The Enmeshed is a group exhibition featuring five Thai artists, Ahama Sa-I, Amru Thaisnit, Anuwat Apimukmongkon, Marnee Maelae and Samak Kosem.
Curated by Penwadee Nophaket Manont, the exhibition presents photography, installation and video. The works are said to focus on portraying Southern regions in Thailand where the artists live - Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat - which are said to have been stereotyped as places plagued by violence and civil unrest.
Anthropologist Samak Kosem presents a documentary shedding light on the minority community of Muslim Thais. Samak’s film is said to juxtapose narratives from Thailand’s south from the rest of the country. The killing of animals for food is a common practice throughout the nation. However, the film reveals that the Islamic ritual slaughter of sheep has been stigmatised.
Anuwat Apimukmongkon captures images of the daily life of his friend Banglee. Openly bisexual, Banglee is often cast as an “other” in Thai society. Anuwat’s photographs are overlaid with lyrics of propagandistic songs, familiar tunes that exude nationalist pride and call for a sense of unity. Through these images, the artists explores the tensions between nationalism and the nation’s ability or inability to accept the other.
The passing of Amru Thaisnit’s relatives due to civil unrest in Nathariwat serve as inspiration for his installation. Graves are dug in the shape of bullets; Amru is said to provoke the viewer to go beyond reacting to images of violence, instead he invites the viewer in a much more personal contemplation of the death of these individuals.
In a more hopeful light, artists Marnee Maelae and Ahama Sa-l use their respective practices to explore themes beyond the strife and tragedy. Ahama, through the traditional practice of batik, which is common throughout the southernmost parts of Thailand, creates pieces which make the case for the concept of beauty as being central to the universe. Marnee’s fabrics drape languidly across the gallery, and are supported by Arabic text that scrolls along the perpendicular walls; the pairing suggest waves that are symbolic of time and change, and how prayer in Islam expresses time and change.
The opening reception is on Jan 10 at 7pm.