Gained in Translations

Napatt Piyawongwatthana
MFA Illustration, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

“I liked (supplies and studio)…A lot of space to play with. I like the bedding and the fabric that all are natural hand made.”

Napatt P - mug shot - AZIMVTH AshramNapatt is the first artist of non European descent who was selected and completed a residency at AZIMVTH Ashram. She came to the residency to prepare for her final project of MFA. A month after completing the residency she had her last exhibition at Manchester to complete the requirements for completing MFA.

Art made before coming to AZIMVTH

NP info(Image above) The illustration of project map 2017-2018. (2 Images below) The Collection of Lost (Beasts) No.1 Monoprint and digital edited 2017. The collection of Lost (Beasts) No.2 Monoprint and digital edited 2018.

Projects at AZIMVTH

Project A: Researching local colours

Napatt P - testing colours - AZIMVTH AshramNapatt researched upon using the following local colouring agents used in Haridwar – edible lime, kattha used for betel leaf, geru soft rock (terracotta colour), lavendar essential oil, etc. She finally settled upon 2 colours – red and yellow – used in mixing with cement used for making floors inside rooms. These are still in use in Haridwar and were commonly used across India before ceramic tiles became popular. All of the flooring at AZIMVTH uses these colours which last for decades. Also, she chose indigo blue that is mixed with lime to paint / coat walls.

The next step was to increase the binding strength of these colours to make them suitable for use on paper.

Project B: What Does Your Character Look Like?

Step 1: Researching themes of animals

NP Animal Design BlocksNapatt researched on those animals that are common to the Thai and Indian scriptures. This involved discussions, visiting a variety of places in Haridwar – river-sides, temples, inns, etc. and witnessed, and participating in the rituals happening there. Finally, 5 animals – cow, peacock, horse, man, and monkey – were agreed upon. She visited Gaining these experiences, she made illustrations and from those made about 50 blocks. The concept for her residency was based on the keywords: mistranslation, dislocated and lost. Her inspiration came from her sense of loss together with the interest of creating characters. She was curious of finding what would happen if people were lost in translation? She explored her doubtfulness through an experiment,NP Locals Participating with Workshop using the method of game-playing to generate art. She brought the narrative belief of the Universe that is embedded in her native Thai culture to be a part of designing the game. She put people into the sense of loss and used Thai language (her mother tongue), playing with people who are unfamiliar with the language, and interpreting the words they selected to create uncanny characters and mythical world.

Step 2: Workshops with about 30 local persons.

Napatt designed and conducted three workshops in Haridwar. One was held at the studio in AZIMVTH Ashram; 6 adults participated with it. The second workshop was held at a junior high school where a dozen students participated. The third workshop involved going to and staying at an orphanage, within Haridwar, that was founded by an American artist. It also saw a dozen participants.

Step3: Exhibition

The collaborative art-works numbering about 30 were displayed in a small exhibition at the premises of AZIMVTH Ashram. Participants visited that and made comparisons.

NP Exhibition at AZIMVTH Ashram

Project C: Installation

Inspired with these over 2 dozen art-works she co-created in Haridwar, Napatt made new designs of animals. Blocks of these were prepared and installed.

NP Light and Dark

Project D: Haridwar in My View

Napatt created a series of digital designs in the form of a digital diary titled ‘Haridwar in My View.

NP Haridwar in My ViewProject E: Digital Rendition of AZIMVTH Logo

AZIMVTH logo - saffron white - 512 x 512 wordpress

Napatt rendered a digital version of the logo of AZIMVTH Ashram. She also donated these art-works, some other art supplies like paint-roller, ink etc. to AZIMVTH Ashram.

“Clean room and very comfortable.”

“I liked breathing exercise and Sun celebration.”