Thursday, November 22, 2007

Journey of Kumjing

I love this project! It's called The Journey of Kumjing and is coordinated by Chantawipa and Chumporn Apisuk in collaboration with Empower Foundation. It comments on the experience of women migrant workers in Thailand. The project began back in 2003 with the production of paper mache 'dolls' by migrant workers in Mae Sai, Thailand. Each 'doll' has an identity and a pink passport which allows them, unlike most migrant workers to be able to travel freely and safely.  The dolls have travelled to variety of cities in Thailand and countries abroad, attending conferences and some have even been 'adopted' by foreigners. 

I recently met Chumporn Apisuk at Asiatopia in Chiang Mai. I love this project in that it reaches broadly into the community with artists working working migrant women to construct the dolls. And a large part of this project seems to be educating the Thai and foreign communities about the conditions that Burmese migrant women face in Thailand. I also think it's a great project for its longevity.

At last !

Picked up this handy little breath spray in Bangkok a few weeks ago.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Angkrit Ajchariyasophon; Siamese Twins

Chaing Rai based artist Angkrit Ajchariyasophon spent 24 hours of the weekend of Asiatopia ‘connected at the hip’ (with the aid of a special designed canvas harness) to Hafiz, a young Singaporean fireman he had met only 6 hours earlier. This performance was inspired by the infamous congenital twins Chang and Eng Bunker, who originally came from Thailand (Siam is old name for Thailand). Angkrit and Hafiz remained connected for 24 continuous hours and as they went about their business, distributed information about the Bunker twins. Angkrit told me he was drawn to the idea of becoming a siamese twin for a day as he was interested in the construction of Thai identity as oriental, exotic and freakish.

More photos

Last year I saw a group exhibition Platform at Queens Gallery in which Angkrit exhibited an installation "The Perfect English Gentleman" which documented his transformation to being a 'perfect English Gentleman'. Angkrit is the Thai word for English.

Monday, November 12, 2007

9th Asiatopia

I have spent the last few days at the 9th Asiatopia festival (and Southest Asia Performance Art Symposium) being inspired by thoughtful and moving performance artworks and lively dialogue about performance art and cultural democracy in SE Asia.

Too many highlights to name all but I thought I would dedicate my next few blog posts to some of the artists I met there.