Varorot Market, 5 Kruang-mae Rd., Chiang Mai
On view until July 30, 2015, 10:00 - 16:00 (closed Sundays)
studiOK (Navin Production)
87/109 Sammakorn House, Moo 7, Fah-ham, Chiang Mai
On view until July 30, 2015 (by appointment only)
104 Maneenopparat Rd., Chiang Mai
On view by appointment only until October 31, 2015 (by appointment only)
Launch: May 1-2, 2015
To commemorate 20-years since the founding of Navin Production, artist Navin Rawanchaikul together with collector Dr. Disaphol Chansiri have organised a special collaborative art event at three-venues around the artist’s hometown of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
Titled A Tale of Two Homes, the exhibition will be held concurrently at the Rawanchaikul family fabric shop - the O.K. Store - where the artist celebrates his father’s 80th Birthday, and at Navin Production’s recently built studio on the bank of Ping River. In conjunction, key selected pieces from Dr. Chansiri’s private art collection will be on view in the Tales of Navin exhibition at his garden residence in the heart of city. The project includes a number of collaborative works with family members and artist friends. A series of community-based workshops and an educational programme will also be developed throughout the exhibition period with the support of Jim Thompson Art Center, who have also collaborated on specially created merchandise for the event.
Only in his mid-40s, Rawanchaikul has exhibited at many of the world’s most important art stages with his work housed in key international collections. Ambitiously forming the art studio Navin Production in Chiang Mai while in his early 20s, the artist’s creative stable has been industrious for two decades. In recognition, Rawanchaikul comes full circle by returning to his childhood home to dust off and reinvigorate identity formative memories, combining them with present and future musings from within the new Navin Production home of studiOK.
Featuring an impressive range of media, including grand portrait painting, sculpture, comic books, found objects, sound and video installation, interactive elements and even art created from household dust, Rawanchaikul propels us on an intimate autobiographical odyssey from boyhood innocence through to recent uncertainties of middle age.
Known for creating elaborate egocentric narratives that blur fact and fantasy, here Rawanchaikul sifts through the once familiar rooms of his youth to rediscover genuine relics of personal history. He site-specifically reinterprets his father’s fabric shop and the former home above, which the family vacated in 1983. Located within the city centre’s Varorot market, as a backdrop the revealing archival habitat conveys the transformative face of a modernising mercantile community.
The exhibition also presents the new four-part series depicting the artist’s funeral. Born out of a crisis that led to entering the clergy, and subsequent personal and artistic reevaluation, the epic polyptych is ultimately optimistic in its projection. Letter writing has also consistently featured as intimate stand-alone works, with this exhibition highlighting a series of letters written by Rawanchaikul since the early-nineties, plus selected writings penned to the artist.
At the DC Collection key works from Rawanchaikul’s oeuvre are displayed with particular focus on the bonds of community. A central theme to Navin’s art, be it preservation, regeneration, or societal building, it dates from the early bottle photograph assemblages, through to the reflective community engaged project Fly with Me to Another World, and the Mahakad market series that looked at mercantile community history. Also included is the stretching almost eight-metre Paradiso di Navin painting and Chairman Navin sculpture that were centre-pieces of the Navinland Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Curated by the Jim Thompson Art Center Director, Gridthiya Gaweewong, the exhibition spotlights a new twist on his signature taxicab art projects with a video series that captures memories of Chiang Mai through the eyes of the shrinking community of samlor rickshaw riders, who pedal commuters around the city streets.
A continuing influence and venerable mentor, Rawanchaikul was a former assistant to the late Montien Boonma in the early 1990s, during the establishment of the Chiang Mai Social Installation - a decisive springboard for Rawanchaikul to produce radical art interventions. Rawanchaikul has paid homage to Boonma on several occasions, including dedicating his 2010 Silpathorn Award to his former teacher. This exhibition is no exception, with a significant Boonma work on view at the DC Collection, along with a tributary House of Hope (2013) video installation and sculptural assemblage constructed from recycled material to be ceremonially torched during the opening event.
A Tale of Two Homes / Tales of Navin is a cross-generational exhibition loaded with biographic references that convey memories to personal history, educational grounding and mentorship, friendship and legacy. Aside from a capsule to the sustentation of memories, it is about excavating and processing thoughts to make sense of who we are, where we are from, and what we value as sanctuary. It is readying for the future by learning from the past.
104 Maneenopparat Rd.