Common and Transcendent Experiences: The Art of Kamonchanok Phon-ngam

Kamonchanok Phon-ngam on the Lower East Side, NYC
Photo by: Ryan Teeramate


 Kamonchanok Phon-ngam is a multi-disciplinary artist and an integral part of the art communities in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

Her art practice and the ideas that fuel it are wide ranging, deeply personal and frequently visionary.

Phon-ngam pushes the medium and methods of fabric and sewing far beyond their traditional associations with craft by infusing them with a contemporary personal narrative as well as shared experiences of life in New York City.

Often she uses indigenous materials as a foundation and backdrop to be embellished by the more traditional methods of drawing, collage and a painter's eye for color and composition.
The satisfying combination of the historic and the intimate transforms matter into a shared experience of the mundane and the discarnate.

Kamonchanok Phon-ngam was born in 1986 and is a Thai artist living in New York City. In 2013 she completed her MFA at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in Bangkok.

Her work has been presented at the National Art Museum of China and the Beppu Art Museum Oita in Japan. Phon-ngam has exhibited extensively in New York City since 2016; including a solo exhibition at Sugar Club and many group shows at venues such as the Roger Smith Hotel, TRANS-CEN-DER at Brooklyn Fireproof, the Friday Studio Gallery and SFA Projects.

For more information on Kamonchanok Phon-ngam's work and upcoming projects visit her website here.


From the Identity Series

From the Identity Series (detail)


A work from the Identity Series

Identity:
The thing I learned and sensed from this material world  as a reflection of human identity is that somehow we blindly consume amount of unnecessary utility or additional bit of satisfaction. These things are some kind of illusion that decreases humanity in human and shapes their view to become as small as just their self-interest. 
Being someone in this material world, you are defined by the way you consume and purchase. In this society, a person might have to lose the identity or something they’re used to do, in order to  be accepted for his or her existence. Since human are social animals, they always want to have and want to become equal because they are attached to the illusional standard that the society has set for them. 
Exist, know the value but meaningless. However, all these materials are not rooted within our mind, thus make us lose the heart and soul of humanity. There are lots of odds in our mind for instance love, greed, anger, passion, loneliness, sadness, positivity and negativity. We might be able to comprehend some parts of them, but not all of them. And once you lose your self identity, you will become the victim of this dominating power. Above all, the nonmaterial thing that we need to comprehend and be grateful for is ‘the world in our mind’. 
- From the artist's statement

From the Cheerfully Series

A detail of work from the Cheerfully Series

From the Country-Style Paradise Series

Detail from the piece above

From the Diary and Me Series

Diary and Me Series

A piece from the series People Like to Talk More Than Listening

People Like to Talk More Than Listening

People Like to Talk More Than Listening:

Among the distorted society and reflection of humans in capitalism world, the advanced science and technology have been developed for our convenience and easy to access lives. We may recognize and sense that sometimes we blindly over consume and become unaware of the facts that really matter. Being greedy to have and greedy to be misled us in the illusion world. We have made happiness out of materialization, definition, experience and artificial thoughts which are caused by material wealth, reputation, compliment, position, responsibility, movies, food, gambling, lottery, human, etc. these things are imagination. These factors cause people to see the world and lives of themselves and others in the society differently and sometimes their behavior and reactions are more into just their own benefit. Because if we cannot consciously control and wisely consider when we want to be equal, desire to have and to be something, we will be deceived by appearance and finally lose humanity in the world where “sight” matters more than heart. The things that most attach benefits from human are “illusion”. Sometimes they affect how we see the world and devalue humanity in human beings. For example, in some society, each individual might be lost and lose themselves when we worry too much about being called an odd. Following the crowd because we’re afraid is the main reason that causes human in the crowd utterly change their behaviors. Many people go wild, they come bad, vandal or even cruel, just because they’re scared of others, especially those who are more powerful or higher position. They are not willing to take it or be called an odd. This fear can radically influence the society and national level (Normative Influences) since human are social animals, after all, the result of the decision goes to what majority agree.


Another example is the matter of speaking or communication is very important. In the globalization era, we can record video, speech and post on YouTube or various forms of social media and share immediately, we can also talk to people on the other side of the world by clicking a few buttons. Moreover, everyone in any career has to communicate, whether to customers, boss, subordinate and coworker.  And in everyday life, we always have to talk to family, close friend. So "Art of Speech" is extremely important in order to bring happiness and success in life. Buddha had given examples for us which are easy to understand.  The principle is that our thoughts are the comparison of our shadow that follows us everywhere even in the dark. Good thoughts lead to good life, in contrast bad thoughts lead to bad life.
Therefore, starting point of this series was created from the doubt of process of human mind. Individuality and identity are all different. The behaviors are expressed communicate from consciousness and subconscious, result in having positive and negative mentalities which might be caused by different genetics and discipline from parents. As a result, we look at the world differently have different beliefs, thoughts, memories and mindsets. There are thousands of emotions in our mind for instance love, greed, anger, passion, loneliness, sadness, boring, grumpy fear and etc., some of them can’t even be described in words. These emotions are expressed as our behaviors differently, sometimes we don’t express exactly how we feel or how we want to. Messages are the reflection of people in the society, relationship between people and limits of the society with the expression of speech, thoughts and actions which represent the person. Even the way people listen represents them. If you “judge” when you listen, the only thing you hear is the sound from identity within you. One Buddhist principle mentioned that “repeated thoughts become words, repeated words become actions, repeated actions become innate characters”.  
So the point of not being under any kind of influence is “seeing through” or “being conscious”. When we’re conscious, we know who we are. Observing yourself is the basic thing that human should do, checking your consciousness, kindness, sympathy, wisdom, ability. Moreover if we learn more in the mind. We will be comprehend others more than ever. When we learn to work with our own minds, modulate and deeply find balance of life, it will change habits and behaviors. Then we can filter the real happiness by ourselves, for relationships and society, and make the world a better place.
-From the Artist's Statement


From the Series Forms in a State of Mine 


 Forms in a State of Mine:

To reveal the unpleasant feeling of fears that occurs and is unconsciously stored in human minds. People have different fears, depending on the stimulated experiences that impacted their frightened perception. An unpleasant perception, for example, lead to feeling of fears and stored in humans’ mind. Some people fear animal, certain objects or darkness.  Fear is occurred from humans’ imagination and perception. Human create their own fear, and such fear control those peoples’ mind unlimitedly and unreasonably. People might get ready to do anything they could to avoid facing with whatever they are afraid of.  

-From the Artist's Statement



***Photograph of the artist ©Ryan Teeramate. 
Images of artwork are courtesy of the artist.

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