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Museum: Background Information


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
Udomsak Krisanamis was born in Thailand in 1966 and did undergraduate studies in art at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1991 he moved to the United States for graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he now lives and works in New York. To make How Deep is the Ocean?, Krisanamis pasted thousands of newspaper strips onto a fabric support and then inked out all letters except the spaces inside Os and zeros. This created a dense pattern of circles and ovals. Although the artwork is abstract in that it does not directly represent any real object, it has strong associations with the artist's experiences. Like many foreign students, Krisanamis had studied English but was not fluent when he arrived in the United States. He read the newspaper every day to improve his English, marking his progress as he read. He would cross out the words he knew and leave unknown words exposed, later looking them up in the dictionary. As his English improved, he gradually covered more of the newspapers with ink until only tiny bits of text remained. Krisanamis adapted this process of learning English into his process of making paintings.
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Source: Udomsak Krisanamis, How Deep is the Ocean? (1998), from the website Global Positioning: Exploring Contemporary World Art, 2003.
Rights: Copyright 2003 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009