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Passing Through the Veil Exhibition Opening


Bruce Gunderson's latest exhibition, Passing Through the Veil - Reflections on the Legends of Southeast Asia, was opened at The Art Center at Chulalongkorn University on Thursday June 30th.

The exhibition features a collection of photomontages that depict the region's best known folk tales, and includes his most recent series Sang Thong, as well as Mae Nak and Khun Chang Khun Phaen.


Words and photos by Paul Hutton, Bangkok Scene.

The title "Passing through the Veil" is a metaphor for Gundersen's spiritual journey into Thailand's rich culture.


New York artist Bruce , left, explained "I am fascinated with the interplay between the supernatural and corporeal worlds filled with characters that are vividly depicted through the arts.  My work reflects a contemporary approach to an ancient codified language of gesture and storytelling.  I find my inspiration in the belief systems and vernacular art from the ancient and modern cultures of Southeast Asia, and I hope to regenerate them through the modernity of digital arts".


Gundersen received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has gone on to express his artistic visions of universal cultural legends and myths in a variety of well established venues, working in mediums that include performance art and diorama sculptures.

Siriwat Pokrajen, from The Art Center said "Bruce Gundersen's work presents complex visual ambiguities, perceptually bridging painting and photography.  For the past ten years his artistic endeavours have involved photographing and digitally narrating Southeast Asian folklore.  After in-depth research, Gundersen travels to Asia with storyboards of scenes to be depicted.  After photographing local actors, dancers and lay people along with architecture, landscapes and textual surfaces, Gundersen starts to assemble his images.

These visual elements become digital building blocks, which will be layered into photomontages.  Back in New York, Gundersen layers these photographic and sampled images meticulously erasing and softening these bits of information to bring a sense of impermanence and the passing of time.  The overall effect is somewhere between photography and painting, paying homage to the indigenous visual folk vernacular with a feeling of antiquity.  However the techniques, digital capturing, the application of sampling and printing are all contemporary."


The exhibition is open until July 23rd, 2011 at The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.