Discovering Magic In The Mundane
Words by CARIS CRUZ
It’s the sight of the daily grind; a marketplace overflows with people lurking about, some know their way and some do not. Motorbikes spur from unseen directions. Tiny boats glow radiant in the middle of the blue-coloured river. The sky is littered with electrical wires and leftover strings of banners, in memorium of the last festival.
All of these take the spotlight in Direk Kingnok’s watercolour paintings. Iridescent, opulent dashes resembling the forgotten shanties and obscure corners that embody the day-to-day life of people in Bangkok. One can imagine him casually searching for scenes to depict, illuminating the humdrum with a delicate medium. Like magic, Kingnok manages to infuse an unspeakable charm into these painted photographs. He wields his brush and, with his inspired perception, breathes life into colours, movement and emotions on his canvas.
Perhaps it’s the authenticity of the scenes that stamps a delightful, intriguing appeal in Kingnok’s artworks. There is rawness and honesty as he documents a simple narrative and turns it into an evocative composition. While others sought for majestic idols to represent, Kingnok chooses the humble and paints them truly exciting; something larger than life.
Born in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingnok grew embracing the beauty of nature. His young love for art sprouted at a young age, and both passions collided, merging into a strong penchant for landscape painting. At 9 years old, Direk Kingnok gave honours to his country by winning the gold medal in the 1985 Youth Art Contest in Tokyo, Japan. Seven years later, his name resounded after winning a special category in the International Museum of Children Art, Oslo, Norway. Ever since then, fate and life determined; art is the road he would take.
Kingnok graduated with a degree in Painting in the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Khon Kaen University. He started his career as an art educator under the same faculty. Now, Direk Kingnok is an international exhibitor, with his works staged in art centres in Turkey, China and Italy.