Rirkrit Tiravanija & Nim Kruasaeng artist’s book release

Gallery VER

January 22, 2008




This four-handed publication marks the seemingly unlikely encounter between two quite different Thai artists on the grounds of an “artist’s book”, a genre with almost forty years of tradition. One is Rirkrit Tiravanija, born in Buenos Aires of a Thai family, guest lecturer at Columbia University in New York City, who lives in Chiang Mai in a large new house of his own design. He is one of the most significant figures of the international art universe as it has developed since the beginning of the 1990s, when artists of his generation, Rirkrit as one leader, asserted a sort of “happy intelligence” of the world, in spite of the disasters and tragedies that haunt the times we are living in, through a generously positive attitude.

The other one is Nim Kruasaeng, born of a rural family in province of Sisaket in Thailand’s vast, populous North-East, a rice-growing region long marked by poverty. Nim has lived many years now in Pattaya City and Bangkok. Her talent was acknowledged and nurtured by the late, great Thai artist Montien Boonma at the end of the 1990s.

The book features a collection of Nim’s drawings done between 2005 and 2007 and selected by Rirkrit for this purpose. They are like transcriptions of the visual and non-visual experiences of her days into forms and shapes on the inscription plane, i.e. the white page of drawing. Rirkrit offers a series of photos whose frames have been omitted in the printing process in order to focus only on the object of the pictures, which are the relics of the bodies of insects that have penetrated inside his new house and been found dead.

Rirkrit’s act is that of a “gatherer”, who takes what he finds within his domestic habitat. He then deals with space. Nim’s action is rather that of the “hunter”: she intends to capture the obsessions triggered by her experiences and fix them into form. In other words, she deals with time, and her work is a sort of “time delay.”

On the one hand, there is the form achieved through an ancient art medium like drawing, following the thread of memory, personal and collective at the same time. On the other hand, a sort of survey, that in fact is recognition, an acknowledgement, formalized by the primary medium of modernity, i.e. photography.

This results in a double vision which springs from the same cultural context and is, with no mediation, contemporary: one part concerns time that is not just the time of the memory, but also of tradition, of history and identity; the other one concerns space, the actual living space with its presences and their traces.

Thus the book, this book, is an atlas.

Pier Luigi Tazzi Ban Chot, December 2007.

To order the book please go to http://www.verver.info and click on “editions” or send email to [email protected]