In contrast to ‘The Archive’, the exhibition in ‘The Warehouse’ at 20 Depot Lane explores the relation between the archival and the contemporaneous by staging artworks as active and affective repositories for embodied knowledge. From the video installations and filmic works by Tada Hengsapkul (TH), Nguyễn Trinh Thi (VN), Russell Morton (SG) to material and performative explorations by Sonya Lacey (NZ), Sriwhana Spong (NZ/UK), Liyana Ali (SG) and Pat Toh (SG), the featured artworks will look into ways in which artists act as living mediums to gather and animate personal and collective histories.
Tada Hengsapkul (TH)
You lead me down, to the ocean (2018)
VIDEO INSTALLATION, TWO-CHANNEL, 16MIN
In the video installation You lead me down, to the ocean, we are presented with underwater scenes of military tanks that were originally acquired by the Thai Army for use in the border dispute with Cambodia since 2008. Once vehicles of conflict, they were subsequently scrapped to create an artificial reef in the sea off the Narathiwat Province in southern Thailand for tourist divers. The liveliness of marine life contrasts sharply with these submerged tanks, which appear motionless and trapped in the currents of time. Accompanying the main projection is a second video and a book, composed of extracts from found letters between Thai soldiers fighting in Vietnam in the late 1960s and their loved ones back home. In collecting and animating these documents, the work attempts to give voice back to those whose lives were directly and indirectly affected by the event of war. Taken together, Hengsapkul’s work opens up a space between two histories and invites us to bear witness to the complexity of his country’s military past and present.
Artist will be featured in the talk Animating Surfaces on 11 January.
Tada Hengsapkul is a Bangkok-based artist whose practice is often concerned with investigating various forms of control and resistance — at the level of the body, the collective, and society.