Bangkok Post, August 31, 2012
Kathmandu Photo Gallery presents “Disco Buddha”, a photographic exhibition by Kamthorn Paowattanasuk whose latest collection of digitally-altered surrealist pop photographs reflect what Thai Buddhist temples really contribute to the life of the common man.
Eighteen folk art icons of celebrated Thai monks, crudely fashioned from cement, their imperfections covered up by gold paint to make them worship-worthy, are placed in front of various backdrops _ from your basic angels and fairies, heaven and hell, to ATM machines and monks’ begging bowls _ in order to juxtapose pleas for divine help with contemporary lust and desire for wealth, job promotion, love and sexual charisma.
Hallucinatory and mesmerising, hysterical and incisive, the visions of “Disco Buddha” are a comical summary of rising public criticisms of Thai Buddhist monasteries today.
They are the follow-up act to “Holy Alloy, Pearly Gates” of 2008, Kamthorn’s photographs of the environs, bling decorations and atmosphere of temples on Bangkok’s outskirts.