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Procession of Dystopia

Date : 02 July 2024 - 14 July 2024
Location: Studio, 4th Floor
By Bangkok Art and Culture Centre 


The exhibition originates from Kanatorn Khaosanit’s literary work titled “Let Them See Us, Let Them Fear Us, Our Love is a Rebellion They Cannot Crush.” Kanatorn wrote this piece of short story as a social reflection, which became a foundation for 2 other artists to interpret and create new bodies of work. Wattanapume Laisuwanchai created a visual performance titled “The Body Craves Impact as Love Bursts,” while Khetsin Chuchan formed a sound installation comprised of music composition and field recordings in the work called “Garden of Insignificant Things.”
 
The collaboration was stimulated by contemporary issues and situations that have surrounded the artists for most of their lives, from when they are awake to the moment they close their eyes (but don’t dare to dream). The main subject undergoes different interpretations by the artists. Their ideas intertwine and branch out like trees, while also rooting deeply into each other’s thought processes, uncovering new methods to create their works. The result is an exhibition that cunningly conveys the essence of their concept while also allowing space for audience interpretation.
 
The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre invites you to explore the implications of social phenomena hidden within the exhibition and investigate the dystopia created by the three artists. This simulated space, consisting of visuals, sounds, and ambiance, reflects traces of a world that grips us together.
 
Kanharat Leamthong
Curator
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Let Them See Us, Let Them Fear Us, Our Love Is a Rebellion They Cannot Crush
Kanatorn Khaosanit
The Author

 
The inspiration behind this work emerged when forming an idea for the short story based on the concept of the exhibition 'Procession of Dystopia,' which will be the basis for two other works in different forms of media, including moving images and sound. When first encountering the name of the exhibition, an image of a parade of people with hollow hearts walking nowhere arose in mind, leading the author to contemplate the meaning of love and existing in the absence of affection when love becomes forbidden.
 
The story is woven with the intention to toy with the idea of melodramatic literature and soap operas, akin to 'Romeo and Juliet' and other contemporaneous works from the same period. Idioms and expressions from Thai folk drama are blended with a futuristic backdrop featuring advanced technologies such as drones, laser guns, and telepathic gates
 
While developing and writing the story, the phrase 'Let Them See Us, Let Them Fear Us, Our Love Is a Rebellion They Cannot Crush' appeared on the paper, progressing into a revolutionary song that propels the narrative forward.
 
The universe depicted in the short story is a dystopian world ruled by the Ten Eyed clan, who regulate everything, including love. Love has become illegal, and people are oppressed, stripped of hope. Though all of this unfolds in a fictional dystopia, it resonates with the real world—control, oppression, violation of human rights, corrupt authorities, and the struggle for freedom, all of which occur in reality. Consequently, this short story serves as a reflection of these issues, inviting readers to question the value of freedom and romance.
 
In addition, this work delves into the concept of immortality, a classic trope that has long endured in both literature and reality. The story presents this idea through the Ten Eyed clan, who can live eternally but with cold and empty hearts, prompting the question: What is life when you can live forever but without love? One character in the story articulates, 'Eternity doesn’t make love real,' a pivotal statement that becomes one of the main turning points in the narrative, leading to a plot twist in the conclusion.
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The Body Craves Impact as Love Bursts
Wattanapume Laisuwanchai
The Director & Visual Performance Designer

This piece of work is inspired by the short novel "Let Them See Us, Let Them Fear Us, Our Love is a Rebellion They Cannot Crush" by Kanatorn Khaosanit, focusing on a particular scene in which the city depicts a world where expressions of love and affection are forbidden. Consequently, hugging and touching in public spaces become acts of rebellion against the authorities.
 
From Kanatorn’s fictional world to my own experiences of last year, a connection emerged. An acquaintance whom I had been filming for a documentary, 'School Town King,' was arrested and imprisoned for possessing explosives linked to an explosion at the former prime minister’s residence. Throughout the trial, I became acquainted with his girlfriend, who, like him, was an active member of the Thalugaz group, fighting for democracy. Their shared experiences highlighted the inseparable connection between love and idealism. Despite facing numerous challenges, they empowered each other, offering unwavering support even in the darkest moments of life.
 
Currently, my acquaintance has been imprisoned for over 10 months. I have visited him and witnessed the despair not only affecting him and his partner but also their families and relatives. This situation mirrors the plight of other political prisoners, where despite physical freedom, the lingering case continues to haunt and imprison them emotionally and mentally.
 
“The Body Craves Impact as Love Bursts" seeks to depict the experience of being bedridden away from a loved one. Despite the close proximity of the two screens, the absence of physical touch—the most basic form of expressing love—is keenly felt in this distorted society. Rather than focusing on punishment, the audience will witness a profound sense of longing and yearning, tinged with sadness and rage at the injustice. This work captures the combustion of loving energy, invisible to the eyes but palpable to both the body and the heart.
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Garden of Insignificant Things
Khetsin Chuchan 
The Music Composer & Sound Designer  
 

When gardening, we carefully select the plants we desire, nurturing their seedlings and learning the intricate details of their preferred environment, with the hope that they will flourish, although success is not always guaranteed. As we construct our garden, it also becomes a habitat for other organisms.
 
In today's world, where individuals and things often fade away amidst the torrent of suffering, how can we continue to nurture and care for others?
 
The 'Garden of Insignificant Things' is a musical composition and sound installation that reflects Kanatorn Khaosanit’s short story, 'Let Them See Us, Let Them Fear Us, Our Love is a Rebellion They Cannot Crush,' as well as the concept of the 'Procession of Dystopia.' The sounds in this work blend musical arrangements with field recordings, capturing the sounds of daily life, conversations, living organisms, and environmental surroundings in Bangkok. These sounds reflect the lives within our society, where economic and social growth often overshadows the significance of individual lives, both human and non-human.
 
The sounds of these 'insignificant things' are gathered and dispersed throughout the BACC space, creating a miniature garden within this dry and desolate world. This 'Garden of Insignificant Things' serves as a poignant reminder of the lives that surround us, lives that are equally valuable and deserving of care.

For more information:
Arts Activity Department, BACC
Website : www.bacc.or.th
Facebook : Bacc หอศิลปวัฒนธรรมแห่งกรุงเทพมหานคร

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