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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Uab Sanasen

Uab Sanasen

“Uab Sanasen is an artist whose creative vision, whilst not being so esoteric that it renders his work inaccessible, is still pitched far enough ahead to be thought provoking and instrumental in broadening the perspective of his audience”

This was the observation made by a leading Thai art critic, Archarn Amnard Yensabai, which clearly sums up Uab Sanasen’s work. Although he has never called himself a ‘creative artist’, throughout his life Uab has shown through his work, that he is one of the most outstanding artists in Thailand. Uab believes firmly in professionalism, responsibility to the art community, and the virtue of life.

It was not until the age of 42, after working in a variety of different jobs, that Uab decided he was ready to embark on a career as a professional artist. It may come as some surprise therefore, to learn that Professor Silpa Bhirasri, whom Uab studied under, always believed in his student’s knowledge and ability in the field of art. So much so, that he appointed Uab as an art tutor at Silpa Suksa School (Chang Silp College) and the then newly formed Interior Decoration Department of Silpakorn University when he was only a 4th year student at Silpakorn. He was also awarded a bronze medal in the National Art Competition (in painting) at a very young age.

Uab Sanasen was born on 25 April 1935 in Sao Ching Cha area, in Bangkok. He was educated at Assumption School where amongst his classmates was Sulak Sivaraksa, one of Thailand’s leading intellectuals.

After graduating from high school, he worked as a craftsman at Thai Nakorn, then a famous niello ware shop in Bangkok. Uab was working there for a year before he discovered Silpa Suksa School (Changsilp College), a pre-Silpakorn school. The school was founded a year earlier and when they opened for enrollment on their second year, Uab applied and because of his talent for art, he was accepted.

The principal of Silpa Suksa at the time was Prayura Uluchadha. Uab finished his two-year course with high enough grades to enter Silpakorn University without having to do an entrance exam. He graduated in 1962, receiving his diploma from King Rama IX, shortly before Professor Silpa Bhirasri passed away.

Uab always talked about Professor Bhirasri with much love and respect. “Without him, I wouldn’t have accomplished so much. He taught me to understand art, not just painting but also sculpture, music, theatre….even religion and philosophy.” Looking back at Uab’s works, it is evident that they were influenced greatly by Professor Bhirasri’s teaching of classical and Renaissance art. Utilizing his knowledge of Western art, together with his personal interest in classical Thai art, Uab was able to fuse the techniques, principles and aesthetics of both cultures, resulting in his own beautiful and unique style.

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