News & Events
Thailand Biennale, Korat 2021: Butterflies Frolicking on the Mud: Engendering Sensible Capital
Organizer: The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture (OCAC)
Artistic Director: Yuko Hasegawa
Co-curators: Tawatchai Somkong, Vipash Purichanont, and Seiha Kurosawa
Thailand Biennale, Korat 2021, titled Butterflies Frolicking on the Mud: Engendering Sensible Capital, is delighted to announce the complete list of participant artists, creatives, and collectives.
One of the initial leading goals of the Thailand Biennale is to invite artists to create site-specific works at the biennale venues to enhance the potential of the sites to be cultural capitals. Nevertheless, the Biennale was postponed several times due to the current pandemic. The preparation of the biennale has not been a smooth journey. In the process of numerous virtual research and communications, it was inevitable for many invited artists to change and revise their proposals. However, in each revision, they have come up with creative ideas on transforming this unfortunate situation into a positive experience in collaboration with local coordinators and communities around Korat City and Phimai District.
The Rajamangala University of Technology Isan ─ a government higher education institute that focuses on vocational and technological education─ has been facing a few lockdowns. Nile Koetting imagines this situation as an airport lounge where flights are repeatedly canceled and postponed and will transform his imagination as a performative installation of an endless waiting room on the balcony space of the university.
Junya Ishigami conceives a large bridge spanning on a canal in the Korat city center. Due to the pandemic, the bridge construction could not commence. As a result, he replaces the bridge with a witty and elaborated installation for the biennale, and is going to exhibit a project model to show the potential of this yet to be realized project. This new elevated ground/plaza allows the locals to build new bonds with hidden perspectives of nature in the city under the current circumstances. Yllang Montenegro initially planned to make the site visit and have workshops with female immigrant workers. As the plan cannot be implemented, she decided to send a message to the locals and replaced the communication linkage of the workshops from humans to plants. She will create a sculptural installation using live plants and aprons made from recycle materials by the local Filipino community. In the pavilion of the heroine of the city, Yllang’s project will explore a new form of cross international boundary communication in the post-Corona context when physical contact is still restricted.
The other artists not being able to visit the sites are working with local staffs to create works that reflect the history, cultural resources, and context of the venues through careful remote research. In Phimai National Museum, Tsuyoshi Tane highlights and reactivates the roots and the development of the Isan region (Northeastern Thailand) dated back 3,000 years ago until the present day by gently illuminating the knowledge from the museum’s historical and archaeological collections.
Charlotte Dumas will focus on the complex relations between human society and animals by using the historical context engraving on a traditional tile with elephant drawings in the Netherlands, inspired by a conversation between the artist and her daughter during the lockdown period. The work will also propose an intuitive relationship between children and animals while creating a strong resonance between the museum and Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, which will be another biennale venue functioning as a learning space for local children to experience wildlife and nature. At Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, Zai Tang is collaborating with Thai Crane Research Centre to create a sound installation inspired by Eastern Sarus Cranes’ unison calls, highlighting endangered species and the region’s conservation effort.
The biennale also commissioned Thai artists and local creatives to produce large works that physically bring out the charm of the site. Permanent commissions by various Thai Artists continue to explore relations between local cultures and nature. Krit Ngamsom’s sculpture of Korat Cat highlights bonds between animism and abundance. Meanwhile, Pomme Chan creates a big ceramic mural tile, combining prehistoric biodiversity with augmented reality technology in the zoo.
These projects will engender new capital from the personal, social, natural, cultural, and non-human matrix of the biennale venues and the artists’ homes. The biennale will make a positive step to detoxify our minds and bodies from the current muddy world of uncertain procrastination.
53 artists from 25 countries and regions to participate in Thailand Biennale, Korat 2021:
Atacama Desert Foundation, Chile /Maxwell Alexandre, Brazil / Hicham Berrada, Morocco / Bianca Bondi, South Africa / Montien Boonma, Thailand / Mathieu Merlet-Briand, France / Yanyun Chen, Singapore / Liu Chuang, China / Sandra Cinto, Brazil / Gohar Dashti, Iran / Charlotte Dumas, Netherlands / Olafur Eliasson, Denmark / Jan Fabre, Belgium / Yang Fudong, China / John Gerrard, Ireland / Shilpa Gupta, India / Federico Herrero, Costa Rica / Chris Huen Sin-kan, Hong Kong / Junya Ishigami, Japan / Rinko Kawauchi, Japan / Keiken, United Kingdom / Nile Koetting, Japan / Koichi Sato and Hideki Umezawa, Japan / Alongkorn Lauwatthana and Homesawan Umansap, Thailand / Kwanchai Lichaikul, Thailand / Make or Break, Australia / Haroon Mirza, United Kingdom / Yllang Montenegro, Philippines / Ngoc Nau, Vietnam / Krit Ngamsom, Thailand / David O’Reilly, Ireland / Uriel Orlow, United Kingdom/Switzerland / PHKA Studio, Thailand / PNAT, Italy / Pomme Chan, Thailand / Akras Pornkajornkijkul, Thailand / Boonserm Premthada, Thailand / Herwig Scherabon, Austria / Sema Thai, Thailand / Slowstitch Studio, Thailand / Sim Chi Yin, Singapore / Elias Sime, Ethiopia / Eli Sudbrack, Brazil / Som Supaparinya, Thailand / SUPERFLEX, Denmark / Mio Suzuki, Japan / Min Tanaka, Japan / Rudee Tancharoen, Thailand / Tsuyoshi Tane, Japan / Zai Tang, Singapore / Prasit Wichaya, Thailand / YANTOR, Japan / Giacomo Zaganelli, Italy
For additional information, please contact: info.ocac [at] thailandbiennale.org