Tantisuk, Sawasdi (1925--) By Galloway, Charlotte
Born in Thonburi, Thailand, Sawasdi Tantisuk is a contemporary of Tawee Nandakwang; both artists were trained at Silpakorn University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. As a prominent figure in early Thai modernism, Tantisuk favored watercolor, as its unforgiving and immediate characters resonated with his approach to art practice, which drew on the Buddhist philosophy wherein each action—in this case, brushstroke—cannot be undone. Tantisuk’s early works were in the impressionist genre, but following his four years in Rome, his work became more abstracted and geometric as he absorbed some of the major trends in Western art, with color and texture being characteristics of many oil paintings of the 1960s. As his career progressed, abstraction remained his favored approach to painting, though he maintained some realist elements in his watercolor outdoor scenes. Tantisuk used color to evoke emotion in his works, depicting both the serenity and wonder of the natural world and the bustle of Thai urban life. A consistent painter, he has received many awards throughout his career and has remained involved with the art profession. He received an Honorary PhD from Silpakorn University in 1991, and was Thailand’s National Artist (painting) that same year.