer on a more visual and emotional journey. Rather than subtracting or distracting from the meaning of the artworks, the presence of the clothes adds a sense of fleeting poignancy. If artworks are immortalized emblems of human ideas, the garments and silhouettes imply of the presence of its mortal admirer. Each artwork or garment, while may be appreciated individually, is meant to be seen within the larger context of a global aesthetic universe. Their juxtaposition shows the visual, emotional, and often poetic dialogue between “art” and “style”.
A new work by Jakkai Siributr created especially for this exhibition pushes even further the idea of “dialogue” between garment and art. BPB is a tapestry composed entirely of Patsri’s everyday garments that were cut-up and re-stitched together into a richly textured patchwork —a mélange of traditional Thai “mo hom” indigo and the famous “Pleats Please” pleated fabric.
At once an intimate portrait of its fabrics’ former wearer and an abstract composition, the piece represents a metamorphosis of garment into art, a transfiguration of the private and personal into a universal and immortal object. The title is a “monogram” of “Patsri Bunnag”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to luxury label logos as well as a poignant hommage to her legacy.
Art of Style
Patsri Bunnag was a style icon not just because she owned a remarkable collection of rare designer pieces, but because she knew how to make those pieces uniquely “hers”. Her look was striking, unique, inspired. A large part of that inspiration was art. Patsri and her family were avid collectors and suppoters of all forms of artistic creation, whose passion for art led to the founding of MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum. Her singular sense of style reflected her unique vision of the world; a vision finely honed through years in Paris and decades of appreciating and living with art. Through the pairing of a selection of pieces from Patsri’s wardrobe with artworks from her family’s private collection, the exhibition aims to demonstrate how style is not just about “fashion” or “clothes”, but a total aesthetic vision of the world. As Patsri elegantly stated, “le style c’est la façon de penser” or “style is a way of thinking”.
Pring Bunnag is the founder and designer of her Paris-based fashion brand Pring Paris. After studying art history and dance at UC Berkeley in the US she worked as an art and features writer for numerous Thai and international publications, dancer, and PR/ advertising and events executive before embarking on fashion. She often collaborates with Thai and international brands and artists on creative projects, and spends her time mainly between Paris, Bangkok, and Greece.
Ampol Jiramahapoka is a decorator, interior stylist and a global traveller. He started his career as a Freelance Event Designer and Stylist in NYC. In 2006, he became a Decoration and Style Consultant for the FourSeasons Hotels and Resorts in Maldives, Malaysia, India, and China. In Thailand, he is also working full-time with the Fashion house “Soda” as Director of Visual Merchandising and Window Display. He occasionally styles photographs for publications such as The Magazine by the Bangkok Post, House Beautiful, and The Great Wall Style in Beijing.
A ‘Pollination’ project
Featuring artists Maryanto (Yogyakarta) and Ruangsak Anuwatwimon (Bangkok)
Curated by ‘Pollination’ curators LIR (Yogyakarta) and Kittima Chareeprasit (Chiang Mai)
Organized by: The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City
Co-sponsored by SAM Art & Ecology Fund and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
With thanks to this edition’s curatorial advisors: Agung Jennong and Vipash Puranichanayanont