Description: Navin Rawanchaikul (b. 1971)
Lost Kingdom of Navin
signed, titled and dated 'LOST KINGDOM OF NAVIN Rawanchaikul 2008' (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
71 x 134 in. (180.3 x 340.4 cm.)
Painted in 2008
Exhibited: Mumbai, Sakshi Art Gallery, Navin Cinema, March - April 2008
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Navin Rawanchaikul displays a strong interest for issues regarding transitory identity, migration, Diaspora, and loss bourne from his hybridised background as a Thai-born, ethnic Indian/Pakistani artist currently living in Japan. Epic in scale and extravagant in its colour, Rawanchaikul's paintings allude to Bollywood style cinema billboards which combine elements of popular culture depicting actual and fictional characters while referring to historical episodes that critique contemporary society. Lost Kingdom of Navin in particular depicts members of the Indian art scene including: Atul Bhalla, Atul Dodiya, Subodh Gupta, Sunil Gupta, Maqbool Fida Husain, Ranbir Kaleka, Jitish Kallat, Bharti Kher, Nalini Malani, Geetha Mehra, Pushpamala N., Ravinder Reddy, Nataraj Sharma, Neville Tuli, and Chintan Upadhyay amongst others as a constellation of film stars. The underlying theme of this series involves a quest for the "Lost Kingdom" bordering between India and China through a construct of the artist-as cadres of the "Navin Party". It is a humourous and self-referential play of words on the artist's name and his quest to establish his identity by seeking out his namesakes throughout the world.
Rawanchaikul has been widely exhibited in numerous international venues reflecting a storied artistic career with solo shows at institutions including New York's P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (2001), the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2002), Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok (2006), and Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing and Bangkok (2007). His works have also featured at the Shanghai Biennial (2002); Busan Biennial (2002); Sao Paulo Biennial (2004), Liverpool Biennial (2004) and the Yokohama Triennial (2005), among others. In 2009, he has been featured at the Tate Triennial, Altermodern, and will have a solo exhibition later this year at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing entitled SuperChina!.