Dec 17, 2022 - Mar 15, 2023
All images courtesy of SAC Gallery
In Vessel of desires, Foster’s first solo exhibition with SAC Gallery, he offers insights into his wide and varied interests curated into a wonder room, with objects of different sizes and materials. Foster draws his inspirations from 16th - 18th century illustrations, as well as historical objects and design language found in the rococo period. Although they come from various origins, they are tied together by Foster’s fascination with local craftsmanship.
As a visitor to foreign countries, he is often drawn to the crafts that not only reflect traditions, but also the values and history of the local cultures too. By applying those objects with unusual patterns or vice versa, such as Bencharong pattern on a skull, or Portuguese azulejos tiles on an obelisk made of reclaimed teak wood from Chiang Mai, he finds them to be ‘striking’ and draws attention to what would otherwise be the crafts that are easily ignored and dying from the people’s minds.
Over the years, Foster has been collecting old household objects, such as Meiji period Japanese screen or a one hundred years old window frames from Punjab, because he is attracted to the qualities and the patina, a sign that an object is touched and interacted with over the span of time. Rather than fixing them back to serve their original function, Foster renders them to art objects that resist the connection to a specific time period; at once old and rich in history, but also contemporary in their own rights.
This exhibition presents over 50 pieces of Foster’s series of work in mixed media, including prints and sculptures, that serve as the artist’s autobiography of his experiences, journeys and the cultures he’s visited. From the outside perspective, he is able to appreciate traditions and crafts that are overlooked. By being in Thailand, and presenting the exhibition here, he critically examines the intersection between traditional crafts and their place within the Thai contemporary art scene.
Trevor Foster (b. 1990) is an American artist living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Although multidisciplinary in practice, Foster is known for his ceramics works, as well as highly detailed mezzotint prints. As a young child, Foster often traveled with his family to Asia to seek for rarities, collectibles and historical objects, which would go on to influence much of his aesthetics as an artist. In the last few years, Foster has been living in Chiang Mai where he’s set up his studio and integrated into the northern contemporary art scene.