Crossing the Spirits of the Sea

The exhibition explores the parallels between Venice and Bangkok, with a focus on the intricate canals of the latter. Featuring works by various artists, the exhibition delves into themes of colonialism, spirituality, and indigenous histories, offering a unique perspective on Southeast Asian art and culture. Follow updates at
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The exhibition explores the encounters between spirits, priests, talismans, and the Monkey King in navigating the parallels between Venice and Bangkok, known as the “Venice of the East” due to its intricate canal network. Natee Utarit’s paintings and sculptures, Bounpaul Phothyzan’s metal sculptures, and a video installation by Chitti Kasemkitvatana and Nakrob Moonmanas highlight the absurdities of East-West encounters and the impact of American occupation in Southeast Asia. Jompet Kuswidananto and Alwin Reamillo’s works delve into the painful history of colonization and Christian iconography in Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively.

The exhibition also delves into indigenous histories and environmental impacts of colonialism, with works by artists like Khvay Samnang, Yee I-Lann, Jakkai Siributr, Moe Satt, Priyageetha Dia, Kawita Vatanajyankur, and Truong Cong Tung. The exhibition aims to introduce Southeast Asian artists to international audiences ahead of Bangkok’s biennale in 2024, featuring a new short film with Marina Abramović, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1997. Dr. Apinan, the curator, emphasizes the synergy between the exhibition’s focus on sea travel, displacement, and diaspora and the main Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

The exhibition showcases a diverse range of artworks that explore themes of land, ancestry, spirituality, and the impact of colonialism in Southeast Asia. Through various mediums such as video, sculpture, textiles, and performance art, the artists address issues of ethnic cleansing, indigenous histories, migration, and gender roles in the region. The exhibition aims to create dialogue and raise awareness about the complex histories and experiences of Southeast Asian artists, connecting them with international audiences and highlighting the interconnectedness of global art scenes.

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