A hand-painted poster for ‘Apocalypse Now’ by legendary Thailand-based graphic designer and artist Tongdee Panumas. You can see the image above in more detail (and trust me, you want to), here.
Thailand-based artist Tongdee Panumas signs his posters using only his first name. Panumas is a legend when it comes to the world of hand-painted movie posters.
Until the late 1990s, film distribution companies in Thailand would routinely commission artists from their own country to hand-paint homegrown original movie posters using stills of memorable characters and scenes from the films as the basis for their renderings. During a span of three decades starting in the 1970s Tongdee churned out a seemingly impossible number of movie posters for classic American films such as Escape from New York, The Terminator, The Silence of the Lambs as well as a myriad of Thai movies, too.
Panumas’ posters are exuberant, appearing as though they could at any moment leap off the page thanks to Tongdee’s masterful use of color, composition, and realism. The artist is also adept at utilizing every inch of his canvas—such as his jaw-droppingly epic poster for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam war film masterpiece, Apocalypse Now which is pictured in all its hypnotic glory at the top of this post. In 2012, an exhibit called Eyegasm: The Art of Thai Movie Posters showcased Tongdee’s posters as well as those of another wildly talented Thai graphic artist, Somboonsuk Niyomsiri (aka “Piak Poster”) in order to help shine a light on the art form that has sadly experienced a huge decline over the last decade or so.
From what I was able to ascertain it appears that Tongdee is a rather private individual, as there is little to nothing written about him on the Internet. According to the beautifully curated blog Film on Paper written by interaction designer Eddie Shannon, in 2016 he was able to commission Tongdee to create an exceptional poster based on the 1987 film Predator, giving nearly all creative control to the artist. The result is nothing short of fantastic. Of course, the admission for entry somewhat suggests that you too could perhaps engage the services of Tongdee to create the movie poster of your dreams. Some of the images that follow are awesomely NSFW.
The incredible ‘Predator’ commission done by Tongdee for Eddie Shannon in 2016.
More after the jump…