Join Us for a zen brush painting demonstration with exhibiting artist Vichai Chinalai

Saturday, April 13, 2019 2 - 3 pm


To Upcycle is to creatively reuse or transform something into new materials of better quality.

So the question is: Can Zen be upcycled?

Raised in Thailand in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism, Vichai began to explore Zen Buddhism in the last fifteen years through study, meditation and painting. As he paints, he goes into a zen-like state. Even so, it may require creating 20 or 30 paintings before he is satisfied with one. This makes every painting part of an evolution, and every imperfection the impetus to move forward/progress/perfect. The goal becomes to recreate and repurpose in a state of mindfulness: to upcycle.

Vichai is self taught.  He states that having no teacher or school requiring conformity gave him the freedom to be unlimited in his use of brushes, paints and technique. When he first started to paint, his interpretation of Zen was to use black ink in only one rapid stroke without hesitation, and done.  Then, in 2015, Vichai was invited to be artist-in-residence in Chiangmai, Thailand, at the studio of well-known Thai artist, Thaiwijit Puengkasemsomboon. Thaiwijit started to add colorful shapes to Vichai’s black and white paintings and Vichai painted his black strokes over Thaiwijit’s colorful work.  Their collaboration resulted in two shows in Thailand: Unmasked in 2016 and Masked 2017.  This expanded Vichai’s notion of unlimited, and consequently the concept of Zen Upcycled was born.

Vichai Chinalai   Lopha  (Greed), 2019.  Acrylic paint on handmade paper.  26” x 39"

Vichai Chinalai

Lopha (Greed), 2019.

Acrylic paint on handmade paper.

26” x 39"

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