Montien Boonma (Thailand, b. 1953–2000) studied art in Bangkok, Rome, and Paris and began exhibiting internationally in the late 1980s. Initially trained as a painter, he was best known for his sculptures and installations, which combined traditional and organic substances (i.e. herbs and spices, wax, gold leaf, and lotus petals) with cement, steel, and other industrial materials. Boonma consistently searched for alternatives to conventional expressions in Thai art and looked critically at 20th-century art movements, including Fluxus and Arte Povera. Many of his works were metaphors for hope, faith, and healing, symbolizing religious devotion and the possibilities of connection with the spiritual realm. Boonma received a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council in 1995 to observe contemporary art activities and meet with artists and curators in the United States.
Courtesy of the Asian Cultural Council