"I am not allowed to live in your reality."
A Virtual Reality Exhibition
by Jirawut Ueasungkomsate
I am not allowed to live in your reality. An exhibition by Jirawut Ueasungkomsate examines the situation of urban refugees in Thailand, especially those living in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology.
The total number of refugees living in urban areas in Thailand is approximately 6,500. This may seem like a tiny fraction of the whole urban population. However, these 6,500 units of life are able to experience love, sadness, pain, and happiness like the un-refugees. Their tragic stories which have been hidden from public eyes because they face high risks of being arrested, are subsequences from an unclear legal status as well as an attitude of some enforcers. A society in which unawareness, ignorance could lead to detestation of otherness and create ambiguity that become prejudice against the empathy. Hence, it is essential to think and discuss, especially at this time when we could not avoid the social dynamic and the diversity arising from the movement of the world population, under the era's transition that has not yet provided the conclusion.
This became an inspiration for Jirawut to examine the concepts of existence and non-existence, of the visible and the invisible. What does it take to accept and acknowledge the existence of another human being – Does it depend on what the laws say? Or one’s beliefs towards race? Or our connections as human beings? I am not allowed to live in your reality may not provide all the answers but it invites you to experience another reality which exists in your world.
Jirawut Ueasungkomsate (b. 1986, Bangkok, Thailand) is a filmmaker and video artist with an MA degree in Experimental Film from Kingston University, United Kingdom. He obtained his BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Silpakorn University in Thailand and also achieved BTEC HNC in Fine Art from Kensington and Chelsea College. His work has been exhibited in solo and several group shows in galleries in the UK, Japan and Thailand including ‘This is not a Political Act’, WTF Bar and Gallery, 2016, BKK, Thailand. SEA ArtsFest 2013, London, UK. ‘Resonance’, Asia Network Beyond Design, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Japan. Jirawut now is a lecturer at the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Silpakorn University, teaching mainly Documentary and Media Production.
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