Since childhood, Patcharaporn Chaiwong (b. 1991) has been obsessed with dogs. Heartbroken by the treatment inflicted on stray dogs, she started to take an interest in them and came to understand their daily struggles and miseries. These dogs became her heroes and after studying art at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, Patcharaporn decided to draw attention to these lonesome characters haunting the streets of so many countries around the world through her works.
Combining influences of Giacometti and Arte Povera, she sculpts life-sized dogs from used rice bags and elements taken from discarded toys, lovingly stitching each together by hand. The assembly of her animals hints at their wounds in real life, from broken limbs to soulful eyes and thin bodies that remind us of the scarcity of their meals. Their demeanour is so authentic that often collectors mistake them for real dogs.
Presented in pairings or small groups, her dog families resemble our own families and we cannot help but be deeply affected by her depiction of their destiny. By adopting one, Patcharaporn believes we will reconsider our attitudes towards these beings in real life, and look beyond their dirt, smell and illnesses to realize that they only need some food, love and shelter. The emotion she conveys through her creations touches the soul, evidenced by the reaction of audiences to them: fascination, despair, and often a need to keep looking back at them to check if the sculptures are real - as if the viewer would like to make sure, one last time, that these dogs are not alive, and don’t require some attention and answers.