Coco Petrachaianan recently sat down with curator Lattapon Korkiatarakul to discuss NOVA Contemporary Gallery’s current exhibition, The Echo of Footsteps, as well as the artistic process and curating gallery shows.
From June 15 to August 6, NOVA Contemporary Gallery is featuring four artists in the The Echo of Footsteps exhibition: Viriya Chotpanyavisut, Tanatchai Bandasak, Thakol Kao sa-ad, and Jaitip Jaidee. Each artist’s work is clearly influenced by their own unique character, and the exhibition highlights how the identities of the artists can be clearly presented and revealed through their methods and thought processes rather than through the “style”, “form”, or physical works themselves. Coco Petrachaianan recently sat down with Lattapon Korkiatarakul to discuss.
Upon walking into the exhibition, Nova Contemporary Gallery was teeming with art enthusiasts and friends, and I couldn’t help but feel the gregariousness in the air; as I plunged into the exhibition itself, however, the background chatter muffled. The work captivated me, yet there was an obscure sentiment surrounding it: there seemed to be something missing from the exhibition leaflet. To get some deeper insight, I sought out the agent that put this intriguing collection together.
2: Are you the curator?
Lattapon Korkiatarakul: Well, I don't know if I can use that word “curator”, but yes I put this exhibition together.
2: Can you introduce yourself?
LK: My name is Latthapon Korkiatarkul, or Duke. I graduated from the faculty of Visual Art, Bangkok University in 2010. I used to work at The Art Center, Chulalongkorn University and now I work here at Nova Contemporary.
2: How did you get the chance to curate this project?
LK: I have been working for the gallery and I was asked if I wanted to give it a try? I said yes and here’s the exhibition.
2: Is this your first time curating?
LK: Yes, this my my first time curating, and may well be the last.The exhibition itself is quite conceptual and personal. It is quite experimental in a way. I wanted to see the reaction of the viewers. I want to know how “acceptable” these artworks are for the audience in general. Each artist left plenty of room for the viewer to interpret. However, it can be quite challenging for the viewers to relate to the artworks because they can be quite personal. I came back from the exhibition and pondered the whole experience all over again and realized that medium is the message.
2: What did you have in mind when curating?
LK: I did not curate by the content. I personally know the artists and I like their styles and their ways of thinking. I am interested in the ways each artist conveys their messages through different media.
2:What’s the story behind the title The Echo of Footsteps?
LK: The name was actually chosen by Viriya Chotpantavisut, one of the artists. It was originally named The Wall Talks Back to the Footsteps or something I couldn't quite remember. If you were to walk into the exhibition on a normal day, you would realize how very quiet the exhibition is. When we first walked into the tabula rasa of the gallery space, it felt so empty and quiet, you could hear the footsteps echoing. With the nature of all pieces in this exhibition—echoing messages in low-key vibes—the name actually pretty well reflects the mood of the whole exhibition.
2: Can you guide us through the exhibition?
LK: Viriya Chotpantavisut used expired film rolls for the sullen vibrancy of the piece called “Float”. The object of the picture is of something we see in everyday life from a more profound perspective. His work of art plays with time and space. “Float” reflects the degenerating nature of the capitalist lifestyle we have been contributing to and will continue to in the future. His concept is “to suspend a moment,” blurring the movement of time. You see this corner of the photo: Viriya was complaining about a single speck of dust caught in the photocopy machine in the enlargement process, I didn't even notice that! [laughs]
This piece is called “Multi Color.” This almost abstract arrangement plays with the idea of censorship. Thakol Kao sa-ad was a traditional Japanese carpenter and that is reflected through his work process. He took a picture online, pixelated it, then painted all the cells one by one. The painted cells are then rearranged aesthetically.
Jaitip Jaidee’s has two parts: “Base(ment)” and “Blue”. With “Base(ment)”, there is no actual subject. The materials on exhibit are the very same materials used in the works of the other artists. She wants to highlight the versatility of the “raw materials” as the “base(ment)” of anything, really. The denotations of the word “base” itself even seem to reflect that. “Blue”, on the other hand, was not planned. Jaitip drew lines until the ink ran out then continued with a new pen. The name, again, shows versatility of meaning.
Tanachai Bandasak’s “Bluestone” captures the interruption of a phase through time and space. A piece of rock was extracted from a limestone mountain waiting to be transported. “An Opening” also captures the suspension of the viewer with its cinematic language. Same with this stack of paper, “Tomorrow’s mountain” which engages the audience with the unsure hesitation whether they can take from the pile.
2: The exhibition seems to be an eclectic mix: what binds the four artists together?
LK: As I’ve mentioned before, I did not really curate the works by their content; however, the artists had to work together for this exhibition. They had to decide which works could be presented in this show to make the whole picture harmonious to a certain extent. See Jaitip’s “Base(ment)” and Tanachai’s “Tomorrow’s mountain” for example. The stack of white paper is the very same paper used to print Tanachai’s “Tomorrow’s mountain”. My focus when curating was the media the artists used. Each artist had different ideas to convey through their artworks.
2: You are an artist yourself, can you talk about your work?
LK: I was never good with content. There was a class the professor criticized my drawings as lacking weight. This piece is, in a way, a rebuttal to the professor’s comment. I weighed a piece of paper, then covered its surface with 6B pencil then weighed the piece of paper again. The paper weighed 0.11 grams more. The piece is called “paper 0.11g”. This piece transformed my attitude on art. I really want to go back to that professor and show him this oeuvre of mine, that my drawings do have weight: 0.11 grams to be exact.
NOVA Contemporary Gallery’s exhibition, The Echo of Footsteps, runs from June 15 to August 6, 2017.