Wednesday, 30 March
Location One presents a special preview of Dwelling in Perennial Dreams, an interactive installation by Bundith Phunsombatlert
FREE and open to the public
In honor of Asian Contemporary Art week, and in conjunction with the series "Dialogues in Asian Contemporary Art", Location One is pleased to present a special preview of Dwelling in Perennial Dreams, an interactive installation by Bundith Phunsombatlert. Also on exhibition is "Motion #1" by 2011 Location One artist in residence Yasuko Toyoshima.
And at 7pm "Dialogues in Asian Contemporary Art: Role of Artists in Local Spaces and Global Society", a conversation with Asian Cultural Council Grantees: Fong Wah Phoebe Hui, Firoz Mahmud, Rahraw & Manizhah Omarzad, Chaw Ei Thein / Moderated by Leeza Ahmady, Director of ACAW. For more information, please see: http://www.location1.org/dialogues-in-asian-contemporary-art/
Dwelling in Perennial Dreams is an interactive installation. This work invites the audience to imagine caring for orphaned babies in Thailand. Several cradles, each holding two TV monitors placed screen side up, play videos of the upper and lower part of a baby sleeping. Each baby sleeps for 15 minutes, then wakes up and cries. The audience participates by rocking the cradles to put the babies back to sleep. The audience can also wake the baby up if they make a loud noise; sensors pick up any noises from the audience and jolt and wake the babies. Furthermore, one crying baby can wake the other babies, showing how we are all interconnected in a community.
A political issue in Thailand inspires Dwelling in Perennial Dreams, but one that is equally applicable internationally in different ways and dimensions. The artwork represents the space where people from the upper class often control the way of lives of lower class people through the metaphor of taking great care of babies, by putting them to sleep. While sleeping is a necessary part for babies to grow up physically and mentally, the process of the work is to make the babies go to sleep as long as possible in order not to face the real world. This contradictory discourse is the subject of the artwork. By pacifying babies, people are simultaneously calming and oppressing them at the same time.
This new media artwork uses the old mechanism of a cradle to invite the audience to participate in the installation and also describe the story of how a group of babies is taken care of by a volunteer pregnant woman and the audience act as performers. The artwork transfers the story of two species of birds from a popular Thai lullaby into a form of interactive installation art using the process of taking care of Thai orphaned babies to another land. The sound of babies’ crying in this piece reflects the way of communication from micro to macro in the society. Whenever a small unit in a community is disturbed, this will consecutively connect to other units.
“My intention to display this artwork in another country is to fulfill the significant meaning of places in the artwork. The installation represents grounded and uprooted experiences of transformation of one land to another land. The audience can get the idea of places from the physical space of where they are; the transformative space between the sites they are; and where the orphaned babies are from—the imaginative space of another land. The real site itself is used as a medium to interpret another site as well as the imagination of the audience on the cultural and social context. The work questions the issue of identities beyond the boundary of geography—a transformation of the boundaries of collective identity.” -Bundith Phunsombatlert
*A pregnant woman will perform in the installation as well as viewers are invited to rock the cradles.
Video of this piece here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRR1fSsub08
Mr. Phunsombatlert earned both his B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in graphic arts (printmaking) at Silpakorn University, Bangkok. He is now a guest lecturer at the School of Fine and Applied Art of Bangkok University and a prolific artist who is considered as a rising star among the new generation of Thai artists.
“As an artist living in Thailand for the past decade and now residing in the US, I have reflected on ever‐changing social, economic, and political situations, particularly in the framework of globalization. I seek to analyze and synthesize these issues within the context of history to form art that rethinks Thai identity in the world. Through interactive media installations, I design systems for sharing and communicating with the viewer that explore the transformation from fact‐based orientation to imagination. This parallels my own transformation as an artist working in the East and the West as well as my move from traditional to new media. Furthermore, it mimics a transmodal transformation that I argue is inherent in new media.”
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.
ABOUT LOCATION ONE
Based in the Soho arts district of New York, Location One is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering new forms of creative expression and cultural exchange through exhibitions, residencies, performances, public lectures and workshops. Traditionally focused on technological experimentation and new media, Location One's residencies and programs have favored social and political discourse and dialogue, and acted as a catalyst for collaborations. With a unique environment providing individualized training, support, and guidance to each artist, as well as exposure for their creations and collaborations, Location One continues to nurture the spirit of experimentation that it considers the cornerstone of its mission.