By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Nation Weekend
HANGING BANNERS bearing eccentric and fanciful beasts follow visitors as they walk from BTS Skywalk into Gaysorn Village, their vibrant colours a timely reminder that Chinese New Year is only days away.
The banners are the work of up-and-coming artist Phannapast Taychamaythakool, 30, who caught the world’s attention when she joined the “#GucciGram Tian” digital talent project in 2016, and was commissioned to create a stunning fairy-tale book and installation with her writer friend Aracha Cholitgul to promote Gucci’s Le Marche des Merveilles jewellery line worldwide in 2017. That same year, social media giant Instagram also recognised her talent, inviting her to design a fanciful backdrop for its headquarters in New York.
The eccentric and fanciful beasts follow visitors as they walk from BTS Skywalk into Gaysorn Village.
“As I’m a Chinese descendant, I always bless myself, my family members and my loved ones. To me the blessing is not something nonsensical. It’s like I am talking to myself about my determination and my dreams and I must make the wishes come true. That’s why my works at Gaysorn are based on the theme ‘Blessing, Love and Dream’,” says Phannapast.
A floor-to-ceiling installation called “Dandy Lion” stands proudly alongside the escalator to Gaysorn Terrace and features red poppies made out of paper with a fibreglass face of a lion covered with a heart-shaped mane at the centre. The Dandy Lion is inspired by the beast illustration featured in the tarot card The Strength.
The columns around Gaysorn are also wrapped with adhesive prints featuring the fanciful beasts, which Phannapast refers to as the “lucky animals”.
“Lion signifies strength, bee is for friendship, goldfish for prosperity and monkey represents the willingness to take a chance. The monkey is nimble and can grab onto anything quickly. The inspiration came from siam si (Chinese fortune sticks) when I pulled a stick suggesting that I should take a chance. It says if I win, I will be happy. If I lose, I will be wise.”
“The Sun Room” symbolises positive energy.
Hanging from the ceiling of the atrium is the installation “The Sun Room” featuring hand-made paper cuts of poppies and plants as well as two white horses made out of foam.
“The horses take inspiration from the horse chariot of the Sun God in Greek mythology and represent positive energy. The poppy that is normally used to remember military personnel is a symbol of bravery,” she adds.
“The Moon Room” represents hope and dreams.
Phannapast has also decorated Gaysorn Cocoon, the 6.5-metre-tall bridge connecting the towers, with the giant lantern-like installation “The Moon Room”. The paper butterflies are placed around the work to symbolise luck and underneath is a red leopard made out of foam to signify strength.
“The moon is a metaphor for hope and dreams. The leopard is trying to pull the moon down closer to the earth for humans to pray for their wishes,” she says.
Phannapast’s other works are also on display at the Galerie on the ground floor of Gaysorn until March 31.