Absurd Thailand, displayed in Germany

Hope, desperation and celebration guide the logic of this paradise. "Absurdity In Paradise" is the title of the first Thai contemporary art exhibition to be displayed at Museum Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany, from today until Oct 28.

Absurdity in Paradise. photo courtesy of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

The exhibition is hosted by the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) in collaboration with the Kasseler Kunstverein. It rearranges the elements of humans and their relationship with their changing surroundings through a thread of thoughts and dialogue embedded in the artworks.

Curated by Pichaya Aime Suphavanij, the project showcases works by 14 Thai contemporary artists -- Alisa Chunchue, Arin Rungjang, Ekachai Eksaroj, Harit Srikhao, Kanich Khajornsri, Kawita Vatanajyankur, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Nuttapon Sawasdee, Paphonsak La-or, Pratchaya Phinthong, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Sakarin Krue-on and Somboon Hormtientong -- and a special piece by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. It constitutes a collection of communication that falls through the cracks of daily life, as different communities and ideologies emerge. Situations turn "absurd" when language malfunctions.

"Absurdity In Paradise" plays with the paradox of Thailand as a paradisiacal place of great yearning. With video and media works, photographs and spacious installations, the 14 Thai artists illuminate the fracture points of present-day Thailand.

Whether it is the performing textile of Kawita Vatanajyankur, the pixelated uniforms of Manit Sriwanichpoom, or the artwork by Rirkrit Tiravanija Untitled 1994 (Angst Essen Seele Auf), a reference to the film Angst Essen Seele Auf (Ali: Fear Eats The Soul) by German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder depicting cruelty as well as human tenderness between the inside and outside.

Apart from the works of famous artists (like Arin Rungjang, Pratchaya Phinthong and Korakrit Arunanondchai), the exhibition also presents the works of aspiring artists (such as Nuttapon Sawasdee, Alisa Chunchue and Harit Srikhao). In doing so, internationally acclaimed works stand alongside new pieces created especially for the Kasseler Kunstverein.

At Museum Fridericianum, works of art represent the politics of memory, the debris of speculation, the myth of comprehension, human relations, and the philosophy of faith. The museum was opened in 1779 as the world's first museum conceived for the public and has been the main location for the "documenta", a renowned contemporary art exhibition established in 1955 in Kassel, Germany.

The Museum Fridericianum is located on Friedrichsplatz 18, Kassel, in Germany. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm.


For more information about the "Absurdity In Paradise" art exhibition, visit kasselerkunstverein.de or bacc.or.th.