Vipoo Srivilasa 'My Sunshine Doesn't Come from the Sky'

Over a career spanning more than 20 years, Vipoo Srivilasa has created intricate and elaborate artworks that reflect his bicultural experience living between Australia and Thailand. Working mostly in ceramic, he celebrates the intersections and overlaps between our cultural, social, philosophical, and environmental ideologies with a mix of humour and reverence, iconography and ornamentalism.

Recently Srivilasa’s focus has been more introspective; though still reflecting global themes, his new works reference personal contemplations on life in a pandemic. After initially revelling in the unexpected freedom of lost professional opportunities, and the chance to expand his practice with playful experimentations in media, colour and finishes, Srivilasa found himself missing family and friends as Melbourne struggled through protracted lockdowns. Confined to home, he began paying more considered attention to everyday things he would otherwise neglect or disregard. He sought comfort in the company of his cats and time in his garden, and when homesickness overwhelmed him he cooked traditional Thai meals with herbs he’d grown. The forced slowing down of his home environment made him more mindful of gradual progressions of beauty over instant moments of gratification, and the joy to be found in loving something and seeing it thrive.

Almost 30 years after his move to Australia, Srivilasa’s renewed appreciation for his life now informs his inclusion in the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT) 10 at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. Shrine of Life 2021 is a largescale installation based on the Bangkok temple Srivilasa visited for a blessing before leaving Thailand. Infused with the scent of jasmine, the interactive work invites audiences to celebrates the five deities or elements most important to him: spirituality, identity, creativity, love equality, and security. It acknowledges the element of chance in his life, the unavoidability of fate, and the commonalities rather than differences that define our relationships.

Vipoo Srivilasa was born and raised in Thailand. Awarded a Bachelor of Art (Ceramics) from Rangsit University, Bangkok, Thailand (1994), he undertook postgraduate study in Australia with a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Ceramics) from Monash University (1997) and a Master of Fine Art and Design from the University of Tasmania (1998). Srivilasa’s work has been exhibited throughout Australia and internationally at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Saatchi Gallery, London; Ayala Museum, Philippines; Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan; Nanjing Arts Institute, China and the National Gallery of Thailand. His work is held in national and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, QAG|GOMA Brisbane, and the Craft Council, United Kingdom. In 2021 Srivilasa was named Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated, publications of the The American Ceramic Society, USA.

Carrie McCarthy 2021