Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Chatchai Puipia, Chumpon Apisuk, Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Kamol Phaosavasdi, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Michael Shaowanasai, Montien Boonma, Navin Rawanchaikul, Pinaree Sanpitak, Prasong Luemuang, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Tawatchai Puntusawasdi
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre’s upcoming exhibition RIFTS: Thai contemporary artistic practices in transition
seeks to chronologically explore the contemporary art world in Thailand from the late 1980s — a period which arguably marked the beginning of a significant transition — well into the 2000s as the modern art movement in the country is believed to reach its zenith. Artistic phenomena of great magnitude were witnessed during that time as people started to challenge the artistic power structure in traditional institutions and conventional art practices. In doing so, independent art spaces were created, accompanied by greater connections with transnational art networks, and, most importantly, the production of unconventional artworks from avant-garde artists at the time. This, in turn, resulted in what seemed like “RIFTS” in Thai art scene which have continued to exert their influence until the present day. This exhibition comprehensively compiles art practices and ideologies that were established and emerged during that period of time.
Featured in this exhibition are carefully selected works spanning painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video art, as well as artwork archive from 13 Thai artists who received art education in Thailand and abroad. Artworks from this period embody the notion of novelty creations comparable to the postmodern art manifesto. To challenge the status quo of the art world, artists of the time engaged with different materials, including worthless objects and readymades, and used their own bodies as part of performances. Another means of art expression was through new media which allowed artists to experiment with unorthodox techniques, forms, and contents. These works not only question traditional artistic values and a rather limiting framework regarding the notion of ideal and customary aesthetics, but also reflect everyday life phenomena. Moreover, they also critique cultural values and social structure, raising questions about the borderline of meanings, class, hierarchy, and gender issues, to name but a few.
Visitors are invited to explore various artistic practices, while being introduced to relevant networks of people, organisations and activities through featured artworks and the kind of exhibition that invokes the sense of confrontation, alienation, or even divergence. Although the selected works are placed on the same temporal plane, the magnitude of the “RIFTS” they have created vary in terms of time and meaning. Sometimes these rifts may overlap, and oftentimes they run parallel according to individual artists’ practices. Therefore, this attempt to gain a better understanding of the past phenomena through a retrospective approach does not aim to paint an overview of what actually took place in the Thai art world. Rather, the point here is to suggest another way to understand a significant moment in the recent history from where we stand now in order to reexamine the golden age of Thailand’s contemporary art world as a transition period that leads to divergence, fault shifts, and breaking points.
For more information, please contact
Exhibition Department, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
939 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel. 02 214 6630 – 8