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Asian Artists to Watch 2024: Yuree Kensaku

Asian Artists to Watch 2024: Yuree Kensaku

Each year, we identify the Asian artists on the rise, shining a light on the exciting and provocative works enriching the region’s artistic and cultural landscape. Thai artist Yuree Kensaku shares her story.

The candy-coated, pop-art visions of Thai-Japanese artist Yuree Kensaku present viewers with hyper-cute cartoon characters cavorting in surrealistic, technicolor landscapes. Her unmistakeable style has gained the 44-year-old Bangkok University graduate and part-time lecturer a loyal following among Thailand’s art community. But if you think her sculptures and multimedia canvasses are just exercises in the absurd, you’re missing the finer points. “At first you just see the pretty colours,” she remarks, “but there are many stories underlying the images.”

In 2020, Kensaku was a featured artist at the Bangkok Art Biennale, where she displayed a large painting she’d created that year during an artist-in-residency programme at the Centre Intermondes in La Rochelle, France. In 2023 she returned to France for a second residency, this time at the Enrico Navarra Galerie in Le Muy, where she completed two large-scale paintings that were then exhibited in October in a group show at the Monnaie De Paris as part of the Asia Now Paris Asian Art Fair.

Artist to Watch 2024: Yuree Kensaku
Artist to Watch 2024: Yuree Kensaku

Taking inspiration from the building’s history (it was founded in 864CE), her twin canvases are full of allusions to commerce, currency, and trade, as well as Eastern and Western mythology. “The two paintings were placed in the hallway of the main building. The one on the right is Asia – according to the world map – with a Thai-style Nang Kwak lady and a Japanese beckoning cat. The left side is Europe, which features Mercury, the god of money. It’s like two deities are welcoming you to the event.”

As for the year ahead, Kensaku says she’s already busily preparing for a solo show at JWD Art Space in Bangkok, and in autumn of 2025 she has plans for another solo show in Paris with Enrico Navarra Galerie.

See our Art Basel Hong Kong coverage here.

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Source: Prestige Online

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