Thursday, August 23, 2012

CHOKING HAZARD - New World In Vogue

A solo exhibition of Claude Estèbe - curated by Myrtille Tibayrenc

6 Sept – 31 Oct

Opening reception 6th Sept 2012 6pm


The cozy bistro chez Pepin will reopen after a long break, with a new concept and design. The second floor will be a contemporary art exhibition space ran by Myrtille Tibayrenc, director of the Toot Yung Gallery.

CHOKING HAZARD - New World in Vogue

Fashion dolls are dangerous for children, as stated by the label CHOKING HAZARD ubiquitous on all toy packaging. They can break down into dangerous fragments: shoes, bags, hats, accessories, arms, legs, and heads. These fragments are a metaphor of the industry of beauty focusing exceedingly on isolated parts of the body. In this process the global harmony of the human figure is lost. The new Eve is the plastic daughter of Frankenstein.


Claude Estèbe, French scholar in Japanese visual culture, has staged several exhibitions as a curator and photographer in Japan, France and Thailand. He is currently teaching at Paris’ University of Oriental Languages and researching on Japanese monster movies.


Pépin Bistrot, 186/3 Suan Phlu soi 1, 10120 Sathorn, Bangkok

Open Mon-Sat / 11h30-14h30 – 17h30-midnight

Tel: 0849145499 (Exhibitions) - Tel: 0860691868 (Bar/Restaurant)

Further information about the artist -

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

QUEERNESS by Piyarat Piyapongwiwat

QUEERNESS by Piyarat Piyapongwiwat
15 March - 30 April 2012
Opening reception Thursday 15 March, 7pm
Toot Yung Gallery

In 2002, the Thai Ministry of Health publicly declared that homosexuality was no longer to be regarded as a mental illness or disorder. Homosexuality if fairly accepted in the Thai society nowadays compared to other countries. There is quite a number of public figures who are openly gay, lesbian or transgender. Nonetheless, there is no governmental recognition of queer couples in Thailand and they are still regarded as gender bias by local communities.

Last year, Piyarat Piyapongwiwat started a photographic project named Microcosm through which she explored the family structures in Thailand. She took a large series of family portraits in their houses and realized that gay couples lived alone, out of the Thai family structure norms. She decided to survey the middle class established queer couples in Bangkok and started the “Queerness” series.

Unlike most contemporary photographers exploring this subject, Piyapongwiwat chose to have a very restrained approach of her models. There is no nudity or sexually explicit poses in the photographs. There are no obvious elements pointing out their sexual tendencies. There is no theatrical display either, no colourful backgrounds or studio lighting as in Catherine Opies’s transgender series. Her photographs are not crude “stolen” stills as in Nan Goldin’s work; Piyapongwiwat’s models are posing and looking at the camera, aware of the full content of the project. The posture and composition of the models was inspired from the classical studio photographs as to emphasize the commonness of these couples.

Piyapongwiwat selected couples who were living together for at least one year. Her main focus is to point out the fact that these “ordinary couples” do not have the same social rights as heterosexual couples even though everything from an outsider point of view shows that they are very similar. She started by shooting herself with her girlfriend, then close friends, and then friends of friends etc. She noted that there are still a lot of couples not ready to reveal their sexual tendency. A number of them do not want to expose it to their professional surroundings, or simply to their own families. It is still somehow something to be ashamed of.

As the photographer puts it:
“People should have the right to choose their own sexuality, beliefs, values and different ways of life. Should we really be living in a society which has only one truth without any space for diversity?”


Piyarat Piyapongwiwat, b. 1977, Phrae, Thailand

Piyarat Piyapongwiwat (b.1977) is a Thai visual artist based in Bangkok. She had a degree in Communications and worked in film production for several years before she decided to pursue her study in Fine Arts at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier Agglomération in France.

Piyarat mainly works through the medium of photography, video and installation. Her work is concerned with a variety of cultural issues, identity and representation.
She mixes social commentary, references to philosophy, documentary conventions and aesthetics of everyday life in her works.

She has held three group exhibitions, including Quinzinzinzili (2010) in France, City of Angels/Identity Crisis (2011) in France and VAFA (2011) in Macau, South China. Her video works have been screened in many international video festivals and programs, including Soirée Flare #13 in France (2010), AND festival in UK (2011), 5th Indonesia International Video Festival in Indonesia (2011) and 28th Kasseler Dokumentarfilm und Videofest in Germany (2011).

The Toot Yung Gallery is very pleased to present Piyarat Piyapongwiwat’s first solo exhibition, “Queerness”. Piyarat Piyapongwiwat who recently graduated from the Beaux Arts School in Montpellier, France, mainly works through the medium of photography, video and installation. Her work is concerned with a variety of cultural issues and identity. For the present exhibition she chose to explore the established gay and lesbian couples in Thailand. The photos, which present no artifice, have a very classical feel in the simplicity of the compositions as to underline the fact that even though these couples are like any other couples they are still regarded as gender bias by local communities.

The Toot Yung Gallery would also like to announce that it will move to a new space soon. We take this opportunity to thank Laudine Dubeaux and Arnut Saento for their very kind support since our opening in 2010. This will be the last exhibition in the shared space with Chez Lodin bar, so come and enjoy this last party with us! The new space’s location will be announced shortly.

For further information please contact the gallery director:
Myrtille Tibayrenc
Toot Yung Gallery

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pakitsilp Varamissara, Retrospective

3-28 Feb 2012
National Gallery
With the support of the French Embassy
In the framework of La Fete, French Cultural Festival

Discover the astonishing dream-like world of Pakitsilp Varamissara!
Pakitsilp’s solitary pictorial quest is unclassifiable and illustrates his journey through life. The Chiangmai-born artist oscillates between tradition and modernity, and his style is subtly influenced by the style of Lanna. During a trip to France, initiated by Toot Yung Gallery in 2009, Pakitsilp Varamissara discovered and was inspired by the great French masters; he radically simplified his technique and began using the vibrant colors that characterize his work. For the first time, a retrospective is devoted to this independent artist and presents approximately 100 works produced over the past 30 years.

Date: 3-29 February
Venue: National Gallery >> Express boat pier 13 (Phra Arthit)
Time: Wed. to Sun from to
Opening on 3 February from to (Free admission)
Further information on:

Exhibition 2: Work in-situ
Date: 24 February > 31 March
Venue: Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel (lobby) >> BTS Victory Monument
Time: Daily from to
Opening with DJ on 24 February from to with DJ Baptiste (+ special guest DJ Kheops and DJ Daj from IAM – to be confirmed) - (Free admission)

Organized by Toot Yung Gallery / Curator: Myrtille Tibayrenc

The Sculptor's studio 2, 90x90cm, acrylic on canvas, 2008

Orange sky, 70x180cm, acrylic on canvas, 2010

French beach, 240x180cm, acrylic on canvas, 2009

Friday, November 25, 2011


Curated by Brian Curtin and Ohm Phanphiroj

Toot Yung Gallery, Bangkok
16 December 2011 – 20 January 2012
Opening reception 16th December 2011 starting 7pm

Imathai Suwatthanasilp
Michael Shaowanasai
Ohm Phanphiroj
Stephen Chalmers
Tada Hengsapkul
Tawan Wattuya
Thunska Pansittivorakul

Toot Yung Gallery is very pleased to announce an exhibition of visual art that claims a sensational topic in order to confront and play with its implications and ramifications.

Stephen Chalmers photographs rural sites where serial killers dumped their victims of horrendous acts, long after the fact. These works provoke the dark extremes of our imaginations while paradoxically refusing the spectacle of sex and death. Tada Hengsapkul employs pornographic and art historical codes to insist on sexual expression as a form of power and confrontation. His chiaroscuro photographs of bodies and couplings also demand that sexual explicitness and aesthetics not be considered antithetical. Ohm Phanphiroj’s sun-kissed portraits of undressed men emerge from personal encounters to become universal paeans to seduction and lust. Michael Shaowanasai examines the bland categorical terms by which transgressive sexual desires and practices can be represented; Shaowanasai re-images flyers and other ephemera from European sex clubs. Thunska Pansittivorakul and Imathai Suwatthanasilp appropriate symbolism from everyday life to suggest how sexuality can be a productive force in seeing the world afresh. And Tawan Wattuya faces the gritty, bodily, terms by which sex and sexuality is performed.

Preeminent scholars of sexual representation have long since pointed out that only the laziest understandings believe images of sex and sexuality to be self-evident in their meaning or significance. Moreover, it is misguided to perceive the production of such imagery as always relative to taboo and prohibition. SEX embraces complexity and diversity with the aim of raising urgent local questions about relationships between art practice, the politics and pleasures of visual culture, and the terms of interpretation and subjectivity.

TOOT YUNG GALLERY - – 19 Prachathipatai Rd. 10200
Phra Nakon Bangkok Thailand - Tel: 66(0)849145499 - mail:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

TUKATA, Post industrial Venus

A solo exhibition of Claude Estèbe
Toot Yung Gallery
3 Sept - 15 Oct 2011
Opening reception 3 Sept starting 7pm

Claude Estèbe is a French scholar in Japanese visual culture. He organized several exhibitions as an independent curator in Japan and Thailand ( including First photographs in Siam, Queen Gallery 2008) or as a photographer. He published The Last Samurais and The Dawn of Geishas. He was fellow artist at French Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto in 2001 and is now teaching in Paris (University of Oriental Languages) and writing a study about Gojira and Kaiju eiga (Japanese radioactive monsters movies).

No name dolls
This exhibition is about femininity, modernity and economic globalization in Asia. The tiny no name dolls used as models for Claude Estèbe’s photographs are a ghostly testimony of the millions of women working in small Asian factories for the sake of economic development. Unlike Michael Wolf, Claude Estèbe does not concentrate on the accumulation of thousands of toys; he isolates some chosen dolls, which have a sense of mirroring humanity emanating from their defects and astonishing bright pop colors. These toys were never intended for exportation in western nations but aimed for local market. Although they are mass products, these cheap plastic figures are still painted by hand, and their design retains something of their own visual popular culture. In this sense, these no name dolls are somehow fragile and human. Unlike the perfectly cloned copyrighted American fashion dolls with their stereotyped aggressive smile, the very own defectiveness of these petite dolls make them unique.

The first series focuses on close-up of faces. The thin plastic catches gorgeously the light and the defaults of the materials oddly giving life to the dolls, providing them with a human skin with pores and life marks. In sharp contrast, a unique perfect red smile is painted by an anonymous artist’s hand. The mouth, according to classic Asian esthetic, is small and closed avoiding showing the teeth. As Japanese writer Tanizaki wrote sarcastically in ‘In Praise of the Shadows’, the toothed white smile of Western people echoes the cold hygienic white of sanitary ceramics…

Agent Orange
Claude Estèbe’s work on some dolls echoes the concept of French philosopher Jean Baudrillard in his book “Simulacra and Simulation”. Especially in his series of Agent Orange, the dolls, which are supposedly an alter ego of young girls, a way to identify with a perfect feminine figure, are almost lost in abstraction. The distinction between reality and representation vanishes. When the defaults of mass production go too far the dolls become creepy, with damaged bodies. These dolls have been copied so many times and with such poor material and care that their lack of realism pushes them away in an inhuman shape.

Global fairies
The arrival of the Peak oil dooms the era of cheaply made plastic products. These are already vanishing symbols of the decaying global trade. As natural resources decrease the pollution produced by fossil energies jeopardize the ecologic balance of the planet. Claude Estèbe likes to see the smallest of these dolls, made in Thailand, as trooping fairies of our times, helplessly witnessing the global weather change.

Due to mass production constraints, the plastic bodies are dramatically simplified. Nonetheless, they are still oddly seductive and powerful, bringing back pure primitive energy echoing the animist feminine deities of the Bronze Age; A post-industrial mythology, showing a kind of “Neolithic intelligence” to quote Claude Lévi-Strauss, who linked timelessness with the savage mind.

For further information please contact
Myrtille Tibayrenc. Director and curator

Toot Yung Gallery
19 Prachathipatai Rd. 10200 Phra Nakon Bangkok Thailand
Tel: 66(0)849145499 - mail:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Familiar Faces
7 july - 20 august 2011
TootYung Gallery
Opening reception : Thursday 7th of july

By Unchalee Anantawat

Toot Yung Gallery is pleased to present "Familiar Faces",
solo show by Unchalee Anantawat.

"I travelled around my mind, wandering around and found those Familiar Faces."

In the pond, Print on paper, 20 editions signed.

Unchalee Anantawat was born in Bangkok in 1982 and has exhibited throughout Australia and Thailand as both a solo artist and as part of Melbourne based audio-visual collective Tape Projects. Her work has ranged from temporal, site-specific installations and performances to colour-saturated text illustrations and she has degrees in Graphic Design from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and in Animation & Interactive Media from RMIT, Melbourne. Now back in her hometown, Unchalee is teaching as a illustration/stop motion lecturer in Chulalongkorn and Bangkok University and of course, still working her way out as an explosive young thai artist.

Crystal collectors, Print on paper, 20 editions signed.

In this exhibition Unchalee presents an installation and a selection of drawings, paintings and limited prints (for some) extracted from her book Observable Universe freshly published in Australia. Through this psychedelic gallery of portraits, Unchalee is introducing us to her intimate universe. An amazing technicolor family where human forms and celestial creatures intermingle, intermesh with sensuality and humor.

Lovers, Print on paper, 20 editions signed.

Threads man, 18x24cm, color pen on paper.

For further information and all works, please visit the Toot Yung Gallery website:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


DUCKOCRACY by Mit Jai Inn Ephemeral installation to stimulate political dialogues
Thursday April 7th 2011 starting 10pm - Sneak preview of the installation.

Sunday 10th starting 6pm - Around the installation, poetry reading, slam and experimental music, culinary social art.

The Toot Yung Gallery is proud to be the scene of Mit Jai Inn’s Duckocracy from the 7th to 10th of April 2011.
Implying a parallel between his humorous and satirical installation and Thailand’s political system, Mit Jai Inn aims to open the dialogue of the engagement of Thai artists towards the Thai political disorder and the construction of the society. Feeding and raising a large number of ducks for several weeks, Mit Jai Inn questioned himself about the present political system in Thailand. Following books by Conrad Lorenz, he noticed that ducks can be educated to almost anything; you just have to place the correct information in its brain at the right time of his life. His readings and observations led him to think that Thai people were treated as ducks by the power in place and hence, acted as ducks! Inspired by the very influential book by George Orwell, The animal farm, Mit Jai Inn decided to build an allegorical installation reflecting Thailand’s society, people and power system.
Mit Jai Inn’s installation is not an end to itself but rather serves to unfold a more complex knot of concerns about how Thai people and especially artists engage themselves towards the current political situation in Thailand. It is an invitation for all (and with different opinions on the actual political issues in Thailand) to gather and talk openly. This ephemeral installation will be the scene for poets, musicians and culinary artists to develop ideas for a better social and political system in Thailand.
Schedule and details:
7th April 2011 starting 10pm:
Sneak preview of the installation “Duckocracy” by Mit Jai Inn
10th April 2011 starting 6pm:
Poetry reading by:

1. แก้วตา ธัมอิน
2. . ปิยะชาติ จองทอง
3. อโลชา เวียงพงศ์
4. ชัชชล อัจนากิตติ
5. อาณัติ แสนโท
6. สุเจน กรรพฤทธิ์
7. พันธ์ศักดิ์ ศรีเทพ

Culinary social art experiment by: กฤช เหลือละมัย

Slam and experimental music by Lionel Scherer (French) & Bird To Propeller (Thai)
Abstract music by Alessandro Alexander Stone Aresta (Italy)
The profit of the food and drinks sold during the 10th of April will fund a book gathering all poems written specially on this occasion, translated to English, available at the gallery starting May 2011.

Further information:
19 Prachathipatai Rd. 10200 Phra Nakon Bangkok Thailand
Tel: 66(0)849145499 - mail: