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The London Art Fair

The London Art Fair is Britain’s first, and largest, exhibition of contemporary modern art in all its forms.This year the Art Fair, taking place from 18-22 January at the Business Design Centre in Islington, features works from 120 major galleries in the UK. It includes an entry by Scream for the first time, and the major attraction here is the pop art of Pakpoom Silaphan, a Thai native with a strong bond to England.

Silaphan uses a ‘canvas’ of tin or enamel advertising signs juxtaposed with portraits of artists and others whose work has influenced his own art. It’s a sort of connective tissue between the visual media and an eclectic series of high-profile human figures such as John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Barack Obama, Che Guevara, John-Michel Basquist and the Queen.

In this exhibition his latest sculpture appears; an aluminum representation of a paper plane that stands seven feet tall, called ‘The Identified Flying Object’. It appears to be made from the painting ‘Whaam’ by Lichtenstein, and uses that well-known work instead of the artist’s portrait to create his (Silaphan’s) distinctive imagery.

The sculpture was the inspiration for another aspect of Silaphan’s art that’s on show, in this case a series of paper planes in a ‘cut-out-and-keep’ format. In co-operation with Stylist Magazine, the artist created five designs that can be downloaded from the magazine’s website, printed and folded to make paper airplanes. Collectors who bring all five of the planes to Scream’s stand at the Fair will get a certificate of authentication.

Pakpoom Silaphan says of his art that it is a way to “. . .see everything as a symbol and symbolise everything”. To him, the airplane is a symbol of ambition and progress; as with art in general, the viewer draws his or her own inferences and conclusions.

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