Experimentation whether in art or science is a field of infinite possibilities that leaves one in a state of endless curiosity and fascination. The fusion of science and art, however, has led to the invention of techniques and masterpieces that have opened up a world of possibilities. While some innovative techniques are popularly practiced, some of them are making their way into history. Artiste Culture was honoured to interview Metasit Bunaikbuth, a Thailand-based printmaking artist who sought the field of experimentation and practices a rare printmaking technique that inspires people around the world.
Through his work, Metasit attempts to blend science and art in an effort to communicate curiosity and exploration. His work is an asymmetrical coalescence of geometric shapes, forms, colours and textures that are imprinted on paper with the use of different printmaking techniques. His works inspire imagination, and individuality and welcome new possibilities and ideas by leaving behind calculated yet exquisite abstract imprints.
While experimentation is the criterion for his works, Metasit is also an environmentally conscious printmaker who aims to use methods that exclude the use of acids and chemicals. In spite of the fact that these processes provide more opportunities for printmakers, he believes they are unsafe for users and harmful to the environment. Processes such as etching involve the use of acid which may have been the printmaker’s preferred mould-making process, he has however replaced it with the implementation of the collagraph technique in his work which he finds safer to work with. This is evident in most of his works and while etching can make way for a plethora of tricks and designs, the alternative method has not limited his experimentation process. His experiments and the mistakes he made along the way, have taught him and helped him discover new and alternative methods for printmaking, he claims. The printmaker looks at his journey from a positive lens which he believes helps him progress further in his field.
In addition to the collagraph technique, the artist also employs monotype and monoprint techniques, which enable him to produce limited edition prints with unique textures. Through his limited edition prints, Metasit aims to communicate how every print is different from each other and cannot be replicated since each print holds a value of its own and the beauty that comes with the process.
The monoprint technique is known to be a rare printmaking technique in Thailand which Metasit aspires to preserve through his practice and motivate others to keep the technique alive in his country. As an emerging printmaking artist, Metasit encounters challenges since the printmaking industry in Thailand, he claimed is at an unfortunate stage of decline which has led to many printmakers migrating abroad for more opportunities and exposure. He believes that if art associations were to offer support, opportunities and exposure to printmakers, it would inspire a generation of potential printmakers who would successfully lead the industry in the country.
In addition, Thai printmakers are expected to create prints with due attention to intricate details and designs, concepts and diligence in the work. Abstract prints or prints influenced by European or American techniques are a rarity and not often valued in Thailand. In contrast, Metasit desires to change the context of the printmaking industry. Furthermore, he aims to improve safety in printmaking practices by someday practising a water printing method called ‘Marbling’ that generates beautiful patterns while being eco-friendly.
While his personal ambition is to continue enjoying learning, experimenting and creating new works, his practice also contributes to the maintenance of the technique in Thailand whilst advocating for safer and environmentally friendly usage of techniques which unequivocally motivates aspiring printmakers all around the world who will serve to be the foundation of the industry in the coming future.