born Thailand, 1969; arrived Australia 2000; lives and works in Melbourne
Skull splitter 2020
synthetic polymer paint and spray paint
Courtesy of the artist
At the bottom of the painting, the angel-like figure and the white bow of a boat refers to a famous Buddhist story, in which a prince’s ship sinks and he has to swim for miles to shore. The story deals with the hard times we all face, despite our social status, and the lessons we learn from them. The rest of the images here are references to the struggles my family and I faced when I was growing up, the ways we overcame them and the lessons I learnt from them.
The cat-like figure stretched out on lines of green symbolises when my younger brother, Meow, was very ill with chicken pox. We didn’t have access to doctors, but my mum was able to bring down his fever with natural remedies, including making him sleep outside on a bed of banana leaves. This painting is a reminder to myself of the importance of staying calm and focused during tough times, and being open to the lessons and opportunities challenges can present.