Based in Bangkok from 2004, Val first experimented with clay, moving onto bronze shortly after. She worked with Thai foundries from early on, producing sculptures that defied and challenged the medium being used. The slender characters and translucent staircases that have become symbolic of her body of work, elude gravity and have an inherently weightless quality. In 2016, Val discovered yet a new dimension to her creative practice by installing several of her bronze sculptures on the seabed near Koh Tao island in southern Thailand. Seeing her works underwater in an environment where water and light continuously question one’s perception of reality, her next destination as an artist suddenly became very evident and led her all the way to Italy.
In Murano, Venice, the art of glass-blowing has been passed down from master to apprentice since the beginning of the 12th century. In the island’s antique glass factories, Val embarked on a journey that was to last several months and was her initiation into works on glass, the tenth material she has used to date. Working in collaboration with the master glass-blowers, she submitted her drawings and was involved in the process of inserting bronze pieces into the glass, injecting potassium powder and shaping the works. Whilst very guarded about the secrets of their craft, the masters in Murano welcomed Val into their fellowship. She rapidly realized that working with glass, contrary to bronze, didn’t allow for any mistakes. The process of shaping glass takes only a few seconds and initial ideas can take a radical turn in a fraction of time.
Once completed, the glass works with bronze insertions were sent back to Thailand where Val added new elements, completing these unique pieces in her studio. These works are a symbol of the trajectory she went on as an artist – clay led her to bronze and water led her to glass. “Creating is opening doors within oneself”, said Val. Whilst the medium kept changing and her artistic journey took her to different destinations, Val always remained true to her quest to give materiality to voids and reinforce the harmony between man and his environment.