Navin Rawanchaikul’s art is known for its big and impactful appearance and humor, which is used to explore notions of cultural identity and national boundaries.
Places of Rebirth was inspired by the artist’s first visit to Pakistan; the birthplace of his ancestors who, like millions of others, fled the region due to the partition in 1947. Painted in the style of the Indian movie posters which fascinated Rawanchaikul as a child, it narrates his family’s migration to Thailand and his own multi-cultural identity.
Rawanchaikul appears in the painting with his Japanese wife and their daughter in a local taxi or tuk-tuk on a journey across the Wagah border that divides India and Pakistan. Alongside him are family and friends, people he encountered in Pakistan, and historical images. Peppered with upbeat and optimistic messages of brotherhood, the artwork stands in poignant contrast to these nations’ present divide.
Places of Rebirth has been newly acquired for the Guggenheim’s collection through the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund as part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Another Navin Rawanchaikul work, Navins of Bollywood (2006), was acquired by UBS and is part of the UBS Art Collection.
Explore highlights of the UBS Art Collection online.