Alumna Wanrudee Buranakorn’s solo exhibition, “Re-enactment,” opens July 2 in the UTSA Terminal 136 gallery at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
“Re-enactment” is the first of three bodies of work for three exhibitions Buranakorn produced during her sabbatical leave last year. The second exhibition will be a collaboration with artist, Rose M. Barron, scheduled at Kibbee Gallery in Atlanta in October 2015. The third, “From the Secret World,” will be exhibited at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire, WI, where Buranakorn lives and teaches at the University of Wisconsin.
Buranakorn received the MFA in photography in 2002 (she received the MFA in Book Arts from UA in 1997). She is an associate professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
“This series of composite photographs portrays figures in places that resemble narratives of fictionalized self-representation. They portray physical beauty, desire, melancholy, dreams, and contemplation as I wander through new places, revisit the past, and explore my present. I photograph female figures, nature, places, and old things for their physical appearance and for the aura and potential stories they carry, their own histories and sensations of former occupants and passers-by, myself included. At each location, I sense narratives infused in every brick and window frame, every leaf and tree, and in the air around them, collected through time and memory. Capturing these images may retrieve stories I left behind while I lived there or inspire new stories. Some images derive from pure imagination and my perception of the scenes. Some images are reminiscent of my past as I challenge my memory to create its own stories. They are reenactments of moments, real or imagined.
“The narratives composed in the formats of triptych and diptych join disparate images so as to assemble fragments in my mind. In each set, juxtaposing images enhance and concur with one another in harmony to tell one story. The formal qualities of the images draw viewers into aesthetic experience, while figures, objects, and settings suggest stories that have potential to gain symbolic meaning. Clothing can impersonate a lifeless being. Shadow encroaching signifies darkness or danger. A mirror may reflect a character’s other entity. Doorways may represent portals in or out. Female legs suggest sensuality and vulnerability. Unrealistic colors evoke imaginary worlds within states of mind of characters.
“Through photography the possibilities of my expression extend beyond the mere rendering of physical world.”
Buranakorn’s work employs varieties of alternative printing processes including archival pigment inkjet print, traditional gelatin silver print, silver liquid emulsion (Liquid Light), cyanotype, van dyke, kallitype, and platinum. Her work has been exhibited in Thailand and in a number of galleries and museums around the US. Recent exhibits have appeared in Luhring Augustine Gallery and Sara Meltzer Gallery in Chelsea (NY), ARC Gallery and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago (IL), Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences (GA), Janet Carson Gallery (WI), Hardin Center for Cultural Arts (AL), Castell Photography Gallery and Asheville BookWorks Gallery in Asheville (NC), Flash Gallery (CO), and Fayetteville Museum of Art (NC). She also exhibited a retrospective show at the Seven Art Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Her artist’s books are in the collection of University of Alabama’s Book Arts program and the Hoole Rare Books Special Collections Library. Her limited-edition book of platinum images of Buddhism in Thailand by Ben Simmons is in the private collection of the King of Thailand.