Mirroring, Multiplying: The Start and End Points of the Tuklas Program, Manila

The year-end exhibition of the Manila-based Eskinita Art Gallery is a culmination of its Tuklas Program, an annual mentorship project which aims to hone the talents of young artists.

Art Radar checks out this new mentorship program whose creators are Filipino social realist painters, Alfredo Esquillo and Renato Habulan.

Isko Andrade, ‘Altered: A Few Inches Bigger, A Little Less to Lose’, 2017, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Isko Andrade, ‘Altered: A Few Inches Bigger, A Little Less to Lose’, 2017, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Why come with a year-long mentorship program when a gallery could just stick with visiting artist studios and selecting pieces to include in their shows? The answer has to do with wanting to pay things forward, which brings us to the remarkable inspirations behind the mentorship programme in focus: the Tuklas (Filipino term for “discovery”) Program of the recently established artist-run Eskinita Art Gallery.

Created by the gallery’s founder Alfredo Esquillo and its resident curator Renato Habulan, the Tuklas Program mirrors experiences and opportunities that the two social realist painters have gone through in their many years of art-making.

Most notable, is the lifelong mentee-mentor relationship that exists between the two, which Esquillo claims to have been very helpful in his career. “I entered college in 1989 and met Sir Ato (the nickname of Habulan) in 1991. Since 1991, he has been mentoring me,” says Esquillo as he smiles at the memory:

Hilig at natural sa kanya ang maging teacher (Teaching is his passion and something that’s natural for him). Everytime he asks me about my situation, he inserts some form of advice.  Yung pakunti-kunting sinasabi niya ay tumatanim. Feeling ko na tuwing kinakausap ko siya, solved na ang problema ko afterwards. (His advice, though given little-by-little, is engrained in you. I feel that everytime we would converse, all my problems are solved afterwards.)

Carlo de Laza, ‘The Cycle of Self-Doubt’, 2017, resin, 12 x 16 x 15.5 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Carlo de Laza, ‘The Cycle of Self-Doubt’, 2017, resin, 12 x 16 x 15.5 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Being an artist who has experienced first hand Habulan’s effective mentoring, Esquillo immediately agreed to the idea, suggested by his mentor and fellow-artist, of including the Tuklas Program in his gallery’s list of activities. As it turns out, the Tuklas Program is actually something that Habulan himself went through. In a video interview conducted by the Eskinita Art Gallery, Habulan reveals that the project is a revival of an awards programme that the Center for Advancement of Young Artists (CAYA) used to have. According to him, CAYA’s Tuklas Awards, which happened in the 1970s, was essential in launching the careers of many social-realist artists of his generation.

Upon seeing that not many talented and deserving artists are being given “good breaks” nowadays, Habulan thought it is only timely that the Tuklas be rebooted. Like the original programme, Eskinita Art Gallery’s Tuklas Program seeks young and promising artists and lets these artists go through a period of guidance. In this case, the eight artists chosen to be part of the first batch went through Saturday sessions in the gallery, wherein works were discussed and critiqued, certain techniques were improved, and artistic visions were helped clarified.

Michelle Ballesteros, ‘Faith Killer’, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Michelle Ballesteros, ‘Faith Killer’, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Continuity of Work

In order to see the development of the participating artists, they were granted a year-end group exhibition. This culmination also determines which four out of the eight artists will be awarded with sponsored solo shows at the gallery in 2018.

Esquillo spells out the implications of granting them solo exhibitions:

Ang observation kasi namin sa mga bata na sumasali ng painting contests ay ang daming nananalo. Ang gagaling! Pero ang mga contests kasi, paisa-isang pyesa lang iyan. So after sila manalo, marami ang nawawala rin. Kasi nga pagkatapos manalo at pagkatapos bigyan ng recognition, isang painting lang ang pinag-uusapan. (We have observed that when children join painting contests, many of them win. They are very talented, afterall! But it has to be noted that these contests reward you for only one work. So after their win, these young artists immediatelydisappear, too. The main reason for this is they keep dwelling on their winning painting.)

Marc Leo Maac, ‘ Lightstruck and Accidental Loss’, 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 96 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Marc Leo Maac, ‘ Lightstruck and Accidental Loss’, 2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 96 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Gusto naming masundan nila ang sarili nilang gawa. (We want them to follow through with their work),” he continues with a firm tone:

Gusto naming makapag-produce sila ng solo show o body of work na tight – yung kayang sabihin talaga ang message na gusto nilang sabihin. (We want them to come up with a solo show or a body of work that’s tight – something that’s able to really express what they really want to say as artists.)

Lawrence Cervantes, ‘Falling Woman on the Greenfields’, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Lawrence Cervantes, ‘Falling Woman on the Greenfields’, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

The Pioneer Eight

Diversity is greatly felt among eight artists who comprise the first batch of the Tuklas Program. A number of them, for instance, graduated from art school, while there is one who was encouraged by a pastor to start and pursue painting. There, too, is someone who greatly values being part of a collective and interacting, while another prefers to paint in isolation, which entails proactively not looking at the works of others. Despite these differences in beginnings and preferences, the eight – Isko Andrade, Michelle Ballesteros, Lawrence Cervantes, Denmark Dela Cruz, Carlo De Laza, Harry Mark Gonzales, Mark Leo Maac and Marvin Quizon – share the talent and passion for art-making and are extremely diligent and competitive at it, as noted by Esquillo.

What aspects of their work did the mentorship program address then? Esquillo cites strategies in composition, pursuing themes and a few technical aspects, such as brushstrokes and colour composition. “These can still be refined. May i-pupush pa. (Their work can still be improved),” states Esquillo.

Harry Mark Gonzales, ‘Inang Tubig’, 2017, cold cast marble, 28 x 12 x 8 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Harry Mark Gonzales, ‘Inang Tubig’, 2017, cold cast marble, 28 x 12 x 8 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

The mentoring also addresses issues such as time management, handling commissions and finding that “sense of comfort” when talking about one’s own artwork – issues which the founders have gone through, as the gallery founder confims:

May mirroring effect dito (Tuklas has a mirroring effect). Dito sa Tuklas, nababalikan ko ang dati kong experience na ngayong dinadaanan nila. (This program takes me back to old experiences –things that the eight are now experiencing themselves. It’s been a reminder of my past.)

Denmark Dela Cruz, ‘Tatsulok’, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Denmark Dela Cruz, ‘Tatsulok’, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Marvin Quizon, ‘The Eternal’, 2017, graphite and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Marvin Quizon, ‘The Eternal’, 2017, graphite and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 in. Image courtesy Eskinita Art Gallery.

Win-Win: the Next Steps

While Esquillo and Habulan intended to grant only four artists a fully sponsored solo show in 2018, it was announced last 8 December that all eight artists will be given one. “All eight of them deserve it!”, comments Esquillo after praising their evident talents and continuous perseverance. As a result, the eight will soon be joining Esquillo and Habulan’s studio sessions in Makiling, wherein they will receive mentorship from the established artists as they work their first solo exhibitions.

Andrade, Ballesteros, Cervantes, Dela Cruz, De Laza, Gonzales, Maac and Quizon will also participate in a residency in Casa San Pablo, one of the Eskinita Art Gallery’s many partners, which involves the Tuklas recipients in teaching the public school teachers. Other than helping them articulate their thoughts, Esquillo adds that “the purpose of this is to have a multiplier effect, so that many more can appreciate art more.”

Javelyn Ramos

1997

Tuklas Mentorship Program 2017 exhibition is on view from 25 November to 20 December 2017 at the Eskinita Art Gallery, 2nd Floor Makati Square, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City, 1230.

Related posts: Filipino, painting, emerging artistsresidencies, Manila

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Young-In Hong: stitching together the images of South Korean Post-War history

The relationship between fleeting impressions and eternal records is at the heart of “The Moon’s Trick”, Young-In Hong’s exhibition at Korean Cultural Centre UK.

The exhibition is haunted by photographic images, but, in most instances, only a trace is disclosed, a black outline of basic compositional elements, embroidered on snow-white cloth.

Installation View, "Young In Hong", Korean Cultural Centre UK, 21 November – 30 December 2017. Image courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK, Photo: Kii Studios, Photography & Film.

Installation View, “Young In Hong”, Korean Cultural Centre UK, 21 November – 30 December 2017. Image courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK, Photo: Kii Studios, Photography & Film.

Beside textile elements the exhibition “The Moon’s Trick” highlights the diversity of Young-In Hong’s practice that also embraces performance, sound installation and participatory collaboration. It is the translation between these modes that is important in this configuration of her work. Hong currently lives and works in Bristol, United Kingdom. Her work has been shown in many international venues including Grand Palais, Paris (2016), ICA London (2015), Gwangju Biennale (2014) and Plateau Museum, Seoul (2014).

Shadow of Us 2016, Viscose rayon threads, acrylic, flat gems (aluminium),mesh fabric, cotton, 73x100x4.5 cm. Photo by Andrew Stooke

Young-In Hong, ‘Shadow of Us’, 2016, viscose rayon threads, acrylic, flat gems (aluminium), mesh fabric, cotton, 73 x 100 x 4.5 cm. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Tapestry

Young-In’s use of embroidery highlights momentary experience by juxtaposing it with the drawn-out means of reproduction. The method draws attention to source images as complex productions of editing and selection. In the image-saturated contemporary world, she highlights the importance of context.

The implicitly slow work of tapestry also demands abbreviation, obliterating details and reducing everything to the homogeneous stitch. This effect can be appreciated in Burning Love (2014), the earliest and largest work included in the exhibition.

Burning Love 2014, Viscose rayon threads, cotton, 290 x 360 cm. Courtesy of artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK, Photo by Luke Andrew Walker​

Young-In Hong, ‘Burning Love’, 2014, viscose rayon threads, cotton, 290 x 360 cm. Photo: Luke Andrew Walker. Image courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK.

The subject is a view from a high vantage point of protests that took place in Seoul in 2008, following the government’s decision to end the ban on US beef imports ensuing from the 2003 ‘Mad Cow’ epidemic (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE). The view is transformed from a specific to a generalised image. The separate protesters become a mass of points, unspecific but each represented by individual gestures in needlework. The tapestry is not neatly finished, stray yarn punctuates the surface, and a broad border of raw canvas contains the image suggesting an incomplete project. In an interview with Jinnie Seo, Yong describes it as,

the immortalization of the feeling behind the subject and even of the collective feeling behind that event itself. (…) Through the candle demonstration of 2008 young girls revealed themselves to be active political subjects, not passive ones.

 Young-In Hong, 'Looking Down From the Sky', 2017, embroidered lines on hanbok fabric (water silk) stretched on wooden frames, 42 x 160 cm each. Photo: Luke Andrew Walker. Image courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK.

Young-In Hong, ‘Looking Down From the Sky’, 2017, embroidered lines on hanbok fabric (water silk) stretched on wooden frames, 42 x 160 cm each. Photo: Luke Andrew Walker. Image courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK.

Fireworks

Images from the media memorialise significant moments in recent Korean history in other works too. Partition (2016) is a tapestry made from a photograph of fireworks, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. The image is cut in two. The crowd of spectators in the lower half is gone, leaving only the picture of the firework display burning out in the sky. Split from its context, the picture is as suggestive of a raging fire as of festivity.

Prayers No. 1-40 2017, Embroidered lines on cotton, (detail). Photo by Andrew Stooke

Young-In Hong, ‘Prayers No. 1-40’ (detail), 2017, embroidered lines on cotton. Photo: Andrew Stooke

A major series, produced for this exhibition, is derived from newspaper images of South Korea’s post-war modernisation. These are reduced to spare linear elements in the framed embroideries, collectively entitled Prayers No. 1-40 (2017). From these near abstract distillations, Hong has produced a musical composition, playing in the exhibition space. The schism between this sound environment and the photographic sources highlights how an image’s objectivity is transformed when the original motivation that directed the camera is disconnected. The unprepossessing source images are available in a humble dossier at the exhibition entrance. This reveals the process by which Hong has expunged details to liberate a succinct abstract schema from every picture.

Young-In Hong, 'Looking Down from the Sky' 2017, opening performance, 20th November 2017 at Korean Cultural Centre UK, London. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Young-In Hong, ‘Looking Down from the Sky’ 2017, opening performance, 20th November 2017 at Korean Cultural Centre UK, London. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Playing Music

The 40 works in the “Prayers” series lead the visitor through the gallery that has been partitioned around an asymmetric centre. The show opened with an event involving four diverse musicians, two singers and a sewing machine operator, stationed throughout these eclectic spaces. A diagram functioned to direct the performers to different positions in the space and as a graphic score. It was derived from a further series of panoramic machine embroidered works on taught silk, Looking Down From the Sky (2017): their minimal jittering delineations are based on archive photos of public demonstrations that took place in South Korea between the 1960s and 1990s. The works’ contours are interpreted by the performers as duration, pitch and timbre. Hong’s influence on the outcome of the performance is tangential, mirroring the manner whereby the reception of a photographic source becomes detached from the impetus of its creation over time.

Young-In Hong, '5100: Pentagon', UK premiere, Block Universe 2017, Courtyard, Royal Academy of Arts, London. Courtesy Block Universe. Photo by © Arron Leppard.

Young-In Hong, ‘5100: Pentagon’, UK premiere, Block Universe 2017, Courtyard, Royal Academy of Arts, London. Courtesy Block Universe. Photo by © Arron Leppard.

The performance strategy followed the pattern of Hong’s 5100:Pentagon (2014), a work staged outside London’s Royal Academy of Arts earlier in 2017 and documented in the exhibition with a video. First realised at the Gwanju Biennale, the dance-like action is performed by volunteers, interpreting a web-based tutorial. The work derives from images of the Gwanju Democratic Uprising of May 1980, a public response to the bloody suppression of a Chonnam University student demonstration against the nascent Chun Doo-hwan government. The participants’ movements do not directly correlate with the evidence of the photographs, creating an associative memorial that releases the specific relevance of the event into general cultural circulation.

Prayers No. 1-40 2017, Embroidered lines on cotton, sound recording, ten amplifying speakers, 42 x 47 x 4 cm each (with frame). Courtesy of artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK, Photo by Luke Andrew Walker​

Young In Hong, ‘Prayers No. 1-40’, 2017, embroidered lines on cotton, sound recording, ten amplifying speakers, 42 x 47 x 4 cm each (with frame). Photo: Luke Andrew Walker. Image courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK.

Intuition

Of intuition Hong has said it

is ‘not’ a conventional, western concept of “ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning” but intuition is an actual ‘technique of visualization’, which is also closely related to vision, to condition for action and bodily or fleshly engagement.

Graphic Score for Young-In Hong, 'Looking Down from the Sky', performance. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Graphic Score for Young-In Hong, ‘Looking Down from the Sky’, performance. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

The title “The Moon’s Trick” is taken from a poem by Soo-Young Kim (1921-1968). It is the name he gives to the effect observed where the dynamism of a spinning top creates a vortex of stability and imagination; its movement temporarily suspends the prosaic effect of gravity. The transitional acts of drawing to embroidery, facilitated by mechanical means, to sonic interpretation, defer the photographic record, challenging its claim of veracity. Hong’s practices treat the optical image as if it were a whirling gyroscope, restive while giving the appearance of being frozen. She says:

The process of making, of sewing, allows me to materialize and visualize my own intuitive process with my bodily movement engaged with the movement of physical machinery, and to stimulate both vision and tangibility for the viewer.

By displacing her source material with a series of interpretive endeavors, she reveals South Korean post-war history to be experiential, a history in layers with unpredictable trajectories.

Andrew Stooke

1991

“Yong-In Hong: The Moons Trick” is on view from 21 November to 29 December 2017 at Korean Cultural Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1–3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW and from 2 March to 22 April 2018 at Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS.

Related Topics: Korean artists, museum shows, instalation, events in London

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“The Tour”: exploring spaces with emerging Indian artist Amshu Chukki – in conversation

This is Amshu Chukki’s first solo show and is on display at Chatterjee & Lal until 23 December 2017.

The artist uses his customary storytelling style by weaving together sculpture, drawings and video, to take the viewer on a virtual tour of imaginatively deconstructed natural and constructed public spaces.

Amshu Chukki, Untitled, 2017, Charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, ‘Untitled’, 2017, charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 in. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Intersecting reality with fiction

The single most significant thread that Amshu Chukki has skilfully woven through this mixed media exhibition titled “The Tour” is his preoccupation with space – both fictional and real, both solid and deconstructed. At the heart of the show are two video installations that Chukki uses to present the viewer with the basic premise behind his ideation process and these act as a starting point in our journey of exploration. The first, entitled The Tour (2017), is a two-channel video installation that takes the audience on a virtual tour of the streets and constructed spaces of the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. The camera smoothly navigates the Film City to give us an architectural visualisation that is akin to being physically present on location. Even more compelling is the voice-over of Nagarjuna, the tour guide whose hyperbolic and fabulist narrative skills elevate the realism, despite the fact that much of his recitation relating to the past histories of the spaces we are navigating through is fantastical and pure science-fiction.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, Video installation view (The Tour) at Chatterjee & Lal, Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017. Installation view of the video “The Tour” at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Chukki then takes the viewer away from the fable-making space of the film city – one that celebrates the artificiality of celluloid – and introduces us through a single-channel video installation entitled The Mountains, Les Invisibles (2016), to the Biodôme in Montreal where it is the natural world that occupies centre stage. In this way, the artist places two seemingly disparate worlds side-by-side urging us to see their similarities – their fluidity, their ever-changing and evolving nature, their diversity – and hidden deep within their basic character, humankind’s future. The viewer is mesmerised by the dream-making potential and the fantastical promises of the film world and is then equally struck by the beauty and complexities of the ecosystems of the Americas that have been recreated in the Biodôme. Commenting on Chukki’s storytelling style, Mortimer Chatterjee, Co-founder of Chatterjee & Lal says:

Amshu Chukki’s work has intrigued us for a number of years, and so we are thrilled to be able to present him in his debut solo exhibition. Increasingly, he seems to be dealing with intersections of reality and fiction seen through the viewpoint of individuals to whom he allows a remarkable degree of autonomy. This is especially clear in the two video works in the present exhibition.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, installation view at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, installation view at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

A visual dissection of space

Chukki uses video art as a medium to systematically build up the landscape in both films, dwelling on the illusions created in an urban cityscape in one and those created by an ecological environment in the other. He then tears these down and examines them in greater detail, in both the two-dimensional space of his charcoal renderings and the three-dimensionality of his sculptures. In a physical representation of this disintegration are fibreglass boulders of different sizes strewn across the floor, in a manner that is almost symbolic of Chukki’s act of spatial fragmentation. These have been cast from real boulders that the artist collected from the rocky terrain of the Deccan Plateau on which stands the city of Hyderbad, where the first film was shot. The rocks are as illusory as the landscapes Chukki builds in his films and appear just as deceptive – realistic and solid on the outside, but iridescent and otherworldly on closer inspection. This adds to the theatricality and the dramatic effect that Chukki has imbued, albeit sparingly, in his entire narrative of “The Tour”.

Amshu Chukki, 'Untitled', 2017, charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 in. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, ‘Untitled’, 2017, charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 in. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

In another act of deconstruction, scenes from the films have been rendered in charcoal in a series of reductive drawings or erasures that are also on display at strategic locations amidst the video and sculptural elements. The physical process involved in creating these drawings are symbolically representative of Chukki’s artistic intent in “The Tour” – a creative, meticulous dismantling of the planar surface. The artist would have built up his surface with charcoal before starting a process of exploration and excavation – a gradual erasing away of the darkness to reveal lighter areas. After a systematic delayering and reduction, the final form of the image emerges in a method diametrically opposite to that of traditional painting, which layers colours one on top of another and is more expansive in nature.

Amshu Chukki, Remembering the Sea, 2014, Hand carved wood sculpture with video projection, 03:07 looped, Unique. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, ‘Remembering the Sea’, 2014, hand carved wood sculpture with video projection, 03m:07s, looped, unique. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

In another tribute to Chukki’s fascination for film as a medium to navigate different spaces and times is Remembering the Sea (2014), in which he displays a coin-sized projection of a seascape from Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Solaris (1972) onto a piece of carved driftwood, mounted on a metal stand. The miniaturisation of the monumentality of a film that is usually viewed larger than life-size, and the texture and grain of the wood that it is projected on, are testament to the artist’s constant need to explore new media while discovering their inter-relationships. This particular work was completed at the end of Chukki’s art education at the MS University, Vadodara where he studied painting, and was a result of his growing interest in the creative potential of video art.

 Amshu Chukki, Untitled, 2017, Charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, ‘Untitled’, 2017, charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 in. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Chukki has participated in several art residency programmes at St Moritz (Switzerland, 2014), Quebec (Canada, 2015) and KHOJ India (2014-2015). He has exhibited in group shows in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, New York and St Moritz, and is the recipient of several awards including the Inlaks Fine Arts Award (2014), the Kalpana Reddy Memorial Award for Photography (2012), the Nasreen Mohamedi Award (2011) and the Gujarat State Lalit Kala Award for Painting – the latter three being during his student years at MS University Vadodara.

Art Radar spoke to the artist about his practice and the creative process behind “The Tour“.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, Installation view at Chatterjee & Lal, Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, installation view at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

As an inheritor of diverse artistic traditions, with your father being an artist and your mother a Kannada poet and writer, how are you able to bring together these influences and integrate them in your practice?

My parents being artists themselves has definitely helped me grow as an artist. But more importantly it all really began with my education in Vadodara, studying at the painting department there. Aspects of filmmaking and cinema and working with video have been a central concern in my practice, for which I owe credit to my professor at art college, B. V. Suresh, who introduced students to working with video with regular film screenings and video workshops.

Amshu Chukki, Untitled, 2017, Fibreglass with industrial and acrylic paint, Each approx. 13.5 x 10 x 8 inches, Edition of 3. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, ‘Untitled’, 2017, fibreglass with industrial and acrylic paint, each approx. 13.5 x 10 x 8 in, edition of 3. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

In “The Tour” we see the multiplicities that exist in your art practice. What is the significance of each of the seemingly disparate components in your artistic vision for “The Tour”?

Though I trained as a painter, I always move between several media in my practice. The choice of medium or form takes a cue from certain conceptual queries that arise with each work. It the case of “The Tour” the drawings and fibreglass sculptures act as spillages of the main two-channel work and spatially configure the piece. They in a way become entry points into the video and viceversa. The viewer navigates the show by moving between one work and another.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, Video installation view (The Mountain, Les Invisibles) at Chatterjee & Lal, Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017. Installation view of the video ‘The Mountain, Les Invisibles’ at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

You have often said that you enjoy telling a story with your artworks. What is the narrative that you are presenting for us in “The Tour”?

There are two central video works in the show. In the work The Mountain, Les Invisibles fragmented voices chart a stadium built for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, which is now converted to house an indoor zoo of sorts. In the second two-channel video The Tour, a tour guide re-imagines Film City’s desertion and narrates fictions that originate from this site. My works are mostly site-specific or rather site-informed. [It is] an exercise in speculative fictions, looking at fictions that originate from the site or from people involved with the sites. Through the two films in the show I try to mine the speculative – creating situations in which characters imagine things that may or may not have happened. Having set the stage, I step aside, allowing people and their stories to take on lives of their own.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, Installation view at Chatterjee & Lal, Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, installation view at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

There is a preoccupation with landscapes, constructed public spaces and architectural elements in your work, and you seem to bring this outdoor world into the studio space. What is your intention in drawing viewers into the cinematic landscape of The Tour?

Constructed public spaces and architectural elements are definitely important elements in my work. In The Tour it is the cinematic landscape that is the protagonist, with its residues of both past and future fictions becoming the handle for the tour guide to manoeuvre through his narrative. I have chartered the landscape by using the camera to pan meticulously, so that the viewer’s eyes slowly start to notice the details of the materials used to create the scene: chipped plaster, cement boards, signs of a plywood, fibreglass world. The space slowly unravels itself. The plastered walls, sheet metal, plush, plywood, glass and cardboard all surrender to the promise of reality as the viewer takes in the scene at face or fake value. The last thing the space does is simulate reality. The cinematic landscape has no intention of deceiving the viewers, rather it gives them the choice of taking part in the illusion themselves.

Amshu Chukki, Untitled, 2017, Charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, ‘Untitled’, 2017, charcoal on paper, 39 x 25 in. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

How does the illusory nature of your enigmatic charcoal drawings combine with the tangibility of the sculptures and the visual reality of the films?

The charcoal drawings in a way become archaeological residues of an image from a future past. This reductive process of drawing is also akin to the process of excavation of earth or sculpting in stone. Here the image emerges on a charcoal-laid paper by drawing with an eraser.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, installation view at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

Amshu Chukki, “The Tour”, 10 November – 23 December 2017, installation view at Chatterjee & Lal. Image courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal.

You were recently recognised by Forbes India in the “30 Under 30” list for making a significant impact in the field of art and culture. What in your opinion is the worldview that contemporary artists in India need, to make them more relevant on the international stage?

We are living in extremely alarming dystopian times. There is a heightened sense of intolerance towards creative expression. Rather than a worldview I think there is an urgency to look within – to look at and address things in our vicinity and those that have immediacy.

Amita Kini-Singh

1993

“The Tour” by Amshu Chukki is on view from 10 November to 23 December, 2017 at Chatterjee & Lal, Arthur Bunder Road, 1/18, Floor 1, Kamal Mansion, Mumbai, 400005. 

Related topics: Indian artists, interviews, charcoal, video, installation, drawing, sculpture, gallery shows, events in Mumbai

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INTERNSHIP | Hong Kong | Unpaid Internship | Hong Kong Art Gallery Association – apply ASAP

A wonderful opportunity for those who would like a taste of the Art world. This position is part-time (2-3 days/week) non-paid, but stipend will be provided. Minimum commitment is for 6 months, but can be extended. The applicants must be current college students studying art or relevant majors. Good speaking and writing skills in both English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin). The successful candidate will be in charge of assisting the manager with operations and administrative work, maintaining database and records, updating the website and social media site, etc. Please email cover letter & CV to membership@hk-aga.org. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | Hong Kong | Gallery Intern | Galerie Ora-Ora – apply ASAP

Galerie Ora-Ora is a fine art gallery and art consultancy in Hong Kong, and is now inviting high-caliber individuals to join. The applicants must have a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts, Art History, Literature or Chinese History (or currently studying in one of these fields), as well as have passion and knowledge in Chinese contemporary art. This intern will assist in preparing for exhibitions, art fairs and events, daily operations of the gallery space and preparation of exhibition materials and marketing collateral. Please apply with resume and cover letter to odetti@ora-ora.com. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | New York | Gallery Intern | Nicholas Hall – ASAP

Nicholas Hall is a private gallery and art advisory for European paintings, works on paper and sculptures dating from the 14th to the 20th century. The gallery is seeking a reliable and motivated intern to work 2-3 days per week (Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm) with a minimum commitment of three months starting the week of 15 January 2018. The ideal candidate should have excellent research and writing skills, as well as the ability to multi-task and work in a small business setting. To apply, please send your resume, cover letter and a writing sample to info@nicholashjhall.com with the subject “Internship Application”. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | Boston | Gallery Intern | Newbury Fine Arts – ASAP

Founded in 1984, Newbury Fine Arts has been a strong presence on Boston’s historic Newbury Street and has continued to showcase a unique assemblage of contemporary artists. Interns will have an opportunity to learn at one of Boston’s top galleries. Duties will include: art installation, creative writing about fine art and editing writing. Interns will be expected to photograph inventory and modify images in Photoshop. Interns must be able to work 2 days a week, 4-hour days. Applicants must have an art history major and ability to work in Photoshop. MORE HERE

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INTERNSHIP | London | Paid Intern | King, Visual Development Artist Intern– 20 December 2017

King is a leading interactive entertainment company in the mobile world, with people all around the world playing one or more of our games. It is looking for an exceptionally skilled Visual Development Artist Intern to join its growing team for a summer internship. The successful candidate will work closely with King’s Visual Development Artists and Art Directors to create world-class concept art and to continue his/her growth as an artist. Please include obtained/predicted grades on your CV and attach a copy of your portfolio or link where we can find it. MORE HERE

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Did you know that Art Radar runs its very own online art writing course? Click here to find out more about Art Radar‘s Diploma in Art Journalism & Writing.

Looking for more opportunities in the contemporary art world? For Art Radar’s complete list of jobs, internships, residencies, courses and open calls, click here.

Closing this week!

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INTERNSHIP | Boston | Museum Intern | The Institute of Contemporary Art – 15 December 2017

The ICA’s Internship Program invites qualified individuals in undergraduate and graduate programmes to explore museum careers in an educational internship setting. Interns participate in museum events, support departments with research and data management while getting to know the daily activities that make the ICA an exciting and innovative museum. To apply, please submit a current resume, completed application (including a statement of interest) and two professional references available to be contacted by internships@icaboston.org. MORE HERE

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OPEN CALL | Turkey | Call for Applications | Mamut Art Project 2018– 22 December 2017

The 6th edition of Mamut Art Project ( 26-29 April 2018) is now open to any independent contemporary artist with no restriction of age or medium of work. It is a unique art event in Turkey dedicated to engaging up-and-coming artists with new collectors, galleries and curators to provide a dynamic platform for emerging creative talent working in a range of disciplines throughout Turkey and abroad. All of the applications will be evaluated by our jury of 5. The artist that will have the chance to exhibit their work in our venue will be chosen after the ratings of the jury. MORE HERE

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This is just a sample of art world opportunities we gather each week. If you’d like to see more, click here to sign up for a regular digest of calls, jobs, internships and career strategies.

India’s burgeoning art market: Saffronart online auction – round-up

Saffronart online auction in December 2017 confirms upturn in Indian art market.

Mumbai-based Saffronart’s recent online auction confirms the rumours about India’s burgeoning market.

M F Husain, ‘When I begin to paint hold the sky in your hand as the stretch of my canvas is unknown to me’, 1982, Oil on canvas, 82.6 x 67.3 cm. Image courtesy Saffron art.

M F Husain, ‘When I Begin to Paint Hold the Sky in Your Hand as the Stretch of my Canvas is Unknown to Me’, 1982, oil on canvas, 82.6 x 67.3 cm. Image courtesy Saffronart.

India’s art boom

Recent record auction sale results across the country suggest that India’s art market is more than recovered from the 2007 dip. The country is currently experiencing an economic boom, led by a new wave of business tycoons who are selecting art as a viable investment option. The Artery India consultancy reported to Indiatimes.com that art sales more than doubled from about USD44 million in 2011 to over USD95 million last year, and that 47 world records for Indian artists were recorded in 2017.

S H Raza, ‘Untitled’, 1982, Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 80 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Saffron art.

S H Raza, ‘Untitled’, 1982, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 80 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Saffronart.

Surpassing the estimates

The success of Mumbai-based Saffronart’s online auction on 6-7 December 2017 – one of the emerging trend of “cross-category” sales that offers a selection of works by Indian modernists as well as rare antiquities – confirms the trend. At the online auction, three artworks by S. H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee and Arpita Singh together achieved a quarter of the total sale value. S. H. Raza’s Untitled (1982) acrylic on canvas, which led the sale, sold for INR1.73 crores (USD270,000).

The dominance by modernists in this sale reinforces the strong demand for their works by collectors nationwide. Record auction sale prices were recently achieved for works by members of the avant-garde Bombay Progressive Artists Group, namely M.F. Husain, Francis Newton Souza and the late painter Vasudeo Gaitonde, whose blue landscape canvas painting is now one of the fifth most expensive artworks ever bought in India.

Early 20th century artists such as Madhav Satwalekar and Jamini Roy also did well in the sale. Born in 1915, Satwalekar was among the early wave of Indian artists who combined realism with an indigenous approach to painting. A 1980 landscape painted in pastel shades, sold at six times its upper estimate of INR4 lakhs (USD6,250) for INR25.5 lakhs (USD39,900). A work by Roy also sold at over twice its upper estimate of INR7.68 lakhs (USD12,000) for INR19.58 lakhs (USD30,600).

F N Souza, ‘Head’, 1953, Oil on board, 56.8 x 40.9 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Saffron art.

F N Souza, ‘Head’, 1953, oil on board, 56.8 x 40.9 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Saffronart.

Other artworks that surpassed their estimates included two works by F. N. Souza. Souza experienced a similar disillusionment in London when he painted the present lot in 1953. Souza’s subjects during this time were the savagely distorted heads of the everyman, with soulless eyes displaced to the forehead, a set of gnashing teeth bared, all of which invited comparisons with the British existential painter Francis Bacon. His 1953 work Head, which is of this period, achieved INR77,76,000 (USD121,500). Paintings by Manjit Bawa and Madhav Satwalekar also did well.

Senaka Senanayake, ‘Untitled’, 1992, Oil on canvas, 132.9 x 111.8 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Saffron art.

Senaka Senanayake, ‘Untitled’, 1992, Oil on canvas, 132.9 x 111.8 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Saffronart.

Contemporary South Asian artists

The contemporary section was led by an intricate sculpture by Dhananjay Singh made of stainless steel and bronze, which sold at over twice its lower estimate for INR24.14 lakhs (USD37,725). Senaka Senanayake is one of Sri Lanka’s best-known artists. His brightly hued canvases of the country’s flora and fauna draw attention to its rapidly depleting rainforests. Born in 1953, Senanayake studied Art and Architecture at Yale, which impacted his decision to make a career out of art. Following this, he moved back to Sri Lanka and delved deeper into environmental issues. His vibrant painting of a rainforest sold for INR14.2 lakhs (USD22,200) against an estimate of INR8 – 10 lakhs (USD12,500 – 15,625).

Rebecca Close

1988

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The Artling Xmas Gift of USD50 Coupon to Spend on Art this Holiday Season

Art Radar partnered with The Artling to offer a treat for our readers this Xmas.

Specialising in Asian contemporary art, The Artling is offering our readers a USD50 coupon to spend on contemporary Asian artworks on its website.

Wittawat Thongkeaw, 'Lively Life', 2014, oil on canvas, 140 x 240 cm, unique work. Price: USD8500. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

Wittawat Thongkeaw, ‘Lively Life’, 2014, oil on canvas, 140 x 240 cm, unique work. Price: USD8500. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

We are delighted to let you know that Art Radar has arranged a Xmas treat for readers in 2017. The Artling, an online art sales platform which specialises in Asian contemporary art, is offering our readers a USD50 discount on artworks listed on its site. Support Asian artists in the giving season!

Below are some highlights selected by Art Radar‘s Editorial Team. Scroll down to the end of the page for more info on how to benefit from this offer.

Wittawat Thongkeaw, 'Illusion', 2009, oil on canvas, 120 x 160 cm. Price: USD4400. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

1. Wittawat Thongkeaw (Thailand) — Illusion, 2009, oil on canvas, 120 x 160 cm.

Price: USD4400

Born in 1974, Wittawat Thongkeaw’s paints poetic landscapes and details that capture the beautiful stillness of water and light, whether cities by night, rural scenes or wet pavements and rain puddles reflecting the surroundings. His work is part of private and corportate collections around Asia.

Michael Vincent Manalo, 'The Atrocities of the Silent', 2013, digitally manipulated photograph on inkjet paper, 67 x 100 cm, Edition of 10. Price: USD1200. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

2. Michael Vincent Manalo (Philippines) — The Atrocities of the Silent, 2013, digitally manipulated photograph on inkjet paper, 67 x 100 cm, Edition of 10.

Price: USD1200

Born in Quezon City in the Philippines, Michael Vincent Manalo is a photographer and a digital mixed-media artist currently based in Taiwan. He gets inspiration from imagined memories and creates nostalgic and dreamlike environments or a post-apocalyptic, nightmarish world. With his haunting images, Manalo raises questions about the role that human emotions play in recollecting memory.

Chow Chee Yong, 'Grounded Window', 2008, archival digital print, 51 x 61 cm, edition of 5, price: USD2000; 1992, gelatin silver print, 28 x 36 cm, editio of 5, price: USD2400. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

3. Chow Chee Yong (Singapore) Grounded Window, 2008, archival digital print, 51 x 61 cm, edition of 5; 1992, gelatin silver print, 28 x 36 cm, editio of 5.

Price: USD2000 (51 x 61 cm) | USD2400 (28 x 36 cm)

Chow Chee Yong trained in the United States and Japan as a photographer, and has participated in more than 30 solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums in China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA. In an interview with Singaporean art space Objectifs, he says about the inspiration for his work:

I am inspired by many things, mainly stuff that deals with illusions. I was first attracted to the magic of David Copperfield. That was my first encounter to start creating surrealistic images. I am also inspired by architects and sculptors.

Eunsuh Choi, 'HOUSED BARRIER VII', borosilicate glass, flameworked glass, 53.3 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm, unique work. Price: USD25,000. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

4. Eunsuh Choi (Korea) — HOUSED BARRIER VII, borosilicate glass, flameworked glass, 53.3 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm, unique work.

Price: USD25,000

The Rochester-based glass artist creates flameworked pieces that represent personal narratives, and portraits of her own moments of growth. Choi’s installations composed of intricately fused glass threads produce melting ladders, cages, boxes and trees. She says:

In my current work I combine a box or house with the organic form of the tree. The tree becomes a metaphor for the self – reaching, climbing, singing, and striving. I place the tree inside the box or house, a cage with triangular symmetrical shapes as the object that lives and breathes and has the capability of growing or dying. It represents my struggle inside the box of my existence when, as a foreigner and woman, I come across limitations on the attainment of my dreams. I am in the process of flameworking my way out of the box.

Ahn Sun Mi, 'Manga Portrait', 2009, photo on diasec, 100 x 100 cm, edition of 7. Price: USD4000. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

5. Ahn Sun Mi (Korea) — Manga Portrait, 2009, photo on diasec, 100 x 100 cm, edition of 7.

Price: USD4400

The young artist creates dreamlike, poetic self-portraits that transform her into a manga character posed between childhood and puberty, innnocence and sensuality. Through her photographic work, she reveals her fears, as a subtle reflection of our fragile times.

Darren Soh, 'Golden Mile Complex (Back View)', 2014, Sihl Baryta 300gsm paper with lightfast pigment inks for maximum archivability. Medium: 80 x 120 cm, edition of 5, Price: USD2800. Large: 100x. 150 cm, edition of 3, Price: USD3600. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

6. Darren Soh (Singapore) — Golden Mile Complex (Back View)’, 2014, Sihl Baryta 300gsm paper with lightfast pigment inks for maximum archivability. Medium: 80 x 120 cm, edition of 5. Large: 100x. 150 cm, edition of 3. 

Price: medium — USD2800 | large — Price: USD3600

Since 2001, Darren Soh does a mixture of personal, editorial and commercial work with particular interest in architectural and landscape photography. Over the years, Darren has been placed in several international photography awards including the Commonwealth Photographic Awards,the Prix de la Photographie, Paris and the International Photography Awards.

Emma Critchley & Genevieve Chua, 'Disappearing Moon #1', 2012, archival pigment ink on Hahnemuhle fine art Baryta, 50.8 x 76.2 cm, edition of 5. Price: USD2200. Image courtesy the artists and The Artling.

7. Emma Critchley & Genevieve Chua (Singapore) — Disappearing Moon #1, 2012, archival pigment ink on Hahnemuhle fine art Baryta, 50.8 x 76.2 cm, edition of 5.

Price: USD2200

Chua is a Singaporean photographer and installation artist, is known for tracing themes of apprehension, while British artist Critchley is an established underwater photographer and videographer who explores watery analogies of the human condition. Together, they embarked on a common vocabulary centred around light, and particularly, the essence of moonlight. This theme inspired the creation of three collaborative pieces, accompanied by various solo works.

Abdul Halik Azeez, 'Mobile Office', 2016, Canon Lucia ink on enhanced matt archival paper, 61 x 76 cm, unique work. Price: USD825. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

8. Abdul Halik Azeez (Sri Lanka) — Mobile Office, 2016, Canon Lucia ink on enhanced matt archival paper, 61 x 76 cm, unique work.

Price: USD825

Azeez is a former journalist for the Sunday Leader and an active citizen journalist, interested in journalistic and conceptual photography. His inspiration for his photographic series stems from his work as a strategy consultant for the corporate and development sectors as well as his work as an independent researcher whose main areas of interest currently include online hate speech and critical discourse analysis.

Adek Dimas Ajisaka, 'Day After Basoeki Abdullah', 2016, leaf cut out, 74 x 64 x 2 cm. Price upon request. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

9. Adek Dimas Ajisaka (Indonesia) — Day After Basoeki Abdullah, 2016, leaf cut out, 74 x 64 x 2 cm.

Price: upon request

Ajisaka graduated from ISI (Indonesia Institute of Art) faculty on Fine Arts in 2015. His leaf cut outs are inspired by famous images and works by important Indonesian artists such as Affandy, and modern masters such as Picasso and Modigliani.

Aniwar Mamat, 'Green', 2015, Tapestry Painting - Lamb's Wool Felt, 180 x 400 cm, unique work. Price: upon request. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

10. Aniwar Mamat (China) — Green, 2015, Tapestry Painting – Lamb’s Wool Felt, 180 x 400 cm, unique work.

Price: upon request

Aniwar Mamat creates abstract paintings influenced by his earlier experiments in minimalism and figural representation, as well as by the history of Abstract Expressionism. He was trained in Uighur carpetmaking, and his works recall felt or woven fabric. He shared in an interview with Art Radar that his interest in carpetmaking started around the 1980s. Within the abstractions are hints of desert landscapes, wind whipping through cityscapes, and the peaceful quiet of the inner world.

Chen Fei, 'Patterned Dress - Electro', 4-colour print on 209 gsm paper, 85 x 59 cm, edition of 100. Price: USD415. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

11. Chen Fei (China) — Patterned Dress – Electro, 4-colour print on 209 gsm paper, 85 x 59 cm, edition of 100.

Price: USD415

Feeling limited by his training and work in film, Chen Fei chose to express his individualistic freedom through painting. His subjects and composition are drawn from his extensive knowledge in cinema, while his techniques are inspired by a “superflat” treatment of the texture and a combination of vivid colours, outlined in black.

Dedron, 'The Conquered Enchantress', 2013, Mineral pigments on Tibetan paper, 80 x 180 cm. Price: upon request. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

12. Dedron (Tibet) — The Conquered Enchantress, 2013, Mineral pigments on Tibetan paper, 80 x 180 cm.

Price: upon request

Through traditional imagery and techniques inspired by thangka paintings, Dedron captures the unique natural beauty of Tibet’s landscapes and towns. Dedron has incorporated traditional painting techniques with her own pictorial language to comment on the impact of modernisation and globalisation on Tibet’s environment and traditions. Her paintings also incorporate Modernist, Cubist and even Surrealist influences.

Chim↑Pom, 'Chim Pom come around the world in Taipei', 2012, Lambda print, 64 x 105 cm, edition of 5. Price: USD4500. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

13. Chim↑Pom (Japan) — Chim Pom come around the world in Taipei, 2012, Lambda print, 64 x 105 cm, edition of 5.

Price: USD4500

Chim↑Pom, founded in Tokyo in 2005, tackles issues that deal with life, death, poverty, inequality, coexistence, peace, violence, street culture, and more. The ideals behind the group’s artistic works are inspired by society itself, and continuously attempt to transcend the current manipulation of art. Through dialogue, their artistic achievements have also inevitably become a part of society. Almost all of their exhibitions are expressed though the execution of a plan and are not limited to the creation and exhibition of physical artworks.

Chong-Il Woo, 'Joseon dynasty royal family series Empress #1', 2010, inkjet print, 178 x 120 cm, edition of 5. Price: upon request. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

14. Chong-Il Woo (Korea) — Joseon dynasty royal family series Empress #1, 2010, inkjet print, 178 x 120 cm, edition of 5.

Price: upon request

Woo has worked as a fashion photographer in the United States, contributing regularly to Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazine. His “Women of the Joseon Dynasty” series is an example of his reinterpretation of Korea’s modern history, which he achieves by re-photographing historically well-known people using modern people as his subjects. The photograph is textured with individually shot pebbles and gem stones.

Do Hoang Tuong, 'Untitled', 2014, oil on cavans, 145 x 145 cm. Price: upon request. Image courtesy the artist and The Artling.

15. Do Hoang Tuong (Vietnam) — Untitled, 2014, oil on canvas, 145 x 145 cm.

Price: upon request

Do creates abstract and figurative works. Some of his paintings recall the oeuvre of Lucian Freud in his rendering the human form, often stretched and deformed. Do says about his work:

I create a figure on the canvas, then I start the fighting against him. I try my best to beat him, to uncover things that are hidden deep inside his body, inside his mind or at the bottom of his heart. This hurts him, but it gives me a feeling of safety and comfort.

 

Discount DOES NOT apply to design works or artworks valued below USD200. Please enter ARTRADAR into the coupon code to receive the USD50 discount. Offer closes 31 December 2017.

Floating Worlds: Highlights from the 14th Biennale de Lyon

Art Radar looks at some highlights from Floating Worlds, the 14th Biennale de Lyon.

This year’s Biennale de Lyon presents a diverse array of talented artists but leaves the viewer to figure out how it all fits together.

Forever Immigrant

MEDALLA David, Cloud Canyons 1963-2016. Image courtesy the artist and La Biennale de Lyon 2017.

Lyon is a large city and on its gentrified surface, its 14th Biennale de Lyon leaves barely an impression, as if it were a flimsy craft swallowed up by the broad river – the river Rhône, that flows between the two principal venues, La Sucrière in the south and The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in the North.

The two exhibitions in these venues, and a geodesic dome by visionary architectural theorist Richard Buckminster-Fuller, comprise “Floating Worlds”. This exhibition is a sprawling network of associated exhibitions and dialogue events that accompany these presentations and engage only tangentially with the main theme. One of these, entitled “Rendez-vous 17”, functions as a bridge between Lyon and ten other international biennales, presenting the work of 20 emerging artists.

It is difficult for the visitor to perceive the scope of this heterogeneous ‘archipelago’ but Lee Mingwei turns their dispersal to poetic effect by making a peripatetic work, Bedtime Stories (2017). The titular stories are broadcast from a slow-moving vehicle roving around the communes of Metropolitan Lyon. Elsewhere, Lee Mingwei takes the role of an ‘associate’. Separate from the main venues, he makes a compelling exhibition in the centrally located Fondation Bullukian. Here, a suite of expansive conceptual propositions is condensed into a few dense works. An Antonin Dvorak quartet plays in a darkened room. Its performers are shown on four separate monitors turned towards the wall. The audience discovers that any attempt to view the images shuts off that monitor, and so silences the performer, leaving the sound of a trio. Four visitors can achieve total silence. It is a simple but affecting device, drawing attention to the synchronism of the performance and the potency of individuals’ actions.

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Malala Andrialavidrazana, ‘Echoes from the Indian Ocean’, 2011 – 13 (detail). Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Sound and Movement

Works, augmented by technological contrivances, occur throughout this biennale producing venues filled as much with sensations, sound and motion as they are with visual phenomena. The two main exhibitions both greet the visitor with different instances of sculpture, including kinetic elements, linked by their origin in the 1960s. At La Sucrière, Cloud Canyons by Philippine artist David Medalla was first realised in 1963. What were then ‘funky’ kinetic soap bubbles oozing endlessly and inexplicably from a space-age sculpture, now have the association of effluence and unregulated discharge.

At MoCA, a bank of seven cathode monitors display works by Korean Nam June Paik (1932-2006). All except one also originate from 1963. Paik’s pioneering video practice at this time often involved interfering with the signal, such as in Magnet TV, where the image on the screen is pulled towards a magnet placed on top of the TV. In the contemporary context the influence of a bordering electromagnetic field that once seemed to create a benign and ‘far-out’ effect, now evokes the malevolent influences of surveillance and the distortion of facts. The inference of these introductory works, where a genial surface suggests conflicting bad things, is the prevailing mood.

The biennale’s Artistic Director, Thierry Raspail, evokes the end of Modernist ‘novelty’ as a turning point, roughly corresponding to the art of the 1960s in the transatlantic canon. Curator Emma Lavigne describes the theme as

the world as impermanent and continuously renewing itself (…) partly shaped by the omnipresence of water, in a city “born of the waters”, through which the rivers Rhône and Saône flow.

This renewal can be seen in Japanese collective Chim↑Pom’s Black of Death (2007-13). The video shows a flock of crows dancing above a figure carrying a stuffed raven. The image is elegant but ominous. The streets are in Fukushima, the site of the nuclear disaster of 2011. The crows have proliferated in the blighted landscape. Their balletic accompaniment to the figure perhaps celebrates the nuclear era that promised humans clean abundant energy but that produced the toxic wasteland that is hospitable to crows.

A similar dilemma is suggested in Pratchaya Phinthong’s Ephemeral Cinema (2004), an electric car that is lodged in the exhibition hall to recharge in the daytime. By night it goes into the city to project a mobile programme of films by other artists. The car looks like the Sebring Vanguard electric CitiCar of 1974, but unable to move, its batteries depleted, it is like a vampire. On its night time prowl through the urban streets, it will seek authenticity; however, in the whiteness of the art museum, it seems like a retrospective vision, a failed dream of future transportation.

Moré Moré [Leaky]: The Falling Water Given #4-6

Mohri Yuko, ‘The Falling Water Given #4-6’, 2017, Image courtesy the artist, La Biennale de Lyon 2017 and White Rainbow.

Mending Modernity

As Phinthong’s vehicle quotes from a future directed icon of historic design, Moré Moré [Leaky]: The Falling Water Given #4-6 (2017) by Yuko Mohri engages unashamedly with the acme of modern art, none less than Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1923). She produces three versions of the work reimagined according to principles she observes from the makeshift fixing of leaks in the Tokyo metro system. Seen from the perspective of the present, even art of this moment has flaws when considered in a different cultural framework. Where Duchamp celebrated the chance occurrence of the work’s glass being aesthetically cracked during transportation in the United States in 1927, Mohri sees the work anew through the lens of improvised repairs in Japan. The exhibition further complicates dialogue between Mohri and Duchamp’s work by including both the miniature facsimile, part of La boîte-en-valise (1966) and the exploratory notes, published by Duchamp as La boîte verte (1934). With the absence of the work itself, these artifacts frame the masterpiece as a tentative venture, speculative and ripe for casual transcription.

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Shimabuku, ‘Let’s Make Cows Fly’, 2017, video still. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

The imaginative revival of past material is also integral to the work of Shimabuku at the biennale. In a participatory performance, presented as a film document, Let’s Make Cows Fly (2017), the artist invited people to fly kites in the form of cows. The work has the effect of grounding the whimsical legacy of surrealism by relating it to an everyday observation, his noticing cows grazing in Lyon’s Grand Parc Miribel Jonage. This seemed surreal only from the artist’s exotic point of view. Beside Hans Richter’s still inexplicable Dada film Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928), screened close by, Shimabuku’s film appears deadpan.

The Shock of the New

The perception of contemporary space is also a key theme. Lavigne quotes the Austrian modernist poet Rainer Maria Rilke, “Strange to see all that was once in place, floating so loosely in space”, and Raspail writes:

Today, the world has changed and the prevailing idea is that the most important properties of space can no longer be defined a priori by categories or by tying them down to a territory with borders and impregnable identities.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s video Fireworks (Archives) (2014) suggests just such spatial ambiguity, both by its presentation, on a suspended transparent screen, and because it reenvisions an old space, Sala Keoku sculpture park in Nong Khai, near the Thai-Lao border. The film explores the park at night in bursts of light from fireworks. The spectator cannot grasp the space or their proximity to the sculptures.

A different type of disorientation is produced by Madagascar- and Australia-based Mathieu Briand. I dream of You (2017) transports visitors to the shores off Madagascar via a VR headset. The device, however, is not interactive and the experience is of indeterminate poetic encounters with coastline and figures eternally held at bay.

SHIZUOKA Fukuroi, Face on Rope 2010 Installation view at la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Photo Andrew Stooke

Shizuoka Fukuroi, ‘Face on Rope’, 2010. Installation view at la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

A number of other artists in the “Rendez-vous” section of the biennale also challenge the perception of space. Fukuroi Shizuoka’s Face on Rope (2010) forces the visitor to navigate through a forest of tiny dangling heads. Each is handmade and the effect is both cute and sinister.

Dia Mehta Bhupal creates an environment that, at first sight, looks plausible, a clean bright lobby area with a yellow telephone on the wall. However, it is an illusion; everything is neatly made from tiny rolls of scrap paper.

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Caniago Aliansyah, ‘The Sky Is Portable’, 2016, performance at the opening of la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Indonesian Aliansyah Caniago‘s The Sky Is Portable (2016) uses multiple video elements and performance to explore locations in Jakarta where migrants have settled, with the aid of a pigeon equipped with a video camera. The resulting work suggests a new imaginative narrative set in an expanded location.

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Berrada Hicham, ‘Les fleurs #3’, 2016. Installation view at la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

Other artists create a sense of disorientation by presenting images out of context. Moroccan Hicham Berrada’s video Les fleurs #3 (2016) shows a hemisphere of iron particles. Attacked by bursts of high-pressure air and slowly recovering its shape, it gives the impression of a sunflower buffeted by the wind. Jingban Hao evokes shifting political perspectives in I Can’t Dance (2015). Four videos weave together a mixture of first-hand accounts and archive materials related to the subject of ballroom dancing in China.

Hao Jingfang & Wang Lingjie, Over the Rainbow 2013. Installation view at la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Photo Andrew Stooke

Hao Jingfang & Wang Lingjie, ‘Over the Rainbow’, 2013. Installation view at la Biennale de Lyon 2017. Photo: Andrew Stooke.

The Floating World

If the crisis of modernity was a loss of belief in the spiritual essence that gave individuals purpose, this resonance still perturbs artists collected together in Lyon. This is perhaps most striking in Hao Jingfang and Wang Lingjie’s Over the Rainbow (2013). An area of grey material appears like a coastal flat blighted by industry. Step back, and from this position, an iridescent rainbow dances over the surface, like a promise of future repair; move forward and that fleeting hope is gone, leaving only the unrelenting infertile surface.

Andrew Stooke

1888

La Biennale de Lyon is on view from 20 September 2017 to 7 January 2018 at La Sucrière, Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (MACLYON), Le Dôme – Place Antonin Poncet and Insitut d’art contemporain de Villeurbanne in Lyon, France.

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Between Writing and Art: the place of writing in Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s art – interview

Art Radar speaks to the Thai artist about her latest show and her practice merging art and writing.

Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s ongoing exhibition in her home country at 100 Tonson Gallery in Bangkok sheds light on where her art-making and writing merge.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Dead Ovary Lullaby’,2016, Painted fiber-glass, aluminum, light bulbs and fabrics, variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Dead Ovary Lullaby’, 2016, painted fibreglass, aluminium, light bulbs and fabrics, dimensions variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Last June, Art Radar profiled and interviewed renowned Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook about her solo exhibition at the Tyler Rollins Fine Art in New York. “Jaonua: The Nothingness & Sanook Dee Museum” has allowed us to explore much of her oeuvre – the way she employs the language of film, integrates her sculptural pieces to her installations, and the themes and visual motifs that recur in her work. However, there are still many aspects about Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s long career that remain unrecognised, despite her making several headlines in the art world due to her critiquing and piercing visuals.

Among the downplayed aspects of her work is the activity of writing, which as the artist claims plays a huge role in developing ideas for her artworks. Moreover, unknown to many, this renowned art has an impressive publishing history: she has been writing novels, columns, art-related articles since she turned 30 and stopped only three years ago, for she wanted to create art without having to worry about deadlines. Now she attempts to bask in writing once more, which has resulted in a riveting exhibition entitled “An Artist is Trying to Return to ‘Being a Writer'”.

On view until 14 January 2018 at the 100 Tonson Gallery in Bangkok, this exhibition inspects the state of art-making and writing converging through unified installation, video and sculptural works. The exhibition collection puts forward themes and motifs that Araya is associated with: criticising how close-minded Thai society is towards her art, dreamscapes featuring mundane activities and the relation of man and animal, and subjects dealing with being a woman, birth and death, and state of in-between-ness.

For this interview, Art Radar seeks to know more about Araya the writer, the place of her published texts in a restrictive society, how things in academia and the contemporary Thai world have changed and what is currently on her writing board.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Niranam Yummayooshi
’, 2015, single channel video, 29m:44s. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Niranam Yummayooshi
’, 2015, single channel video, 29m:44s. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

I am curious about the phrase “Trying to Return” in the exhibition title “An Artist is Trying to Return to ‘Being a Writer’”. Does “return” here mean that you once abandoned or set aside writing?

I began to write and distribute my writings when I was a freshman in university. It was first published in an orientation booklet for new freshmen. When I turned 30, my short stories got published in a popular women’s magazine called Lalana and I started to write more when I went to study abroad in Germany for three years.

[I was writing] interview columns, as well as having my articles published monthly in several magazines. For years I wrote about seven columns per month: some are novels, some are non-fictional, and some are articles on art. I ceased [writing] three years ago, because I want to make art without having to worry about the deadlines, so the word “return” is as its written or maybe (it means that) I have never gotten serious with it; therefore, I want to be more earnest with it.

Can you still recall which came first in your life: the joy of writing stories or creating visual art? Or did both practices arrive at the same time?

The writings came later. As when I was young, I drew pictures and didnt know many words back then. I studied art at a technical college for three years, then I started to write when [I] entered the first year of university, so it seems like the writing began about four years later than art.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Betweenness in “I was just told that my work is more or less too sad for Christmas”’, 2017, single channel video, 22 mins. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Betweenness in “I was just told that my work is more or less too sad for Christmas”’, 2017, single channel video, 22m:00s. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Could you talk a bit about your writing habits, especially since you once expressed that you develop ideas “between writing and art”? Do you ever face that conflict of which practice (writing versus art) to use in order to send your message across?

Im always [more] touched by words than by pictures. On how the words came about or phrased rather than sketching or drawing out ideas in form of images. By using words to induce and rouse imaginations, using it as a post and sometimes the words start to knead with pictures and become indistinguishable.

Writing versus art came when I realised I used lots of text in my art (but the use of texts also came from my profession as a lecturer as seen in The Class and Death Seminar.

Your novels and other written works echo your art’s characteristics – provocative, aggressive and exploratory of societal constructs. Could you talk a bit about how your writings are received by Thai society? Do professors’ critiques differ from what they have to say about your visual art? Or are they more forgiving since writing does not have a “quick” impact?  

Some people commented that my writings are softer than my art. Maybe because the procedure is more elaborate, while art can arise from strong emotions. But in Thai society, women dont have many options. There was a time when many female writers started to write erotic stories and I was put into the same categories with them. But when I looked back at it, I realised it was a way out for a proper girl like me; I thought of myself as a proper girl, a good daughter and the most attentive student in class. As a reaction to my raging hormonal phase and the bursting needs to challenge the gender norm, I therefore didn’t hesitate to write what was considered as a taboo. I realised that writing and art are ways to convey the truth as a human, while the society restricted and refracted it under propriety.

My writings titled Im (pronoun in Thai language signaled “I” in a male form) An Artist was published in a magazine during the course of one year. It angered the Thai art world and accordingly I had to take many consequences for it.

In Thailand, writings are more accessible than art, especially for political magazines that featured fictions. While writing it, I received an email virus that instantly deleted everything. I endured it and started to rewrite the whole stories again and get it to the publisher on time.

Art that challenges the societal norms is criticised within the academic circle and was viewed as unethical, while you cannot evaluate writings as unethical. Does it mean writings and writers’ circles are more open minded?

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Cruel’, 2017, single channel video, 19.56 mins. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Cruel’, 2017, single channel video, 19m:56s. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Speaking of reactions towards your work The Cruel… reminds me of an interview you did back in 2007 with Brian Curtin for Art Signal. You mentioned that working in the academe is “Boring. The Work Environment is not for Art.” (PDF download) Now that ten years have passed, are there any improvements in the area of academia and contemporary art?

It’s strange that writings are more accessible than art, and at the same time, people are more compromising with it. Im referring to what happened in The Cruel

The academic work is boring, so I decided to set up an integrated course for [the] graduate programme (with no boundaries between media), as well as [a] multidisciplinary art department for undergraduates (still [with] no boundaries between media or methodologies). The programme is based on the way things go and the way we live now (which is time, space and place). I felt [that I] loosened up a bit and [became] more comfortable to teach after I founded these two courses. That is my answer on how I link the area of academe and contemporaneity (not just contemporary art but the contemporary ways of living).

However, I always yearn for the past. There was a time in a museum, in Normandy, where I was admiring Impressionist prints while listening to classical music, and [was] captivated by a small painting of a painter laying down on the grass in front of the house during sundown. There was a pink pig standing under a tree while the sun is setting. I think, while I have the responsibility to take care of the department, I still keep hold of the past within the bounds of personal preference. Therefore, the system may seem totally opposite to my taste, which progresses constantly due to new experiences and the way I see the world. [It’s] for that reason I thought it was boring. [In] my return to writing this time, I am dancing in the midst of nostalgia with my unfamiliar self.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Betweenness in “I was just told that my work is more or less too sad for Christmas”’, 2017, single channel video, 22 mins. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Betweenness in “I was just told that my work is more or less too sad for Christmas”’, 2017, single channel video, 22s:00s. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Moreover, now that you are internationally-acclaimed, do Thai professors still question the ethics behind your work? Or do they already focus on art creation?

I think art and religion are alike in terms of beliefs and faiths as well as benefits (especially the benefits that affect the artist, both internally and externally). Therefore, the idea of art for them is nearly immutable, just like the Thai idiom “Saw off your own chair.” Will you keep the rigid form of the chair or will you pay attention to the sawdust [that has] fallen?

Even though some of them may see a great number of art, in the end, they will keep their accustomed authority close to themselves. The day the world is turned or the earth is crumbling, they cant go anywhere because the device to adjust their perspectives is not working. Therefore, “persistence” is an unsteady tool that doesnt appear to be a core or something opposite of what was here before. It’s awkwardly sloppy. When a Thai says “it is not as good as/it didn’t come close to,” it means they are unaccustomed to it.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Niranam Yummayooshi
’, 2015, single channel video, 29:44 mins. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘Niranam Yummayooshi
’, 2015, single channel video, 29m:44s. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

This may seem like a funny question, but we are curious to know the most significant thing you learned from taking care of dogs. Through the years, authors have claimed that their pets whisper story ideas to them. Do you experience this with your dogs? Has creating art about dogs helped you understand your ‘kids’ better?  

When I got older, I liked to talk about dogs more than art. (The tone is more silly rather than serious, Should we still be serious about art?) So I dont have to justify for such question.

Im taking care of dogs because my level of sympathy is easily touched or I can say [that] I have “sensitive gland towards animals”. I will be upset if I dont do anything, even if it means spending more time, more responsibilities, more money and more sorrow for the fate of those who cant take care of themselves. Just like when I founded the interdisciplinary programme at the university […] which made many of my colleagues who didnt want to adapt to change get distressed. In my next life, I would have to find another job if my colleagues were to recall what I have done.

Your question refer to ideas that arise in animal’s thoughts, I dont dare to use such perceptive or intelligent words for them because I want them to be “kids” in my eyes rather than an inspiration. I have never hoped I would gain any career-related thing from dogs – [this applies to] both [my] art and writings. If the animals are to be there it is because I cannot help it. The emotions took charge of me just like when someone falls in love. In which I treat myself as their feeder, taking care of them and giving the happiness just like those you hold dear, provide beds and mattresses that are clean (stray dogs never have this) and [bring them to the] vet when they are sick. Theres a dog that is currently in chemotherapy and it saddens me, because it is [having] difficulty breathing and [there’s] pus and blood oozing constantly.

In conclusion, helping them makes me more fulfilled as a human. Theres one dog that every time I saw her, she would hide in a watercourse so I carried her home, thinking that life can stand on four feet. I found that shes afraid of broomsticks, which may [have] caused her distorted leg.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘An Artist is Trying to Return to Being a Writer’, 2017, Hand-painted on 3D-scanned model, wood and organza fabrics, variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘An Artist is Trying to Return to Being a Writer’, 2017, hand-painted on 3D-scanned model, wood and organza fabrics, dimensions variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Your pieces in “An Artist is Trying to Return to ‘Being a Writer’” in 100 Tonson are highly personal. Audiences see here how Thai society is not embracing your art, your deep concern for strays, the bond that exists between a dog and its human, and subjects that you are interested in: death, birth, being a women, etc. What would you like audiences to take away from this exhibition?

I think it’s difficult to answer [with] a specific work in the exhibition, because I think of it as a whole, and as the name suggests, when the installation is done, I started to return to being a writer and I work just like a professional writer. I get myself out of all the meetings or any meeting that uses a different course of language that I use in the novel. It might mean that I will do as I please from now on, which connects to your question about the exhibition being “highly personal”. What do you expect from an old woman? Cant you just let her reminisce about her past? Dont get in too much with her thoughts.

These writings are more strenuous than what I had written in the past 30 years; because while everything moves fast and facile, I have to sit still and move only my own thoughts and the fingers that are typing.

During the preparation for the exhibition, I moved a lot, I can drive to many places in a day and during [the] night, I still lighten the works and continuously walk around them. Theres still the physical movements that echoes other physicals. When I start writing I realised that “Im turning into a rock.” The visitors in the exhibition may not realise that the artist is turning into a rock, which still can take care of dogs and still can get a headache.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘An Artist is Trying to Return to Being a Writer’, 2017, Hand-painted on 3D-scanned model, wood and organza fabrics, variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘An Artist is Trying to Return to Being a Writer’, 2017, hand-painted on 3D-scanned model, wood and organza fabrics, dimensions variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

And, what would you like to be remembered for as an artist?

In one of my writings, I found that one of my dogs who travels long distance with me tries to jump into a fight with a wooden tiger statue with the eyes made out of marble in front of a shabu shabu restaurant, and barks ferociously at Colonel Sanders in front of KFC. It makes all the foreigners on a bus tour burst out laughing. During the evening, when we would walk together in the village, [my dog] would try to ambush a scarecrow just like its going to hunt. I figured that it must be an artist in his past life, and it gives in to be a dog in this life, so it doesnt have to be an artist anymore.

Humans memories are strange. Theres a Thai curator who went to see my exhibition and mentioned only the erotic writings I did. She thinks [that] in my 60s I still might have a girl’s hormones within me.

Do we believe in memories? I incorporated [memories] a lot in my work, but never trust them, especially when it is another’s memories – this may imply their own existence. [Though] I might have to believe in my own memories, because one of my friends, who is a writer, is amazed by my description of the details of the past, while she cant recall with immaculate detail.


[DETAIL] Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Dead Ovary Lullaby’, 2016, Painted fiber-glass, aluminum, light bulbs and fabrics, variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, ‘The Dead Ovary Lullaby’ (detail), 2016, painted fibreglass, aluminium, light bulbs and fabrics, dimensions variable. Image courtesy 100 Tonson Gallery.

Will you be writing any books soon? If yes, what issues will it tackle?

Im writing the second chapter [to the] now titled Suti-Apree-Vej (a play on words ‘gynecology’ with ‘inauspicious’) which includes Department of despondency (a play on words “family planning service” and turbidness).

Javelyn Ramos

1986

“An Artist is Trying to Return to ‘Being a Writer'” by Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook is on view from 28 June 2017 to 14 January 2018 at 100 Tonson Gallery, 100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd., Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330 Thailand.

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