When Two Elephants Fight, the Grass Gets Trampled, 2015

Hong Kong 2015
100 Tonson Gallery
Acrylic on linen with collage materials
160.0 x 800.0 (cm)
63.0 x 315.0 (inch)
The idea of Yuree Kensaku's “When the Elephants Fight, the Grass Gets Trampled”, is originated from a Swahili proverb, often spoken in various languages including in Thai old saying “เมื่อช้างสานชนกัน หญ้าแพรกก็แหลกลาญ” which shares exact literary translation. The proverb refers to the crash of two large forces of power in dispute, usually end up hurting innocent and powerless people, leaving them victimized by the circumstance. The term “grass” in Thai also shares metaphorical meaning with “the majority of people”, making the proverb even more relevant to the artistic content. Yuree Kensaku, the artist, witnessed this similar feeling of desperation and powerlessness in the midst of larger forces in Thai domestic situation in the recent decade and decided to develop her upcoming project for Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 to speak out from her artistic view, as one of the million leaves of grass trampled by the elephants’ battle. As it is infamously known around the world that political conflict in Thailand has shaped its people into two strong forces of dispute, the pro and anti government, the polarized society led the country into protests, various roadblocks, lethal violence and eventually military intervention. While the situation seems impractical to tell right from wrong, Kensaku stepped back from the crowd of anger and confusion just to find out that the two majestic forces are driven by the momentum of greed and innocence are millions of Thai citizen who were victimized by the consequence. Utilizing her signature animal vibrant characters and electrifying colors, Kensaku’s large canvas will amplify the voice of the innocence by creating the vast chaotic environment full of her characters involving in minor conflicts whilst portraying a giant battle figure in the center of the work. This painting is a development in terms of idea from her previous work in 4th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in June 2014 “Hot Pot Sweet Dream” where her work in the same size and technique displayed the hope and peace remaining amidst the helplessness. This time a Art Basel HK it is of a contrast.