Pakpoom Silaphan has returned to Fitzrovia with his second exhibition of his highly imaginative, cross-cultural, and vibrant works at the renowned London gallery Scream. His new show, Empire State, seeks to examine notions of globalisation, mass-consumerism and the universal reach of cultural icons across the world.
Primarily using found objects in his native city of Bangkok such as old metal advertising signs for big brands, Silaphan’s work not only stands as an homage to Pop Art of the 1960’s, it is also a thoughtful study of the connectivity of popular culture between The West and The East; with signs, symbols and celebrity. Silaphan uses his favourite artistic icons, such as Warhol, Picasso and Frida Khalo, he collages and paints over the aforementioned branded advertising signs, implying the artists’ identity as a recognised global brand itself.
In the new exhibition, Silaphan also presents a new body of sculptures made with vintage wooden Pepsi and Coca-Cola crates, reminiscent of Warhol’s Brillo Box installations; Silaphan re-works these objects to create a fresh interpretation of Pop Art and opens a discourse on the effects of advertising and mass consumption.
Another work included in the show is The Everybody Project, a large grid akin to a periodic table or a map populated with small found images of everyday pop culture figures and icons. Each painted over with iconic symbols such as Mickey Mouse’s ears and so on. The Identified Flying Object is another stare-worthy piece in the exhibition, a large two meter paper aeroplane constructed from Lichtenstein’s Whaam! from 1963; appropriating the original piece and beautifully realising Lichtenstein’s desire to integrate life and art.
In respect to his predecessors such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, Silaphan‘s work seeks to address a different kind of question, one only relevant in this day of mass-consumerism, multiculturalism and globalization. This is a brilliant exhibition about the profundity of our collective identity and global consciousness.
Pakpoom Silaphan: Empire State
22 February – 6 April 2013
27 – 28 Eastcastle Street
London W1W 8DH
Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 11am – 4pm