Thawan Duchanee

Battle of Mara

1939-2014 Thailand

In the middle of the huge monochrome canvas, there is a face of Buddha in meditation, surrounded by diabolical Mara (evil spirits). Their snarling face is depicted furiously, and the physical beauty violently. The simple drawing methods in black and white intensify this vehement force even further. Nevertheless, Thawan Duchanee's works, which at times include sexual depiction, were regarded as a blasphemy against Buddhism and developed into one big shocking event. That is to say, in 1971, soon after returning from Holland where he had studied for five years, many of his works were torn by more than eighty students. In his internal world, such abominably oppressive depictions coexist – instead of breaking up – with the serene state of enlightenment. The shock created at that time is fully conveyed through this piece of work which retains his ever vigorous depicting power. (NT)

Work description

Title Battle of Mara
Name of the Artist Thawan Duchanee
Year 1989
Medium oil, enamel on canvas
Size 176.2×285.0 cm