Passing through the veil

By , June 27, 2011 5:14 pm


Bruce Gundersen, a New York artist, exhibits “Passing through the Veil”, a collection of digital photomontages depicting Southeast Asian’s best known folktales. The title “Passing through the Veil” is a metaphor for Gundersen’s part anthropology, part art and part spiritual journey into Thailand’s rich culture. As an outsider, he relies on literature, interviews and reflections on temple murals to deepen his understanding and respect for these folktales and their resonating universal power in modern society. This exhibit includes his most recent series Sang Thong, as well as Mae Nak, Khun Chang Khun Phaen and a parade of supernaturals, along with several DVDs.

“I am fascinated with the interplay between the supernatural and corporeal worlds filled with characters that are vividly depicted through the arts. My work reflects a contemporary approach to an ancient codified language of gesture and storytelling.”

Bruce Gundersen’s work presents complex visual ambiguities, perceptually bridging painting and photography. For the past ten years his artistic endeavors have involved photographing and digitally narrating Southeast Asian folklore. After in-depth research, Gundersen travels to Asia with storyboards of scenes to be depicted. After photographing local actors, dancers and lay people along with architecture, landscapes and textual surfaces, Gundersen starts to assemble his images. These visual elements become digital building blocks, which will be layered into photomontages. Back in New York, Gundersen layers these photographic and sampled images meticulously erasing and softening these bits of information to bring a sense of impermanence and the passing of time. The overall effect is somewhere between photography and painting, paying homage to the indigenous visual folk vernacular with a feeling of antiquity. However the techniques, digital capturing, the application of sampling, and printing are all contemporary.

About the Artist
Gundersen is an interdisciplinary artist exhibiting in a variety of established venues. Gundersen’s interest in universal cultural legends and myths has been the basis for most of his artistic expression. After receiving his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he has successfully worked in many mediums. Whether it is performance art (GUNDERSEN/CLARK from 1970-1980) or diorama sculptures (HURRICANE MOUNTAIN INDUSTRIES 1985-2001) or filmmaking (FISH-GUN FILMS 2000 -), they all share the fascination with interpreting universal stories. Gundersen has exhibited in Bangkok at Kathmandu Photo Gallery, The Playground and the Patravadi Theater Gallery. The Asian Cultural Council funded the research and work created in Laos.” Finding my inspiration in the belief systems and vernacular art from the ancient/modern cultures of Southeast Asia, I hope to regenerate them through the modernity of digital arts”.


Opening Reception

Thursday June 30, 2011, 6 – 8 pm




A talk by BRUCE GUNDERSEN about “Passing through the Veil: Reflections on the Legends of Southeast Asia”

Wednesday July 13, 2011, 1.30 – 4.00 pm


For more information, please contact:
Siriwat Pokrajen (PR Officer)
Tel: 081-629-0457, email:,

The Art Center
7th Fl, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University
Phyathai Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 0-2218-2965, Fax: 0-2218-2907
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Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays


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