FAITH and FAIRY TALES
N ew Media Ar t for Thailand
Featured Artists Piyatat Hemmatat I-na Phuyuthanon Kaensan Rattanasomrerk Taiki Sakpisit Chulayarnnon Siriphol Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit Christelle Lheureux & Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Co-Directors) Curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani
FAITH and FAIRY TALES N ew Media Ar t for Thailand
Director’s Foreword - p3 Faith and Fairy Tales: A journey to record what we see, to consider what we believe - p4 Curator’s Notes - p7 Artists’ Bios
ADM Gallery is pleased to present FAITH and FAIRY TALES: New Media Art for Thailand, as part of its mission to showcase critically engaging and intellectually challenging work from the region of Southeast Asia. Our past shows have included works by artists from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. We are excited to offer students and faculty across the School, College and University the opportunity to interact with art and artists from the dynamic contemporary art community in Thailand.
Piyatat Hemmatat - p10 I-na Phuyuthanon - p12 Kaensan Rattanasomrerk - p14 Taiki Sakpisit - p16
For this exhibition, we have invited Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, as our guest curator. Pazzini-Paracciani is an independent curator living in Singapore who is recognized not only as a specialist in contemporary Thai art, but also as a curator who has earned praise for her presentation and promotion of Thai art in Singapore and beyond, often providing exposure for emerging and younger Thai artists.
Chulayarnnon Siriphol - p18 Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit - p20 Christelle Lheureux & Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Co-Directors) - p22 About ADM Gallery - p24 Acknowledgements - p24
For FAITH and FAIRY TALES, Pazzini-Paracciani has selected eight accomplished artists, at various stages of their careers, whose works reflect on the nature of Theravada Buddhism within the current context of present-day Thailand. The mix of video installations and photography call attention to individuals and communities whose faith is tested at the most fundamental level by social and political circumstances beyond their control. The artworks reveal the belief in ghosts, superstitions and the
power of amulets—a belief in fairy tales—that still pervades Thai culture, in spite of the omnipresence of traditional Buddhist teachings, monasteries, and symbols throughout the country. The exhibition asks questions of faith, insight and wisdom, and although FAITH and FAIRY TALES focuses on Buddhism, its themes of spirituality, personal struggle and belief are universally human. I wish to thank Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani for organizing this thoughtprovoking exhibition, and to congratulate her on its success. My appreciation and thanks is extended to the artists for their participation in the show, lending us their works and for all their assistance in making this exhibition possible. I am grateful to the ADM Staff, especially those in Publicity and Outreach, AV and IT for all they have done in helping the Gallery realize this project. We also wish to acknowledge the generous support of the Royal Thai Embassy, Singapore.
Robert B. Epp Director ADM Gallery 3
Faith and Fairy Tales: A journey to record what we see, to consider what we believe. High-tech nirvana and instant karma are promoted internationally through computerized database . . . On the other hand monks turned villains have contributed to skepticism in Buddhist faith.
In these words Professor Apinan Poshyananda captures the status of religion in Thailand on the occasion of the seminal exhibition Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions that premiered at the Asia Society, New York City, in 1996.1 In his introductory and insightful essay Prof Poshyananda describes various events—political, social and religious—during those years that have led to growing skepticism and commodification of the Buddhist faith in Thailand. Several scandals involving Buddhist monks had caught the attention of the press at that time, leading to widespread condemnation of a conduct that was unacceptable within the Sangha. Now, like then, the three pillars of (an increasingly precarious) Thailand is represented by Nation, Religion and Monarchy, reflecting the proposition of a “Thai-Buddhist society in homogeneity and harmony”.2 Yet, the commodification and consumption of religious symbols, the worship 4
of icons, cult personalities and supernatural powers have contributed to morphing Buddhism in Thailand into a system where doctrines and convenience seem to blend. Although Thailand declares freedom of religion, Theravada Buddhism is predominant in the country. The melding of various religious strands, primarily Hinduism and Animism, into occasional superstitions and rituals originate innumerable fascinating cultural possibilities.3 On the other hand, the merging of these beliefs complicates and blurs the distinction between faith, commodification and convenience, of which the latter two seem to escalate in the name of power and personal profit. Is Thailand perhaps becoming increasingly secular, as one may argue, with the misunderstanding or misplacement of Buddhist teachings to fit personal interests? Was there not a recent scandal that involved Luang Phu Nem Kaham (or Mr Wirapol), a Buddhist monk believed to be able to fly and walk on water in his monastery, whose powers enabled him to amass wealth through donations that would allow him to “fly” on his private jet?4 To avoid falling into the trap of judgmental literature, this essay—and this exhibition—does not seek to contest acts and events in Thailand today, nor to conclude on complex topics that extend beyond this text, rather to present to the eyes of the beholders facts and snapshots of regular people—daily life in a Thai village, local children playing at the beach, adults at color-coded street parties, forgers at a Buddhist furnace—all caught in their devotional moment of religious belief.
Presenting seven video and photography installations by emerging and established Thai artists, FAITH and FAIRY TALES : New Media Art for Thailand investigates and addresses the spiritual and tangible space of faith and belief in Thailand today to hopefully better understand the depths and recesses of Thai culture. Welcoming the audience at the main gallery is the photographic installation 3rd Eye Trilogy: The New Dawn by Piyatat Hemmatat. Known as the locus of wisdom, the third eye is regarded in certain dharmic traditions as a speculative invisible eye that provides perception beyond ordinary sight. The third eye, or chakra, hints to a state of enlightenment that derives from the ability to perceive events in a higher order of things. So is Hemmatat’s photographic essay, which literally reproduces a mechanical third eye, that is, the camera lens, in the act of capturing reality—a scrutinizing eye intended to see beyond (deceptive) perception. Central to enlightenment and insight, 3rd Eye Trilogy inducts the visitors into their journey through the exhibition. Raising ethical questions more than offering answers, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s video offers a critical view on the role of the Sangha within Thai rural culture. Titled The Temptation the work refers to the concept of moral choice or lack thereof. Commonly referred to as ‘sin’ in Western religions, temptation indicates an act too enticing to resist and forthcoming with personal gain. Applied within the context of a seemingly Buddhist Thai village one may ask: what role does the society play in reinforcing beliefs and superstitions? How can the Middle Path in Buddhist philosophy relate to hatred and revenge? Narrative in its development, The Temptation reveals the superstitious dimension of Buddhism alongside its official teachings.
Religious premises are populated with blessed charms and lockets that are believed to bring good luck. However, at what point do these objects, massproduced in forgery around Thailand, hence void of spiritual connotations, acquire their holy value? Open to multiple interpretations is Substantial by artist Kaensan Rattanasomrerk. This mixed-media installation, composed of a metallic sphere enclosed in a glass case, as locus of worship, and a video documentation of the factory where the sphere and Buddha statues are forged, silently questions the notion of ‘sacred’.5 In Thai phra kreung, or religious amulets, are treasured possessions of most Thais regardless of their status in society. Ranging in cost from a few to hundreds of baht, phra kreung, as effigies of superstition, deepen their roots in Thai folklore. Time of the Last Persecution, in Thai Fon Hah Fai (literally “Fire Rain”), by Taiki Sakpisit blends old B-series footages of amulets, and local tales of evil and superstition, such as “Khun Chang Khun Phaen”, and of apocalyptic faith to emphasize the role of magic and the supernatural within formal religious parameters. Superstitions and supernatural powers go beyond amulets and charms in Myth of Modernity by Chulayarnnon Siriphol. The most political of all the works presented, this video and light installation addresses the current political dysfunction through the reinterpretation of history. The Tribhumi, or “three worlds”, argues the artist, has greatly influenced Thai architecture and social structure by replicating the pointed or pyramidal shape of Sumeru, the central world-mountain in Buddhist cosmology. In essence, the strongest religious, social and political icon, the pyramid is employed by the artist to echo superstitious beliefs attributed to this mystical shape. Using neon light to materialize the geometric shape in the dark gallery, the installation evokes the enclosure of the temple and its spiritual power over the masses.6 5
Ghost of Asia by Christelle Lheureux and Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a celebration of life through the fictitious presence of the afterlife, a recurrent theme in Weerasethakul’s reflective films. Accidentally shot on the Thai coastline shattered by the tsunami of 2004 (the film crew was on the island to shoot a film about the tsunami), the co-directors happened to see and invited local children—two boys and a girl—to play a game with an imaginary ghost who wanders the seashore. The youngsters, urged to give instructions to the ghost, explode in disarming laughter when the ghost eventually executes them. Despite deriving from a dramatic event that saw the loss of many lives there is no sense of dread and anxiety in Ghost of Asia; on the contrary, life is celebrated through the candid simplicity of superstitious beliefs. The audience, caught between the two opposing projections—the ghost on one end and the children on the other—cannot help but summon the fast sequence of responding events, which in turn create an alter-realm where the boundaries of belief, superstition and reality become blurred. My Fear, My Everyday video and mixed-media installation by artist, and PhD Candidate, I-na Phuyuthanon marks a diversion in the narrative of FAITH and FAIRY TALES by embracing issues of religious diversity in southern Thailand. The insurgency in the three southern provinces of Thailand—namely Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwa—has persisted for more than 200 years, originating as early as the Rattanakosin period.7 Despite the gravity of the political and social consequences triggered by the guerrillas, My Fear, My Everyday—informed by the artist’s direct experience—is not a cry for political justice and equality, rather it serves as 6
a personal and emotional tribute to human nature. Daily killings take place randomly at Buddhist-majority and Muslim-majority areas alike, mostly taking men’s lives. The burden of survival falls on the wives left behind, suddenly turning them into breadwinners and heads of their families. In a seemingly equal Muslim society, women do not advocate for their rights, thus remaining silent, keeping anxiety for their loved ones in their hearts, fear ruling their life of despair.
NOTES 1) Apinan Poshyananda, “Contemporary Thai Art: Nationalism and Sexuality a la Thai,” in Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions (New York: Asia Society Galleries, 1996), 103. 2) Ibid, 104.
Complementing the video work, My Fear, My Everyday also features a poignant installation of sarongs. Fifteen men’s sarongs—sewn together by the artist to create one unique piece—were donated to the artist by the relatives of those killed in the uprisings thus evoking a compelling memorial to the lost and the survivors of the South. To conclude, faith and religion in Thailand are facing significant challenges and skepticism. To this extent and to foster greater understanding of Thai culture, FAITH and FAIRY TALES aspires to be a journal of religious encounters. Each featured work, demanding attention, not judgment, offers real-life instances of moral and spiritual choices that would ultimately take the beholders on a personal and collective journey to record what we see, to consider what we believe.
Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani March 2014
3) At the turn of the first millennium the Khmer Empire occupied most of Southeast Asia including Thailand. Hinduism as well as Buddhism were important religions in the region, amid animistic and traditional cults. To know more about the early periods of Thailand refer to Maurizio Peleggi, Thailand: The Worldly Kingdom (London: Cromwell Press, 2007). 4) The scandal is the biggest Thailand has seen in years. See also “Thailand hunts for fugitive ‘jet-setting’ monk, wanted for statutory rape, money laundering, drug trafficking.” NYDailyNews, July 18, 2013. Accessed February 28, 2014. http://www. nydailynews.com/news/world/thailand-hunts-fugitive-jet-setting-monk-article1.1402055#ixzz2uaRHvOxo. According to the National Office of Buddhism, there are in Thailand apporximately 61,416 full-time monks. See National Office of Buddhism. Accessed February 28, 2014. http://www.onab.go.th/en/index.htm. 5) Many Thai artists are concerned with themes of religious superstitions. The solo exhibition Shroud (2011) by artist Jakkai Siributr at Chulalongkorn University Art Gallery is a poignant example of the artist’s continuous critique of the perversion of the Buddhist faith in contemporary Thailand. See also Steven Pettifor, “A voice for renewal,” Asia Art News 21 (2011).
6) On the occasion of Thai Transience (2012), guest curated by Prof Poshyananda at the Singapore Art Museum, M.R. Chakrarot Chitrabongs, Distinguished Scholar of Chulalongkorn University, gave a lecture titled “Thai Art: Core Concept and Influences on Thai Art Form”. M.R. Chakrarot Chitrabongs shared great insights into the Tribhumi and its profound relevance to modern Thai architecture. “Tribhumi”, which means “three planes of existence”, is a blend of Hinduism and Buddhism that serves as the philosophy of Thai society. M.R. Chakrarot Chitrabongs has been a lifelong advocate of classical Thai culture. His publications on Thai culture include the Tribhumikata book that was offered to His Majesty the King on the occasion of his 84th birthday in 2011. 7) In 1785 the former Sultanate of Patani (or Pattani) was conquered by the Thais and has been governed by them ever since. Since 2004, however, the crisis in the South has escalated, compelling the government’s strict scrutiny of the three southern provinces and police checkpoints in rural and municipal areas, villages, and temples. Despite the efforts of the government and other parties to mitigate the current situation, the loss of lives, slumping economy, and uncertain security have become a national problem, hinting to a crisis that defies easy explanation and solution. To gain a wider understanding of the situation through accounts and perspectives collated from the people of the South, refer to Supara Janchitfa, Violence in the Mist (Bangkok: Kobfai, 2005).
___ Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani has a Master’s degree in Asian Art Histories and is currently a part-time lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts. She writes for several academic journals, art magazines and symposium publications, and works extensively as an independent curator for commercial and institutional places in Singapore and Bangkok. Her academic and curatorial focus, and continuous research, revolves mostly around contemporary art in Thailand. 7
Piyatat Hemmatat Piyatat Hemmatat was born in 1976 in Bangkok, Thailand whew he currently works and lives. In 1991, Hemmatat received his Bachelor’s in fine art from City and Guilds London Art School in 2001, where he developed his passion for photography. He went on to complete his Master’s in fine art at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2002. After graduating, Hemmatat began working as a professional photographer and exhibited his works in galleries and spaces around the UK. In 2007, Hemmatat returned to Bangkok, and seeing a need for more creative venues in the Thai capital, founded RMA Institute in 2010. Named in memory of his grandmother, RMA Institute is a non-profit space, which holds exhibitions by local and international artists, as well as hosting creative workshops. Hemmatat’s 2007 series of mutilated Buddha statues, Vestige, is a photographic essay debating the relevance of faith and religion in current society. Hemmatat’s shots were taken at various locations around Thailand — once places of ceremony and now developed into tourist destinations. The proud and 10
straight-backed statues are an aesthetic memento in a Thai society becoming increasingly distant from its original religious vision — an homage to the importance of relics.
Piyatat Hemmatat, 3rd Eye Trilogy: The New Dawn, 2013, No.5, C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper, ⦰100cm
Another series in which Hemmatat focuses on societal issues is Apasmara, where the artist observes bulletridden windows of luxury fashion retailers in the aftermath of the 2010 standoff between the government and the UDD ‘Red-Shirts’ protestors. Hemmatat’s subtle series addresses the dynamics at play in an increasingly consumer driven Thai society. In his 2007 introspective series on balance and sufficiency, Verve, Hemmatat captures light penetrating beneath and around doors resulting in a series of minimalist black and white compositions of linear geometric abstraction. Hemmatat develops his abstract intentions in 2013 with a series of macro photographs shooting inside a variety of camera lenses. In the 3rd Eye Trilogy, Hemmatat’s circular series is rich in colour and hue; optical flares illuminate hidden universes, and mechanical details of shutters invoke scenes of science fiction.
Piyatat Hemmatat, 3rd Eye Trilogy: The New Dawn, 2013, No.6, C-print on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper, ⦰50cm
I-na Phuyuthanon was born in 1984 in Thailand. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. She is a Bangkok-based, Thai-Muslim artist, originally from the troubled Thai-Malay border provinces. Her artwork and doctoral research are about “Fear in the Deep South,” particularly from a woman’s perspective. She has worked full time from 2008 to 2013 as graphic designer for Thai TV Channel 3. In 2013 I-na decided to teach full time at the Visual Art Department at Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok. My Fear, My Everyday has been shown at ImaginAsia International Workshop and Conference (IIWC), Taiwan (2013) and at the Art Gallery, the Faculty of Fine Arts, Srinakharinwirot University (2013) . I-na’s focus and research continues to revolve around her direct experience of the political and religious unrest in the three southern provinces of Thailand, disclosing events and personal instances in order to create greater awareness of the on-going violence. 12
I-na Phuyuthanon, My Fear, My Everyday, 2013, Single –Channel HD Digital Video, Color, Sound, 10:26 min, mixed-media installation, dimension variable
Kaensan Rattanasomrerk was born in 1989 in Bangkok where he currently lives and works. He graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications, Thammasat University. After graduation his work Falling Rain (2012) was shown at the Film Festival Kuan-Du Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, and his short film Rhythm was shown at the ‘Tid Silp Bon Ratchaburi #2: We are the City’ art festival in Ratchaburi. Kaensan participated in filming Huai-Mo Village by Taiwanese artist Chia-Wei HSU, shown at the exhibition ThaiTai: A Measure of Understanding in 2012. He was an invited artist at the nongpoKiDdee workshop program and Short Film Festival, Ratchaburi, 2013. His Substantial video installation was featured at In transit exhibition (2013), The Art Center, Office of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University. Kaensan was invited to join ThaiTai project’s artist in residency program at Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei (October-November 2013) where he collaborated with Jakrawal Nilthamrong to develop Exit video installation for ThaiTai: A Measure of Understanding in Taipei (December 2013-February 2014). At Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei, Taiwan Kaensan had his first solo exhibition Enclose (2014) that featured a video installation of his previous and new works.
Kaensan Rattanasomrerk, Substantial, 2013, Single-Channel HD Digital Video, Color, 7 min, Brass ball, Glass case, Dimensions variable
Taiki Sakpisit was born in Bangkok in 1975, where he currently lives and works. Taiki is a visual artist and filmmaker. Over the past years, he has been prolific as an experimental filmmaker in Thailand producing series of works that may share similar narrative structures, but differ greatly in the visual language adopted to describe images and sounds with a repetitive sense of enigmatic, gloaming atmosphere. Sound plays a big role in his films. By either working in collaboration with a sound designer, or combining his cinematic languages with existing music, he creates unique situations to discover layers of meanings hidden in the stories. In his latest workÂ The Age of AnxietyÂ (2013), Taiki intersperses the world of sound and found footage from old Thai soap opera creating a textured and transforming experience. His works have been shown in exhibitions and screened both in Thailand and many festivals abroad. 16
Taiki Sakpisit, Time of the Last Persecution, 2012, Single-Channel Video, Color, Sound, 7:30 min
Chulayarnnon Siriphol was born in Bangkok in 1986 where he currently lives and works. Chulayarnnon works in short film, documentary and video art. Most of his works are inspired by personal memory and Thai political crises. Since 2004 Chulayarnnon has won many awards at the Thai Short Film & Video Festival, and the Alternative Visual Award for A Brief History of Memory at the 12th Seoul International NewMedia Festival, Seoul, Korea (2012). His works have been screened in film festivals in Thailand and abroad, including in The 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (2005), The 9th International Film Festival Hannover, Germany (2009), the 26th Hamburg International Short Film Festival, Germany (2010), Human Frames: Fanaticism, Kunst 18
im Tunnel, Dusseldorf, Germany (2011), Festival Film Dokumenter 2011, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2011), Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2011, Japan (2011). Sharjah Biennial 11, United Arab Emirates (2013), Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions, Tokyo, Japan (2014) and exhibitions, including in CUT THRU: A View on 21st Century Thai Art, The Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore (2012), Can You Hear Me?, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, Singapore and Numthong Gallery, Thailand (2012-2013), CROSS_STITCH : A trans-conceptual exhibition to present the works of young artists, Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC), Thailand (2013), MEDIA/ART KITCHEN (=M/AK): Reality Distortion Field, single-channel screening, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok (2013-2014).
Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Myth of Modernity, 2014, Single-Channel HD Digital Video, Color, 16 min, 8 fluorescent tubes , 1.30 x 1.30 x 1.00 m.
Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit was born in Bangkok in 1984 where he currently lives and works. He graduated from the Faculty of Arts (Chinese major), Chulalongkorn University. Nawapol started to make short films with the learning-by-doing approach during his years in the university. He also works as a scriptwriter/script consultant for both independent and mainstream featured films and as a film critic for film and cultural magazines. In 2006, his experimental documentary, See, gained success, winning two awards in a film competition in Thailand. Later in 2007, he attended Berlinale Talent Campus. His short film Bangkok Tanks was officially selected to be screened in Home Affairs programme, and in many film and art festivals.Â His first feature film, 36, won the New Currents Award at the Busan Film Festival 2012 and the film Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy, funded by Biennale College Cinema and Gucci, is his latest work. Now he is developing the first directorial work for a Thai film studio and working on a documentary film. 20
Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, The Temptation, 2009, Single-channel video, color, sound 30 min
Christelle Lheureux & Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Co-Directors)
Christelle Lheureux is a French artist and filmmaker living in Paris. She studied contemporary art at university, Beaux-Arts and Le Fresnoy. She began making video installations in 1998, for personal and collective exhibitions in art centers and biennales in Europe, Asia and North America. She did many residencies in Asia, mostly in Japan, Vietnam and Thailand. Her artwork is in public and private collections, and she is represented by Artericambi Gallery (Italy) and Blancpain (Switzerland). She collborates with many other artists, filmmakers, writers and musicians. Her artwork deals mostly with non linear stories where screens, moving images and sounds are split up, playing with the narrative structure and audience memory. Simultaneously, she started making short and medium films without scripts, usually in a hybrid language of fiction and documentary. They have been produced with her company Les films des lucioles. All her films have been selected for international film festivals from 2005. Her last medium film La maladie blanche received many awards. She has been juror of international competition in Belfort (France), BAFICI (Argentina) and Sevilla (Spain). She is part of French film critic magazine Independencia. Christelle recently shot a medium-length film Madeleine and the 2 Apaches and is preparing another medium film with baptypshere production (France). She is now developing her first narrative feature Le vent des ombres
with baptysphere and Kick the machine (Thailand, A. Weerasethakul), with the support of FIDLab, Torino film lab (Script&Pitch & Frame Work) and Rotterdam film festival (Cinemart). She has taught cinema and contemporary art at HEAD Geneva since 2006, where she organised workshops with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Miguel Gomes, Albert Serra, Raya Martin, among others.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul was born in Bangkok and grew up in Khon Kaen in northeastern Thailand; he currently works and lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He began making film and video shorts in 1994, and completed his first feature in 2000. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998. Often non-linear, with a strong sense of dislocation, his works deal with memory, subtly addressed personal politics and social issues. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he is active in promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his company Kick the Machine. His art projects and feature films have won him widespread recognition and numerous festival prizes, including two prizes from the Cannes Film Festival. In 2005 the Thai Ministry of Culture presented him with one of Thailand’s most prestigious
awards, Silpatorn. In 2008, the French Minister of Culture bestowed on him the medal of Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) and in 2011, he was given another honor for the same field with an Officer Medal. His film, Syndromes and a Century, completed in late 2006, was the first Thai film to be selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival. Apichatpong is also one of 20 international artists and filmmakers commissioned to create a short film for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2009, the Austrian Film Museum published a major English language monograph on his work. His 2009 project, Primitive, consists of a large-scale video installation, an artist’s book, and a feature film, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. The film has won a Palme d’Or prize at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in 2010, making it the first Southeast Asian film (and the 7th from Asia) to win the most prestigious award in the film world. In 2012, he was invited to participate in Documenta (13), one of the most well-known art exhibitions in Kassel, Germany. Apichatpong also received the Sharjah Biennial Prize at the 2013 Sharjah Biennial 11, UAE. He is also a recipient of the Fukuoka Prize, Japan, 2013.
Christelle Lheureux and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Ghost of Asia, 2005, Two-Channel Digital Video, Color, Sound, 8:30 min
About ADM Gallery The ADM Gallery is housed within the School of Art, Design and Media, an iconic and prize- winning, environmentally friendly building, located at the heart of Nanyang Technological University campus in Singapore. ADM Gallery presents exhibitions of original works of art by professional, practicing artists and designers from Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond the region. Featuring traditional works of art as well as advanced contemporary media art, ADM Gallery exhibitions and its related programs support the teaching, research, and creative aspects across the School’s six undergraduate majors: Digital Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Interactive Media, Photography and Digital Imaging, Product Design and Visual Communication. In addition, it supports ADM’s post-graduate MA and PhD programs that also include global and Southeast Asian art history, contemporary fine art, and cultural heritage.
Acknowledgements My heartfelt thanks first and foremost go to ADM Gallery Director, Robert B. Epp, for having invited me to be guest curator at ADM Gallery, indeed a great honor and a pleasure. His meticulous support and guidance throughout the development of this project and its actualization was invaluable. I have learned a lot from our journey together, as I always do from every curatorial project. Thank you. I also wish to extend my acknowledgments to Professor TK Sabapathy, who, as Advisor to the ADM Gallery, has provided much appreciated feedback during the gestational period of this project. I am grateful to the ADM staff, especially those in Publicity and Outreach, AV and IT, for all they have done in helping the gallery realize this project. I wish to thank Professor Vibeke Sorensen, Chair of ADM, for her support throughout the project. My great appreciation goes to the artists, who have believed in FAITH and FAIRY TALES since the beginning. They have entrusted me their works, giving me the honor of featuring them in this show. I also wish to acknowledge the generous and continuous support of the Royal Thai Embassy, Singapore.
Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani 24
This catalogue was published by the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in conjunction with the exhibition FAITH and FAIRY TALES: New Media Art for Thailand held at ADM Gallery, 14 March to 17 April 2014, curated by Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani. © 2014 School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and writers. All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process without consent form the publisher.
ISBN: 978-981-07-9602-0 All opinions expressed within this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily of the publisher.
EXHIBITION Guest Curator: Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani Curatorial Project Manager: Robert B. Epp
Direct all enquiries to the publisher: School of Art, Design and Media Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 81 Nanyang Drive Singapore 637458 The National Library Board Singapore cataloguing-in-publication data FAITH and FAIRY TALES: New Media Art for Thailand Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani 1. Faith and fairy tales. 2. Thailand art. 3. Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani 4. School of Art, Design and Media. 5. New media art.
CATALOGUE Design: Glenn Pagdilao Printing: First Printers, Singapore Front Cover: KAENSAN RATTANASOMRERK Substantial 2013 video (still) 7 min