'In October 2016 the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej sadly passed away. This was a heartbreaking time for me personally. In conjunction with other tragic events that had been taking place around the world, I felt as though I needed to create work that was cheerful, uplifting and expressed happiness.
According to researchers at the University of California, taking and sharing happy photos — including smiling “selfies” — can have an uplifting effect on your mood. Based on this study, I created “selfie sculpture” inspired by the many selfie photos I came across online. Generally, most of the selfie photos that make me happy are the ones when people post with the “V for Victory” symbol. In Asia this hand symbol signifies peace and happiness.
My new series of work “Happy Together” was based on this hand symbol as a way for me to cope with such a loss and to try to find peace and contentment. By creating this new work I not only felt happier but I also experienced a positive change in my overall mood; I felt more mindful, reflective and appreciative. I hope “Happy Together” will have an uplifting effect on the mood of the public as it has done for me.' Vipoo Srivilasa April 2017
The inhabitants of Vipoo Srivilasa’s enigmatic porcelain kingdom have much to tell us. As contemporary figurines they communicate through gesture, pattern, colour and texture: their delicately configured messages are full of poetic insight into the human condition, carrying more than just a touch of wry humour.
At first glance, their balanced poise beckons for our approval, to satisfy desire for perfection, decoration, or to escape into the soft murmurs of collectible comfort and status quo. Inevitably, closer inspection reveals Srivalasa’s take on cross-cultural social tensions, the commodification of artistic integrity, the role of the self within popular culture, and the history of ceramics worldwide. Simultaneously both cool to the touch and hot with the fetishisms of empire, mercantilism and history, nothing compares with porce- lain as a material.
Vipoo has exhibited both internationally and throughout Australia, including at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Saatchi Gallery, London; Ayala Museum, Philippines; Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan; Nanjing Arts Institute, China; New Mexico Museum of Art, USA 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 and the Shaw International Centre for Contemporary Ceramics, Canada.