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Representing whom or what?

Published April 15, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367613

  • Photo/Natapol Meechart
  • Photo/Natapol Meechart

Representing whom or what?

Breaking News April 15, 2019 10:35

By Pawit Mahasarinand
Special to The Nation

A Taiwanese-Thai contemporary dance collaboration questions cultural exchange

CHANG THEATRE in Thung Khru, Thonburi was filled up to capacity on the last weekend of March when “Behalf”, the new contemporary dance collaboration between Taiwan’s Chen Wu-Kang and our Pichet Klunchun, made its stop in Bangkok as part of the 2019 tour which started in Singapore a week earlier and followed on from the world premiere last May in Taipei.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

Taiwanese expatriates as well as those from other countries were among the Thais in the audience, and their level of anticipation, as for any new work by such internationally acclaimed artists, was indeed high. Some 100 minutes later after the surprise-filled performance, no one was disappointed. And that wasn’t just because we’d just had yet another new experience in performing arts collaboration, but also because we had been inspired to think more deeply about cultural representation and exchange.

At the IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Review held a month earlier, critics noted intercultural collaboration as an important trend for our performing arts. They pointed out financial and administrative support from such cultural agencies as Japan Foundation, Goethe Institut and Taiwan’s culture ministry through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand (TECOT) – and their clearly defined Southeast Asia cultural exchange strategy carried out by, respectively, Asia Centre’s Wa project, the International Co-production fund and Southbound policies, as major forces. This is despite the fact that their Thai counterpart, namely our culture ministry, which still favours traditional arts as cultural ambassadors, hasn’t yet shown any sign that it would want to match the investment.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

Partly because of this, Thai artists, in the context of intercultural collaboration, have rarely taken lead, or even equal, roles. All men are, supposedly, created equal; all collaborators are not. Oftentimes, when it comes to decision making in their new creation, it’s the artists from the country who initiated the collaboration and funds the project who will have the final say, while the Thai counterparts give them the world-famous Siamese smile.

Truly a rare case, “Behalf” is anything but.

While Taiwan’s culture ministry is both the matchmaker, who introduced the two artists to each other in the first place, and the supporter, who’s been funding their research, production fees and now touring costs, there’s no pressure for either the production outcome or the deadline. It’s the two collaborators themselves who decide when and how they will put on a show. Reflecting its length and multi-faceted nature, Chen even calls this “an intercultural/dance dialogue and an intimate exchange of physical, emotional and philosophical experiences” with Pichet. Besides, the fact that they’re both listed as dancer and choreographer in the programme leaflet shows that they are, supposedly, creating this work together, before bringing on board Singaporean dramaturg Tang Fu-Kuen, Japanese lighting designer Takayuki “Kinsei” Fujimoto and Taiwanese set designer Liao Yin-Chiao.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

In the performance, after a pulsating prologue performed in the dark by virtuosic musician and composer Sarut “Bank” Baworntirapak and his collaborator, Pichet and Chen entered the stage and took turns performing their solos. Each of these lasted three minutes and was marked, if not interrupted, by an alarm sound from the other’s mobile phone. While one was performing, the other would watch but never do more than that. It was as if their stage time had been equally shared and each would rather “be” in his own “half”. The audience, probably yearning for their duet, couldn’t help wondering whether this could be called a collaboration or questioning what performing together actually meant.

Given the two artists’ very different dance backgrounds – one in western classical ballet and modern dance, the other in Thai classical dance – and the project’s working title “Body Tradition,” one would have expected this new work to show either the relationship between tradition and contemporaneity or some kind of new dance vocabulary the two contemporary dance artists had come up with after working together for three years. Many who assumed that any Taiwanese contemporary dance ambassador would be something like Cloud Gate Dance Theatre had also wondered if Chen’s ballet background would take the back seat in this collaboration.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

We came to realise that the two artists also love experimenting and are not easily satisfied with what they’ve already achieved.

What the audience saw on stage were two well-established dancers and choreographers who had, as evidenced by their movements, been through a long journey, filled with questions as well as doubts, in their professional and personal lives. And as they’re riding waves of

traditions and contemporaneity, their performance showed traits of so many cultures that the audience didn’t need to separate one from another.

In a good number of intercultural collaborations, it’s the collaborating artists who benefit the most, as they learn through the process of sharing and experimenting and the funding bodies who can always take some credit, if not pride. Occasionally, this leaves the audience wondering what exactly we would gain from it and whether the artists would have any opportunity to develop this special relationship further after the funding runs out. “Behalf” makes sure that the audience is also part of it, although we’re only in it for less than two hours not three years like these two artists.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

The post-show Q&A of “Behalf” followed the curtain call so quickly that no members of the audience felt that they should go home or even visit the toilet and it became an integral part of the work. Unlike other Q&As in which the dramaturg or invited scholars might warm up the floor with a few questions, this was truly open for the audience to ask the two artists any questions or voice any comments, in Thai or English. In my attempt to keep the work’s surprises intact, I should only reveal here that as soon the artists saw there were no more questions from the audience – and as usual in Thailand that was quite soon – they wrapped up the Q&A, “Behalf” didn’t simply finish there and a lucky audience member had a chance to end it later.

Photo/Natapol Meechart

 

In the end, “Behalf” might have disappointed some audience members who were hoping for a Pichet and Chen duet, or th the presumed outcome of this collaboration would have lasted longer than a Sunday afternoon, and one can’t really blame them for feeling this way. Many, if not all, would agree, though, that what we saw in this intercultural collaboration was simply two individual artists who hold passports from two different countries working together: they don’t really represent anything or anyone other than themselves.

CATCH THEM IN EUROPE SOON

With the ongoing support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, “Behalf” will be at Centre Pompidou in the French capital on April 24 and 25. It continues to Festival DDD (Dias da Danca) in Porto, Portugal on April 27 and 28 and Kaaitheater in the Belgian capital on May 4 and 5.

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Picasso slept here, so they say

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367235

One of the artisans of Fakaha in Ivory Coast shows what he swears is a self-portrait that Pablo Picasso painted while visiting the remote village “sometime” in the last century, though exactly when is debated./AFP
One of the artisans of Fakaha in Ivory Coast shows what he swears is a self-portrait that Pablo Picasso painted while visiting the remote village “sometime” in the last century, though exactly when is debated./AFP

Picasso slept here, so they say

Art April 08, 2019 01:00

By Agence France-Presse
Fakaha, Ivory Coast

He just stumbled in, no shirt, stayed a while, shared some tips and also learned a lot

“I’M SURE! I tell you, he came. I saw him!” insists Soro Navaghi, keen to extinguish any doubts about Picasso’s visit to a small Ivorian village famed for its painted textiles.

Whether in tourist brochures or online, it is not unusual to find references to Picasso’s reputed visit to Fakaha, a remote village in northern Ivory Coast, some 650 kilometres from Abidjan, the economic capital.

French travel guide Petit Fute describes Fakaha as “internationally renowned” for its hand-spun cotton cloth painted by the Senufo people, which once “charmed a certain Picasso as he paid a discreet visit to the region at the turn of the century”.

One of the artisans of Fakaha in Ivory Coast shows what he swears is a self-portrait that Pablo Picasso painted while visiting the remote village “sometime” in the last century, though exactly when is debated./AFP

A whole mythology has grown up around the question of Africa and Picasso, who never spoke of having been to Fakaha.

For the artist who once provocatively brushed off the subject, saying “Negro art? Don’t know it” was also an ardent admirer and passionate collector of African art.

Highlighting the resemblance between African sculpture and some of Picasso’s work, many art critics see the symbolism and imagery of Africa as one of his sources of inspiration.

One often-cited example is the striking similarity between an African Grebo mask and one of the faces in his 1907 breakthrough work “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”.

“Whenever someone emphasised the influence of African art on the development of his own work, he would shrug his shoulders, annoyed at being reduced to that. Although it is certain he was influenced by it from 1906 when he experienced his first African sculptures,” says Gilles Plazy, one of his biographers.

“Picasso used everything that came through his door and integrated it into the constant evolution of his artistic process,” he told AFP. “He opened up new paths.”

Fakaha has its own widespread reputation in the arts, producing beautiful paintings on white cotton fabric./AFP

For the several hundred residents of Fakaha, there is no question about where the celebrated Andalusian artist and sculptor found his inspiration, after stumbling upon their village 15km from the main road to Korhogo.

For decades these local artists have been hard at work in open huts around a sandy track, where they can be found smearing earth-based pigments onto canvas.

Their dexterity is fascinating, their moves precise. Working with knives or sticks, they plunge their tools into the bowls of colour, quickly transforming the white cotton into a work of art covered with animal motifs and figures in masks.

And there is an element of Picasso in it, with a definite similarity between his works and those of the artists of Fakaha.

But is this just a random resemblance or creative coincidence?

“I tell you, he came here. He was inspired by us,” repeats Soro Navaghi, who’s in his 60s.

AFP

Picasso’s car apparently broke down while driving to Korhogo, and he set off on foot and eventually turned up in the village “bare-chested and without shoes”, Navaghi says.

The artist stayed there for several days and even gave the villagers some advice, they say.

“It was he who taught us to use sponges and toothbrushes to be quicker and more precise,” says Silue Naganki, one of the artists who takes his inspiration from long-dead ancestors.

“Before him, we never used the frames either. It was he who advised us to paint the frames.”

Ducking into his house, Soro Navaghi comes up with the “ultimate proof” – a cotton canvas featuring Picasso himself.

The fabric is covered with multiple motifs of a bald, white man, sometimes wearing shorts, sometimes in a grass skirt, who is variously clutching a pencil or paintbrush or even some twigs.

A self-portrait by the master! Surely there can be no doubt, even for an amateur, that this is Picasso, proclaims Navaghi.

Attached to the canvas is a self-declared certificate of authenticity signed by a travel agent who attests to having witnessed the visit.

A group of women spin cotton in the village of Fakaha./AFP

“Picasso came barefoot to Fakaha in 1968. He worked shirtless and without clothes,” says the document, a copy of the original which is kept in the village archives for safekeeping.

For biographer Plazy, the account would have delighted the eclectic painter, the idea of him visiting Fakaha “like a magician, and infusing the traditional local art with an invigorating breath of fresh air”.

“There were a lot of stories about Pablo Picasso, and since he had a sense of humour, he would sometimes pretend some of them were true.”

Picasso died in 1973 at age 91, and other villagers concede that his visit was probably earlier than 1968, given his age by then.

The world-renowned painter, in his mid-80s, would have had to walk 15km through the bush, chancing upon a village with no electricity or running water and staying there several days.

Even though Picasso continued working until his death, it certainly wasn’t only at the end of his life that African influences appear in his works. But could he have been in Fakaha around the turn of the century, as travel guide Petit Fute suggests?

If he did, Picasso would have had to take a boat to Abidjan, then travel the remaining 1,000km by road in scorching, dry conditions with little shade from the sun – an adventure more suited to an explorer.

Such an epic trip would have taken at least several months, and would likely have featured in one of his biographies.

AFP contacted the Picasso Museum in Paris, which declined to comment, then spoke with several of his biographers, who also refused to be pinned down.

One theory put forward by residents of the city of Korhogo is that it was a false Picasso – a man who resembled the famed Spanish painter and fooled the villagers by pretending to be him.

But that also raises a question: why?

Sex, drugs and no easy way out

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367223

  • In a stunning installation that forms the show’s centrepiece, Headache Stencil stacks up a pile of naked dolls smeared with blood, the word “victims” sprayed on the platform. Nation/Anan Chantarasoot
  • “Sex Drugs
  • Headache Stencil’s take on “The Last Supper” offers a cornucopia of illicit and addictive drugs to ensure your prompt acquaintance with death. Nation/Anan Chantarasoot

Sex, drugs and no easy way out

Art April 06, 2019 01:00

By Phatarawadee Phataranawik
The Nation Weekend

7,434 Viewed

‘It’s complicated,’ says the artist who got Prayut and Thaksin to ‘shake hands’, now tackling other issues

Patpong , Bangkok’s most notorious red-light area, seems a likely enough place to provoke a discussion about sexual attitudes in this country. Even better, have the discussion at Candle Light Studio, a new gallery for naughty art above the Barbar Fetish Club on Patpong Soi 2.

The provocateur is the masked graffiti artist who calls himself Headache Stencil, fresh from skewering the junta government and chaotic election in his previous show, “Thailand Casino”.

The exhibition, “Sex Drugs & Headache Stencil”, officially opens Candle Light Studio, which apparently used to be a go-go bar. Families with small children can easily reach it from BTS Sala Daeng but probably shouldn’t.

The ascent to the third floor entails passing young ladies dressed in sexy cosplay outfits, who beckon passers-by inside to watch decent folks paying indecent folks to spank them. Once you reach the gallery, though, everything gets very dark very fast.

Headache Stencil has spread his edgy art around two rooms. In the first, it’s all about issues related to sex. He’s painted the walls with women in bikinis and university uniforms with dollar signs and there’s a mural of penises – in pastel blue for some reason.

Keep looking. There’s a stencil of a sexy woman with a formidable brain in a jail cell, and another of two male naval officers kissing.

“It’s an open secret that prostitution and drugs, despite being illegal, are widespread in Thailand,” Headache told The Nation Weekend. “But the issues that affect the lives of sex workers and drug addicts are quite complicated.”

The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act 1996 and Article 286 of the Criminal Code seek to handcuff the sale of sex, pimping and running “prostitution establishments”.

The laws don’t seem to be working, though. It’s been variously estimated that anywhere from 800,000 to more than two million Thais earn money as prostitutes, and many of them are under 18.

“It used to be that sex workers were all poor and uneducated, but now in our capitalist-consumerist era, many college students are getting into the sex trade because they want money to buy mobile phones, brand-name clothes and even cars and condos,” Headache said.

The victims of society

In a stunning installation that forms the show’s centrepiece, he’s stacked up a pile of naked dolls smeared with blood, the word “victims” sprayed on the platform.

“Women are regularly raped or sexually harassed in Thailand,” he said. “Some die as a result, but they all suffer in some way. They’re the victims.”

On to the next room, where the subject is drug abuse. Headache’s done a black-and-white stencil of da Vinci’s “Last Supper” on one wall, but with a 3D table that’s set with a feast of street dope. On the menu are ecstasy, yaba, cocaine, amphetamine, Xanax and LSD – none of it real, officer. You have glass pipes as well, plus a bottle of whisky for good measure. Also, stencilled skulls!

The litany of drugs appears on another wall alongside a portrait of a boy holding a marijuana bong.

“It’s like the last chapter in an addict’s life,” explains the artist, who admits he’s done some sampling. “Overdosing on drugs really is the ‘last supper’ before you die.”

As well as harming themselves, however, drug addicts and drunks also plague society with crimes committed to fuel their habits, he said. For teens, the issues are far more complicated, and the government needs to handle the matter carefully.

“The government should separate the addicts who commit crimes from those who are just sick and get the latter proper treatment.

“Both the sex trade and the drug trade are complicated. We need sustainable and realistic alternatives. We need to bring these people back into society.”

Crown’s costumes go on show in US

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367202

Crown’s costumes go on show in US

Art April 05, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

2,493 Viewed

Fans of Netflix’s “The Crown” who are planning a visit the US should be sure to check out Winterthur Museum in Delaware, which is hosting the world’s first comprehensive costume exhibition “Costuming The Crown” featuring 40 costumes from Netflix’s most acclaimed original series.

Running through January 5, 2020, the exhibition examines the role that costumes, and the costume designers’ decisions played in creating Peter Morgan’s fictionalised account of Queen Elizabeth II’s story. It has already won two Golden Globes and eight Emmys and the much-anticipated third season featuring Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman is slated to premier later this year.

Season 1 designer Michele Clapton, Season 2 designer Jane Petrie (Black Mirror) and producer Eve Swannell (Criminal) joined the team at Winterthur for the launch.

The exhibition features 40 costumes from the Emmy and Golden Globe Winning first two seasons including the dazzling gold of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation robe, the simple sophistication of Princess Margaret’s wedding dress, the majesty of royal crowns and tiaras to the comfort of clothes worn in private family moments.

Winterthur is America’s premiere decorative arts Museum, and previously hosted a successful exhibition featuring costumes from Downtown Abbey. The admission is $20 (Bt640) adults , $18 students/seniors, $6 children 211 and the museum is opens Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

To book tickets or find out more, visit http://www.winterthur.org/exhibitionsevents/exhibitions/thecrown/

A tale of two mountains

Published April 9, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367146

  • Li Cheng Jie paints as Aphirak reads a poem.
  • Thai-Chinese landscape painters Aphirak Punmoonsilp and Li Cheng Jie join up for the “Borderless” exhibition, which opens next week. They are pictured in front of Aphirak’s painting “Essence of the Yellow Mountain.”
  • Li Cheng Jie with his paintings
  • Li Cheng Jie presents a painting to Anand Panyarachun, Unicef National Goodwill Ambassador, as Aphirak Punmoonsilp, left, and Siri Gallery co-founder Taratorn Tanglitanon look on.

A tale of two mountains

Art April 05, 2019 01:00

By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
THE NATION

3,552 Viewed

Landscape artists from Thailand and China join up for a new exhibition

It is often said that art has no boundaries so it comes as no surprise to learn that two landscape painters of Thailand and China have been brought together to create a new art exhibition simply titled “Borderless”.

 

The exhibition is the first project of Siri Gallery, a group of young entrepreneurs who not only want to create what they call an communal understanding and love of art but also want to close the wide gap that exists between Thai and international artists by showcasing Thai art internationally.

“I didn’t know much about art until the day I went to Chiang Rai was so impressed by a painting that I knew I had to meet the artist. When I had a chance to talk to him and visited him at his home, I discovered his other works and was amazed he was selling them for so little money,” says Taratorn Tanglitanon, the co-founder of Siri Gallery.

 

“To help him, as well as other artists, I created Siri Gallery with my friends Titada ‘Bee’ Sakoolnamark and Suradet ‘Fay’ Chuckchaikul, and started selling the paintings in China, the US and England. Our latest project is this exhibition with China. We will use our portfolio from this exhibition to set up other exhibitions in China and England where we will show the works of 10 Thai artists.”

 

Siri Gallery started work on this, its first project, at the beginning of last year in collaboration with Thai landscape painter Aphirak Punmoonsilp. Taratorn, Titada, Suradet and the 49-year-old Aphirak who was born in Tak province but lives in Chiang Rai, travelled to Changsha to look for a Chinese artist with a similar style of work and eventually found Li Cheng Jie in Beijing. They then journeyed to the Huangshan mountain range in Eastern China, named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1990, where the two artists would create their paintings for the project.

 

“Aphirak and I spent nearly two hours hiking up the steep hill to catch sight of the stone monkey on the top of the mountain opposite. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t favourable for such an excursion. First it rained then after it stopped, the fog came down. We waited for almost three hours and we only saw the stone monkey for five minutes,” recalls Suradet.

 

Aphirak has been painting the landscapes of Doi Mae Salong, one of the most popular destinations in Chiang Rai, for 18 years and most of his works show the wild flowers and grass swaying in the wind in a style that hints at Impressionist masters Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

 

“Van Gogh conveyed his feelings of confusion through wavy lines and that made me uncomfortable. His painting ‘Wheat Field with Crows’ is so intense with a strong sense of isolation under that dark and brooding sky. It is widely considered his last painting and not long after, he committed suicide. Monet also applied his perceptions of nature to his works, revealing the tenderness he felt for the sun and flowers. I too put my feelings and emotions into my paintings,” Aphirak says.

 

Asked what makes him different from other Thai landscape artists, he says: “Paintings often show the same wild beauty and the same mountain but can look completely different depending on the artist’s approach. There has to be something else – a painting cannot be merely a portrayal of the beauty of nature. For example, while I paint views of Doi Mae Salong, they are of a mountain barren of trees. It is my way of expressing my sadness at the deforestation of the land,” he explains.

 

Li Cheng Jie agrees. “Each artist has a different point of interest and focuses on different things. While their paintings might show the same general view, they are different in their depth. Much also depends on the artist’s storytelling and philosophy of life. For me, it’s about reconciliation. I think of my paintings as a reflection of the inequalities of society,” says the Chinese artist, who is in his 60s.

 

“My signature style is black. I use more black than other artists. I mix it with four Chinese herbs: gan bing, zhusha [cinnabar], bingpian [borneol] and shexiang [musk]. Gan bing and bingpian help prevent decay, while zhusha gives a good smell. Zhusha is red. It protects against bad things and gives a feeling of warmth. My paintings incorporate philosophy and humanity.

 

Philosophically, I put myself in my painting. For example, if I paint a mountain, I will compare myself to the mountain and make a communication that relates to the social situation at that time,” explains Li, whose influences include Zong Qixiang, Xu Beihong, who is best known for his traditional ink paintings of horses, and Li Keran.

 

“Borderless”, which takes place at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre from Tuesday to April 21, will feature 29 paintings by Aphirak Punmoonsilp and more than 40 works by Li Cheng Jie.

“All my paintings for this exhibition are new and created during my time in China. I started work on them last year at different places and during different seasons. Some of my paintings show the mountains in Zhangjiajie in the spring and portray the blooms and the greenery while others done in Tachuan in Huangshan in autumn reflect the changing of colours and the sea of fog that shrouds the mountains. I’m a landscape artist so I need to understand nature to be able to create a work of art completely,” says Aphirak, who also travelled to Dong Chuan, Feng Huang, Zhangjiajie, and Tianmenshan.

“Chinese artists Shitao, Huang Binhong and Liu Haisu all inspired me in my travels around China,” he adds.

Li Cheng Jie created some of his works in the same locations but says that other canvases were the result of his travels. “For this exhibition, my paintings are based on black ink though some feature colourful flowers,” he says. “I believe art can connect with managers, physicians and economists. If art has thought and philosophy, it can solve a problem. Paintings should have logic, and be without confusion.”

Different strokes

– “Borderless: Sang Silp Khun Khao Rai Phrom Daen” opens on Tuesday at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre and continues through April 21.

– Admission is free.

Feast for the eyes

Published April 4, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366923

Feast for the eyes

Art April 01, 2019 15:40

By The Nation

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo marks its 60th anniversary with the exhibition titled “Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey” that continues through June.

On view are stunning works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin and other masterpieces, all collected by businessman Kojiro Matsukata. The highlights include Monet’s long missing “Water Lilies” and “Reflections of Weeping Willows”, which was found in France in 2016 and donated to the museum later. This is the first time it is going on display following restoration of the work.

Matsukata collected a massive number of artworks, in London and Paris over a period of 10 years from 1916 with the aim of establishing a museum of art to introduce Western artworks in Japan.

Many of the works were lost because they were sold off or burned in fires. However, the French government returned 375 of the works that remained in Paris to Japan after World War II. The National Museum of Western Art that was established to store and exhibit these works.

Audio guidance in English, Chinese and Korean (paid) is provided; free guide apps and tablets are also available.

Find out more at http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/.

Chiang Mai’s contemporary art museum tells its tale

Published April 4, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366918

Chiang Mai’s contemporary art museum tells its tale

Art April 01, 2019 13:30

By The Nation

2,503 Viewed

The overall story of MAIIAM – a newly-opened private museum of contemporary art in Chiang Mai – is being told in the exhibition, “Temporal Topography: MAIIAM’s New Acquisitions; from 2010 to Present”, at the museum’s Gallery 1.

It will run until March 30 next year and is being curated by Kittima Chareeprasit.

A series of public events and academic programmes with be held throughout the year and include the launch of the museum collection book, artists’ talks, screenings as well as panel discussions focusing on contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

The artists are Albert Samreth, Anusorn Charoensuk, Charles Lim, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Lim Sokchanlina, Miti Ruangkritya, Niti Wattuya, Orawan Arunrak, Ruangsak Anuwatwimon, Soichiro Shimizu, Somluk Pantiboon, Sutthirat Supaparinya, Tawatchai Puntusawasdi, Tiffany Chung, Torlarp Larpjaroensook, Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Viriya Chotpanyavisut.

MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum is one of Chiang Mai’s groundbreaking art institutions, and the museum’s collection is the driving force behind this success.

The focus is on the contemporary art of Thailand and the surrounding region, with an ongoing commitment to supporting living artists. The first acquisition was made in 1992, and since then the collection has continued to prosper, reflecting and responding to the now, whilst also passing the test of time. The exhibition responds to, and re-stages this collection scope.

“Temporal Topography” takes form through the motif of the landscape, both conceptually and physically connecting a landscape, or “common ground” shared between selected Southeast Asian artists working in the region, whilst also focusing on themes including geo-politics, socio-cultural landscapes, and artistic interpretation of topographical reality; “Temporal Topography” weaves and connects these layers. Works in the exhibition speak about territorialisation, urbanisation, conflicts and violence and also state domination and resistance concerning specific historical events. These themes are explored alongside the interconnected relationship between place and identity with works exploring the nuances between the collective and individual.

Visual perspective is used as a tool in this exhibition to give strong vantage points; and to produce the atmosphere of landscape on every scale. The physical space in the exhibition area creates the sense of an illusion which alludes to an actual landscape; beyond the works themselves; influencing the architecture of the space; and the audience viewer engagement. Have a glance at an artwork and get a sight at another, each pieces of art are visually accommodating and creates aesthetically pleasing experience which invite us to look closer; a mise-en-scene. Part of architectural foundation of the exhibition are the sculptures themselves, where the gigantic blue wall is seen metaphorically as a mountain, inherited from the familiar scenery of Chiang Mai.

Temporal Topography appears as a window for observation, offering different perspectives of contemporary art practice that present the spirit of our time.

Shot in the arm for same sex marriage

Published March 28, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366636

Shot in the arm for same sex marriage

Art March 27, 2019 12:11

By The Nation

Canada-born Chinese visual artist Norm Yip sets out to raise awareness and support of those seeking marriage equality in LGBT community in the exhibition “Beyond Skin” running from April 10 to May 31 at River City Bangkok.

The exhibition will feature 25 photographs taken over a 20-year period beginning in 1999 to the present.

“For the first time, my photography of Asian men will reach a wider international audience,” Yip said. “The images tell of my search for acceptance, identity and beauty. They reveal my desires and longings as a man finding one’s self in the other.”

Yip has long been an avid pioneer in the development of fine art Asian male photography. He established the Asian Male Project which, through his lens, presents artistic images and thought-provoking messages. Light and shadow, combine with his love for the classical form, culminating in a superb collection of artistically photographic masterpieces. Yip’s fresh outlook has captivated both Asians and Westerners alike.

The Thai Government’s cabinet in December 2018 approved the civil partnership bill, and next it will go to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). If passed, this would pave the way for Thailand to become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage. Bangkok is regarded as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in Asia and hosts the exhibition ahead of New York in June, where it is timed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the gay civil rights movement, Stonewall.

The exhibition is supported by James Tong, a contemporary art collector who has relationships with many contemporary galleries and artists around the world. Tong founded 37Tong in 2017 to sponsor and curate art projects related to LGBT diversity and inclusion. He believes leveraging the soft power that the art industry offers will further this social movement for understanding and inclusion of the LGBT community.

Ten percent of the purchase price from each photograph sold during the exhibition will be donated to APCOM Foundation, Thailand. APCOM advocate for issues on HIV particularly amongst gay men, and also to advance the rights, health and well-being of people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics in Asia Pacific.

Call (02) 237 0077-8, or visit http://www.RiverCityBangkok.com.

Massive Kaws sculpture floats into Hong Kong

Published March 28, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366499

Massive Kaws sculpture floats into Hong Kong

Art March 25, 2019 12:50

By The Nation

2,139 Viewed

A 37-metre sculpture by American artist Kaws is docked at Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong as part of Hong Kong Arts Month until March 31.

Following successes in Seoul and Taipei, this is the third stop for “Kaws: Holiday”, his largest sculptural endeavour to date. It can be viewed up close on the Central and Western District Promenade’s Central Section.

“In 2010 we first brought Kaws to Hong Kong,” says his long-time collaborator SK Lam, creative director and curator of AllRightsReserved. “We are very excited to present this colossal outdoor artwork almost 10 years after our first meeting.”

Kaws is in Hong Kong now, having kicked off the 10-day exhibition on March 22.

“Arts Month has all sorts of arts and cultural happenings attracting art lovers from around the world,” says Anthony Lau of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. “As one of the highlights, ‘Kaws: Holiday” will for sure draw more international exposure, reinforcing the image of Hong Kong as an international art hub.”

Over the last two decades, Kaws has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence and affection for our times.

Admired for his larger-than-life sculptures and hard-edged paintings that emphasise line and colour, Kaws’ cast of hybrid cartoon and human characters are perhaps the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity.

The area around the artwork will be closed in the event of inclement weather. Stay tuned at http://www.AllRights-Reserved.com.

On our ‘behalf’

Published March 28, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30366311

  • Chen WuKang, left, and Pichet Klunchun/ Photo by Etang Chen
  • Chen WuKang, left, and Pichet Klunchun stage their collaborative project “Behalf” this weekend at Chang Theatre./Igaki Photo Studio
  • Chen WuKang, left, and Pichet Klunchun stage their collaborative project “Behalf” this weekend at Chang Theatre./Igaki Photo Studio

On our ‘behalf’

Art March 25, 2019 01:00

By PAWIT MAHASARINAND
SPECIAL TO THE NATION

2,817 Viewed

Supported by Taiwan’s culture ministry from the start, Taiwanese-Thai contemporary dance collaboration is now touring Southeast Asia and Europe

Finding a collaborator when making art is like going on a date, and not necessarily a blind one. You know something of each other’s background, think that it looks like a good match. As time goes by, your relationship develops, you know more about and learn from each other, adjusting yourself to make it work without losing your identity or standpoint. Of course, along the way you need some supporters who, to a certain extent, take risks with you, but at the same time you also know there are those who might be opposed. You do your best, hoping that it will last, no matter how long.

Contemporary Thai dancer and choreographer Pichet Klunchun has been meeting with his Taiwanese counterpart Chen Wu-Kang, founder and artistic director of Taiwan’s first all-male dance company Horse, for more than three years now. And unlike many artistic relationships that put forward a work or a product, from the start, their first collaboration “Behalf” was only seen by the dance-going public last May.

The Silpathorn Award artist recalls how it all began.

“About four years ago, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture (MoC) invited me to give a talk at Taipei National University of the Arts [TNUA] and at our meeting they proposed a long list of Taiwanese artists, from many disciplines, and suggested I collaborate with some, for which they, of course, pledged their full support. I remember performing in the same festival [“Men Dancing” at Novel Hall] as Chen more than 10 years ago [Pichet was performing his solo “I Am a Demon” while Chen was in a duet “TeteBech”].

“Our first meeting was at his studio, which is between a temple and a recycling shop. My first impression was that he’s a very happy person, despite the fights and struggles he’s had in his artistic career. In the first year, we took turns travelling to each other’s studios and presenting small showcases of the progress of our work, without any deadline for an actual production. And then when we decided to have one, we asked Tang Fu-Kuen [dramaturg for “Pichet Klunchun and Myself” and artistic director of the Taipei Arts Festival] to come on board.”

 Pichet Klunchun in a collaborative project “Behalf” this weekend at Chang Theatre./Igaki Photo Studio

Pichet explains how they developed the collaboration, saying: “It started from his interest in tradition [hence the working title ‘Body Tradition’], while at the same time questioning his identity. He’s also fascinated by my strong traditional arts background. I already have it but the question is how can I find a way for its further development?

“What’s interesting, though, is that in the first year we talked more about fatherhood – I had a daughter and he was about to have his first child –, artists as fathers and also how we would, or could, pass on traditions to our children,” Pichet continues.

The recipient of John D Rockefeller III award has taken part in many intercultural collaborations throughout his illustrious career. This one, though, he says is different. “We’re more like friends than collaborators and so it’s much less stressful,” he grins.

Chen concurs. “Maybe it’s because we share more than a stage collaboration: we also include family in the process. It’s hard for me to tell the differences between living, working and experiencing: they are all mixed altogether, and so what happens in this working process seems natural.

“Collaborating with Pichet has opened a door for me into Southeast Asian dance and culture [the pair is now also working on another project ‘Ramayana’, which also includes Javanese dance master Sardono]. Realising that nothing stands and grows on its own and that we’re all related and affected by one another brought me to care about and also question how we become who we are, and why we dance the way we do. And because we collaborate beyond a performance project, the learning continues to expand,” he says.

Chen WuKang, left, and Pichet Klunchun stage their collaborative project “Behalf” this weekend at Chang Theatre./Igaki Photo Studio

“Our work is not about a specific aesthetic that we want to create: it’s more about our discovery during the process.”

Making its Southeast Asia debut at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Arts Festival last Friday and coming to Pichet’s home studio this weekend, thanks also to the Taiwanese culture ministry, “Behalf” is the title that Tang has given to the work.

The Singaporean dramaturg and producer explains: “The title comes from the portraits that each dancer has created in the work. Their sense of identity comes from ‘inherited’, ‘borrowed’ or ‘cultivated’ sources. In short, it’s an ‘identity formed by and from proxy’. This multiplicity of identities is therefore about always speaking and behaving on ‘behalf’ of something or someone else.

“‘Behalf’ also points to the structure of the work, which is strictly built on the principle of ‘half’. The space, time and action of this collaborative work is democratically split equally into halves. This procedure questions the model of old intercultural collaborations in which two or more parties tend to exchange and hybridise, as expected of a typical ‘collaboration’. ‘Behalf’ challenges that assumption and operation,” Tang explains.

Another partner-in-crime who came in during the last stage of development is veteran Japanese lighting designer Takayuki “Kinsei” Fujimoto. And if his name sounds familiar to Thai performing arts fans’ ears, that’s because his wizardry was seen here four years ago in another contemporary dance work “Alpha” at the Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts where he also conducted an LED lighting design workshop.

Tang explains: “His adaptive lighting practice and tools allow him to be extremely responsive and flexible to instigating new ways of making propositions to the work, and not merely lighting the stage. In short, he has an excellent reputation for conceptual lighting, and this adds immense value and potential to our process.”

Another risk they’re taking is with the music, as the collaborating musician(s) will always be local anywhere they’re performing – in Taipei, it’s a percussionist; in Bangkok, a classical guitarist.

For the world premiere of “Behalf” last May at the Cloud Gate Theatre, Taipei Times’ critic Diane Baker wrote that the work “shows what happens when artists want to shake things up and get their audiences thinking. Not everyone was happy with that, judging by the questions asked during the Q&A section. However, anyone who has followed either Chen or Pichet’s work, or that of Horse, should know that these are men who are interested in challenging conventions.”

Without revealing too many secrets, Baker wrote that the work comprises, “a prologue, a duet, a series of solos and the Q&A, just not in that order”, noting that “Behalf” is about “examining Chen and Pichet’s identities as dancers, their respective cultures and the sharing and transference of power.” She concluded that the work “is not for everyone, but for those who are willing to take a risk, it is worth it.”

Pichet notes that they chose not to reveal any images from the second half of the performance, which was so controversial in Taipei that the theatre needed to issue a statement afterwards.

Chen laughs, predicting: “In Bangkok, I think the controversy will start from the first half when Pichet starts his solo. I can’t wait to see how we click with the audience.”

Will we take a risk with them?

BEYOND TAIWAN AND THAILAND

    •   “Behalf” is at Chang Theatre in Soi Pracha-uthit 61, Thung Khru, Thonburi, on Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.
    •  Tickets are Bt 600 at (086) 419 6064 and (095) 956 9166.
    •  Find out more by visiting Facebook.com/ChangTheatre.
    •  Thanks to the continued support from Taiwan’s MoC, the work will also be at Centre Pompidou in Paris on April 24 and 25, Festival DDD (Dias da Danca) in Porto, Portugal on April 27 and 28 and Kaaitheater in Brussels on May 4 and 5.
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