Wattana Wattanapun is an artist and teacher, and is justifiably well known for his original approach to painting and his creative use of traditional culture, specifically textiles, to convey a timely range of subject matter. Painting on a variety of materials, including bamboo blinds, furniture and objects, as well as engraving on stainless steel, he often uses female forms enveloped in the rich texture of traditional textiles to evoke the corruption of the cultural environment and to make us question the nature of beauty.
Usually the textiles depicted are in the form of the ubiquitous 'phaa sin', or tubeskirt; he blankets female forms with it, often smothering them in sinuous, finely patterned stripes of rich color and ominous black. In some works the body is totally obscured by the fabric, with only the folds and curves of the stripes giving it form. Some new works on stainless steel play games with the idea of the pliability of cloth by depicting it on cold, smooth, flat steel; backlighting makes it even colder and less tactile as the panels seem to float, out of reach, on the wall.
Wattana's home is an art gallery, with innovative, movable wall panels, each covered with framed works of art so that one can get a full view of the range of his oeuvre over the years. He works in oil, acrylic, pastel, mixed media, and is now engraving steel. It’s a feast for the eyes and not to be missed if in Chiangmai.