Nirand, Pichai (1936--) By Baker, Catherine
Pichai Nirand is a Thai painter who worked using expressionist and surrealist styles in his depiction of Buddhist themes. In 1956 Pichai attended a local art school, the School of Fine Arts. Between 1956 and 1959 he conducted his training at the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture at Silpakorn University, later gaining an international reputation and winning many awards. Pichai has been involved in teaching since graduating and continues to the present day in this capacity. The media Pichai employs are varied, including oil on canvas as well as mixed media. His works are influenced by a Buddhist philosophy and his practice aims to bring personal inner serenity via an exploration of Buddhist doctrine. Many themes are explored in his works, including the cycle of life, the Buddhist concept of personal self-enlightenment, and the idea of impermanence. In many works he uses symbolism to reflect the ethereal presence of a Buddha. Buddha footprints, which are often traditionally portrayed on the walls of Thai Buddhist temples, denote this presence. Images of lotus flowers in different stages of bloom are delicately detailed to depict cycles of life. Nature, in the form of trees and butterflies, is represented as part of a complex and in-depth expression and reflection on the nature of life and spirituality within a Buddhist ideology.