Can humans learn something from the life of flowers ?


 Naraphat Sakarthornsap   

What makes the perfect flower…or is there even such a thing?

In term of botany, the “Perfect Flower” is when the specific flower has both the stamen and the pistil in the same flower. This is what makes it a perfect flower. However, for my art piece, a perfect flower indicates those with a gender diversity that is still not acceptable in today’s society. Society tends to see it as a mental abnormality, when actually, we are all humans with feelings.

As a flower battles for sunlight, do you think that it is concerned with competing with other flowers, or simply focused on its own journey?

Each flower has a different way of growth; some need sunlight as well as water while some need moist conditions. On the other hand, some are unable to grow if not situated in water. This is what creates diversity, as it is not just physical appearance, but the identity of each type of flower that makes it beautiful and special in its own ways. When considering the question stated, of whether flowers compete for sunlight in order to grow, I would like to approach it by replacing “flower” with “human”; we could also cover these words with “society”. I believe each one of us would have an indefinite answer, however, these answers would also differ depending on the individual’s development and their personal perceptions.

In your project, The Perfect Flowers, you explain that people never separate flowers by their genders and go on to say this is something we should learn from. What else can we learn from flowers, and our general conduct towards to them?

For my work with the “Perfect Flower” collection, I took a picture of a Hibiscus that I found in various different regions within Thailand. I then printed these images onto paper in order to show them to several people. I also made one more Video Art piece yet no one I encountered said that the Hibiscus was a “gay flower”, a “homosexual flower”, a “tomboy flower”, or even a “lesbian flower”. Everyone identified the flower with its traditional name, “Hibiscus”. This made me reflect back to humans and our daily lives, particularly as to why we attempt to stereotype humans by name-calling those referred to by gender diversity, purely to make fun of them. The person who asked the question will never understand the feelings of the listener when asked, “Hey, are you gay?” I think it is a complete waste of time to find answers to such questions as this, and I do not think that this awful question will produce any answer that will create unity between societies. If art can represent a group of people who are in sorrow due to questions that stereotype them on their gender diversity, I would like this artwork to show the human race that we do not need to segregate each other in terms of a gender which we are unable to choose. This is because, in the end, we are all human beings with feelings and emotions, words that you say for a quick laugh, could lead to a mental complex that can live with someone for the rest of their life.

Sometimes we do not necessarily need to tell the world what we are facing directly, but if you are trying to understand my feelings and are trying to find answers through my pieces, it may make the artist and the audience create a silent conversation within the medium of art.
— Naraphat Sakarthornsap

People often say ‘a woman is like a flower’, do you agree with this? And what similarities and differences do we have with flowers?

From my own perspective, every one of us, regardless of gender, has some part of our lives that relates to that of a flower; flowers do not have to be compared specifically to females. The differentiation of physical appearances in flowers, including their colours, scents, or origins, creates the values associated with each special type of flower. This can be compared to the diversity of human-beings of different identities, thus applying to gender, social status, physical appearance, or even skin colour. All of these, for me, are reasons for which nature made humans, to learn the differences in each other, instead of segregating one another into separate groups.

What role does colour play in your work? How do these vibrant colours help to get your message across and what is this message?

Most of my works have colourful tones, however, in reality, I want to express my deepest sorrow which is covered by external appearance. This is to make it look colourful and lively when the truth is really deep inside of me and broken into many pieces.

In your bio, you explain that secrets are neatly hidden underneath what is presented. As an artist what is the novelty of displaying something to the audience that only you can decipher?   Do you wish for others to discover the hidden meanings?

 Several of my art pieces have been embedded with several hidden messages, if you read this interview, you may realize that sometimes I want to express my deepest sorrows yet I actually display a colourful photograph. Sometimes we do not necessarily need to tell the world what we are facing directly, but if you are trying to understand my feelings and are trying to find answers through my pieces, it may make the artist and the audience create a silent conversation within the medium of art. This is rather than making an announcement about the issues directly. Therefore, those who are involved in my work, although they do not one hundred percent understand it, they do try to understand it, and for me, this is the ultimate goal. My “secrets” that are hidden within my art, will eventually prove meaningless as the audience has become actively involved, and part, of the works. That is what is real and what matters.

In your project ‘Unfreedom’ you have captured the feathers in such a way as to make them appear heavy, was this intentional? And why did you choose to do this…how does this relate to ‘Unfreedom’?

 In this project, I would like to illustrate my own mental conditions, as I was in my greatest sorrow; in the image of the feathers, this is displayed, particularly through the colour scheme of only white and black. The colours represent the happiness and sadness that occurs consistently and repeatedly, yet it also reflects my identity, which is always limited in a world where people think that everyone has freedom of action and thought. It also highlights identity, as the truth is that freedom is a limit set by society. Therefore, I use feathers to turn a photo into art. It was actually not a ‘bird feather’, but it was a feather of a ‘domestic fowl’, which was raised by humans until the flying process was no longer needed; this results in the wing muscles being unable to work so it becomes a “fowl with wings to fly to freedom, but one that can no longer fly”.