Press Release : Solo Exhibition by Natee Utarit





3 – 17 0ctober 2017

National Gallery of Indonesia

Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 14

Central Jakarta, Indonesia


Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) and National Gallery of Indonesia will be co-presenting the exhibition of contemporary Thai painter, Natee Utarit. Entitled Optimism Is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces will exhibit 7 artworks from the artist’s Optimism is Ridiculous series, which began in 2012 and has been featured in various galleries in Asia. Supported by the Royal Thai Embassy in Jakarta, the exhibition is scheduled to run from 3 – 17 October 2017 at National Gallery of Indonesia, Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 14, Central Jakarta, Indonesia. The Opening Reception will take place on Tuesday, 3 October 2017 at 7pm.


The Altarpieces is Utarit’s critique of Western modernism. It is a satire of modernism and capitalism, and tells of its seduction of local customs and traditions. Consisting of a total of 12 works, these works are composed of multiple panels forming a diptych, triptych, or polyptych, following the tradition of classical religious paintings with elaborate frames and settings.


Utarit’s interest in Western religious painting stems from his appropriative approach to classical art. “In my paintings here I offer an interpretation of the world and various beliefs that appear in the Western world from my own Asian perspective,” he says.



Optimism Is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces is a traveling exhibition with National Gallery of Indonesia as its second stop. It was presented in Ayala Museum in Makati City, Philippines as its first stop in February 2017. After its run in Jakarta, the exhibition is scheduled to head on to Singapore.


Utarit will hold a Press Conference and Artist Talk on the exhibition at the Seminar Room, National Gallery of Indonesia on Tuesday, 3 October, 2017 at 5 PM.








Natee Utarit (b. 1970, Bangkok) studied at the College of Fine Art in 1987 and graduated in Graphic Arts at the Painting and Sculpture Faculty at Silpakorn University, both in Bangkok, Thailand in 1991. His work is part of many renowned collections, such the Bangkok University, Bangkok, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, as well as private collections in Europe and Asia. Utarit’s multifaceted practice focuses on the exploration of the medium of painting connecting it with photography and classical Western art. Light and perspective are some of the elements the artist chose to work with, focusing on painting as a means to explore image making. His complex pictures, juggle wide-ranging metaphors usually in the format of the traditional still life, allude to Thailand’s current social and political landscapes.




National Gallery of Indonesia is an art museum institution and center for modern and contemporary art which aims at protecting, developing, making a proper use of artworks as a culturaleducation facility and recreation, as well as a media for the development of creativity and art appreciation. Officially opened on 8th May 1999, it now under the Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia. For more information, call +6234833954, email or visit





Richard Koh Fine Art has been in operation since 2005 and is regarded as a pioneer for introducing Asian contemporary art to Malaysia and the region. Promoting an adventurous roster of emerging and established artists, the gallery regularly mounts exhibitions locally and abroad with a commitment to emerging practices and challenging media.


For further information about the exhibition, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Ho at +6019 330 5112 or the gallery at / +603 2095 3300.