Originally from the arid and impoverished northeast of Thailand, Vorasan Supap chooses to focus on the lifestyle of boat people along the Chaopraya River – a tribute to a disappearing lifestyle.

In the beginning, Vorasan’s family did not support his choice of a career in art and asked him to quit school to get a job. However, this determined young artist came to Bangkok to study art at Silpakorn University and found the necessary support to build the foundations for a soaring career. To pay his study fees, Vorasan worked painting posters and was awarded scholarships, an early indication of his talent.

After receiving a BFA degree in Painting from Silpakorn in 1989, Vorasan became an art instructor at Rangsit University. In 1992, he spent time in Singapore on a scholarship from Shann’s Fine Art and held his first solo exhibition, entitled “Thai Life”. He was offered an additional year of scholarship work but returned to Bangkok to present another solo “Lifestyle by the Riverside” in 1993.

Why boats? "Because in Si Sa Ket where I come from, there aren’t any. I lived in a little rented house on the river with three friends when I first came to Bangkok to study and the attachment has been there ever since. I also love the freedom and mobility that house boats allow".

Vorasan’s technically striking works are full of rich detail and brilliant color. Concentrating on light and shadow in the paintings, the artist paints key subjects in bright or light colors. Working in a figurative style with local content. Vorasan includes realistic elements in his depictions of life on the wooden barges at rest. In this way, his works become historical documents; the viewer can join a family sharing dinner under a single lamp – maybe shabby and tired, but a calm, beautiful image.

Travel inspires Vorasan, so in 1994 he chose to tour England, Scotland and Switzerland, spending time in art museums, studying works by famous European artists and western architecture - churches and sculptures in particular. Impressed by cathedrals with stained-glass windows and classical Greek or Roman figures, Vorasan further experimented in his own artworks. He found that, “Public buildings and sculptures are art forms that record events and inspire the public imagination.”

Exposed to various belief systems and customs, Vorasan was prompted to change direction and develop artistic techniques with a renewed appreciation of color and form. His apparent affinity for the color purple is linked to a sense of mystery.

Vorasan feels, “Artists must keep moving, otherwise they can’t maintain originality in their works. While rooted in Thai spirituality and Asian life, Vorasan’s work reflects his international experience and understanding of the universal values of simplicity and sharing.