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Suwannee’s Family in Ubon, the City of Art
April 1, 2018
The Esan Araya Foundation is pleased to welcome and support the art exhibition entitled a “Family’s Love” by Suwannee Sarakana, a Thai female artist who, during her long art career, has been creating impressive and unique paintings. Her art focuses on family life, especially of families in northeastern Thailand — specifically in UbonRatchathani province, where Suwannee was born and raised.
In 1992 Suwannee Sarakana was a student at the Fine Art Department in UbonRatchathani. At that time I was a teacher who taught Thai Traditional Art, Color Theory and Art Appreciation. Suwannee came from a farming family like many of our students. She was quiet, polite and worked hard. There were only 12 students in the class, so they quickly became close friends. The art teachers also were a small group, so the students and teachers grew to have a good relationship, almost like that of a family. This close relationship continues to today as we always keep in touch with and visit one another.
During her three years of studying at UbonRatchathani Vocational College, Suwannee worked hard in class and always practiced her skill, including putting in extra hours. Because of her hard work, she reached a high artistic level, especially in her painting class. She also won the watercolor competition both at the college and at the regional levels.
After she finished her Vocational College training, Suwannee was the only student in her class who went on to study at Silpakorn University in Bangkok where she seriously began her art career. She joined group exhibitions as well as solo exhibitions and won many art competitions while still a student. Eventually her paintings became focused on a family’s love and parental and sibling relationships. Her own family, as well as those of friends and neighbors, provided her with this heartfelt theme. The paintings of family members resting and sleeping together epitomize Suwannee’s appreciation of a loving and united family. The color and pattern of her paintings, especially of the blankets and the mats, are wonderfully familiar to our northeastern people. An observer can almost feel their memory inducing textures.
In 2008, Suwannee was invited to have a solo exhibition at UbonRatchathani Vocational school. The students, teachers and people in UbonRatchathani enjoyed her thoughtful and imaginative paintings of nudes, landscapes and collages. So it is good to have her back with this current event and exhibition of a “Family’s Love”. Our city welcomes and appreciates this art that expresses a family’s sincere love.