Aged 22 years he won Young Artist of the Year award in 1987 in Thailand. He lived in New York 1989 – 1990, was briefly, a Buddhist monk, and remains a committed Buddhist. Moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 1996, the same year he represented Thailand in the 2nd Asia Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1996. The extraordinary work he presented was titled Problem–Wisdom (1993–95), a diaristic work, usual in his practice, composed of 366 small papier-mâché sculptures begun on his birthday. During the first year of its making, Lertchaipraset read the newspaper every day, clipping articles that were especially significant to him and preparing the remainder to be made into papier-mâché. In the second year, he made the sculptures, one a day, while pondering the issues he encountered in the news, and inscribed the forms in Thai script with phrases addressing those issues. The work was arranged atop a cloth on the floor and was acquired by that museum. Lertchaiprasert’s meditative practice engages with matters both spiritual and earthly, his ritualistic practice, aimed at the achievement of a greater understanding of oneself, nature, and the world as a whole.
While staying with us on the farm, we had a wonderful connection with a lot of laughter. Having just moved from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, he was very attracted to our self-sufficient alternative lifestyle and spent hours wandering through the gardens, orchard and veggie gardens, wide–eyed. Then sitting and meditating daily. While with us, he made the Kangaroo print series depicted, ‘drawing’ them on paper in glue, collecting red soil from the farm which he then hand-sifted onto the glue area. Next, he put glue on his foot, pressed it into a small heap of red soil and stamped his footprint onto each work. Thai calligraphic writing, the meaning of which I have since forgotten, came next and finally he glued an Australian dollar coin, kangaroo image upward facing, onto each work. One hangs framed in my home.
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