The Gold Award 2018 adds a feast of colour, ideas and energy

Published on 27 June 2018

Bundit Puangthong EDM header Media centre.jpg

$50,000 Gold Award
18 August – 7 October 2018

A joint initiative of Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board, Rockhampton Art Gallery and Rockhampton Regional Council

Bundit Puangthong’s vivid paintings bring together traditional Thai art, American pop art and contemporary street art in an attempt to strike a balance between the cultures in which he lives.  

Utilising a range of techniques from stencils to detailed, academic brushwork and an evocative colour palette, Puangthong creates texturally layered paintings that highlight his interest in American pop and Australian street art.

His work has been exhibited across Australia and Internationally and he has been a finalist for the Sovereign Art Prize in Hong Kong. Now Bundit Puangthong has been invited to The Gold Award 2018. Designed as an invitational award to consider the best in contemporary painting while simultaneously building a substantive collection, the most outstanding work or works by an artist will be awarded the $50,000 cash prize, as judged by Simon Elliott, Deputy Director, Collection and Exhibitions, at QAGOMA.

“I don’t want to control the story or the meaning in my work”, Puangthong says, “because there doesn’t have to be a specific meaning to a painting.” Each work beckons the viewer, offering an infinite chance of connection in a shifting structure of desire and faith. With a Surrealist’s penchant for strange beauty, and the sensual, graphic line of a consummate draftsman, Puangthong’s work allows the viewer to lose and re-craft orientation to hard and fast notions of duality between East and West, high and popular culture.

“Being invited to be part of the Rockhampton Art Gallery’s The Gold Award is such a great honour.  I have a long history with Queensland through Edwina Corlette Gallery in Brisbane, and have always felt so supported by it’s arts community. I am very thankful.” Said Bundit Puangthong

One of the richest art prizes in Australia, the Award has been made possible through a generous bequest to the then Rockhampton Art Gallery Trust from the Estate of Moya Gold (1928-2000), a philanthropist who understood the joys and opportunities the arts and education can bring to a community and society.

The Gold Award over its three presentations has seen between eight to ten invited artists  submit a body of work as part of the Award, creating a fulsome and rich exhibition that offers a coherent vision of an artist’s practice.

‘Bundit Puangthong’s perceptive search through worldwide cultural imagery is grounded in traditional technique and the buzz of the street. He’s a bit of a flaneur, mixing new meaning from sources like religious iconography, contemporary corporate advertising and the personal, internal dialogue that accompanies studio work. His dreamlike compositions draw on childhood experience stenciling puppet theatre backdrops with his grandfather, as well as years of formal study in Thailand and Australia.’ said gallerist Edwina Corlette

The winning work (or works) is acquired for Rockhampton Art Gallery’s collection.

In the inaugural year, 2012, the winner was Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Sally Gabori) for Dibirdibi Country, and in 2014, Imants Tillers won the award for Epiphany and in 2016, The Gold Award was awarded to Jon Cattapan for the work titled Raft City No.4.

The Gold Award is the direct and active method in which Rockhampton Art Gallery builds its contemporary painting collection, with works in addition to the winning work also been  acquired to the Gallery’s collection by acquisition funds supported by Rockhampton Regional Council funds, and through public donation. These artists include Del Kathryn Barton, Ben Quilty, Jason Benjamin, Kate Shaw and Julie Fragar.