Tag Archives: the everyday

Jakkai Siributr — Transient Shelter — April 17 – May 31, 2014, Tyler Rollins Fine Art, NYC

Tyler Rollins Fine Art


APRIL 17 – MAY 31, 2014

Rollins Fine Art is pleased to present Transient Shelter, an exhibition of new works by Jakkai Siributr, taking place at our gallery in New York City from April 17 – May 31, 2014. The public is cordially invited to the opening reception on Thursday, April 17, from6:00 to 8:00 pm. The artist will be in attendance.

Jakkai has long been known as one of Thailand’s leading artists working with textiles, producing meticulously handmade tapestry and installation works that make powerful statements about religious, social, and political issues in contemporary Thailand. A main preoccupation of his art is the interaction between Buddhism and materialism in modern life, and the everyday popular culture of Thailand. In recent years, he has incorporated other materials and media in his work, including industrial and found materials, sound, and video. For Transient Shelter, Jakkai has produced a series of self-portrait photographs that have him “embodying” the elaborately embroidered and ornamented uniforms that are also part of the exhibition, along with a video work.

The exhibition is a meditation on the transience of worldly success and the way the trappings of social status are often imbued with quasi-mystical associations that maintain a link with animistic beliefs. With the photographs, Jakkai adopts poses taken from portraits of his ancestors, many of whom served as royal courtiers and in some cases had their lives cut short by the sometimes tragic vicissitudes of Thai political history. Wearing Thai civil service uniforms decked out with awards, he evokes the type of formal portrait photographs that are included in the funeral books that Thai families compile to commemorate the lives of relatives, and that typically emphasize the deceased person’s social status. Jakkai has encrusted the actual uniforms with elaborate ornaments that are inspired by Buddhist amulets and animist talismans, hinting at the deep-seated beliefs that underlie current social conventions. With some of the portraits, Jakkai poses in front of dilapidated backgrounds, pointing to the process of decay and rebirth that alludes to the cycle of life and death, as well as perhaps the state of social breakdown in today’s fractious Thailand. The exhibition title itself suggests that social status, like everything else in life, is but a transitory phase. This sense is heighted by the short video work, in which a uniform jacket slowly moves under flowing water, accompanied by a soundtrack of a burning funeral pyre.

Transient Shelter is curated by Singapore-based researcher, curator and critic Iola Lenzi, who writes in the catalogue essay: “mining local icons of religion and entrenched cultural tradition, Jakkai produces an art of thoughtful resistance that allusively takes aim at meaningless hierarchies, ineffective systems, and empty gestures masquerading as consequential. In its questioning of overlapping fiction and truth, dance with image and reality, and to-and-fro between life and death, Transient Shelter, though starting with ideas rooted in Thai culture, speaks to a universal audience.”

Born in 1969 in Bangkok, Thailand, where he currently lives and works, Jakkai received his formal training in the United States, earning a BA in textile and fine arts at Indiana University (1992) and an MS in printed textile design at Philadelphia University (1996). His work has been shown in a number of museums around the world in recent years. In the United Sates, his work was included in Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2012), as well as the museum’sHere / Not Here: Buddha Presence in Eight Recent Works (2011). As part of the latter exhibition, Jakkai presented his interactive Reciprocity project in the Asian Art Museum’s Tateuchi Gallery; his work Recession (2010) subsequently entered the museum’s collection. In 2009, Jakkai’s Lucky Ware installation (2008) was featured at the Rubin Museum in New York City, and he was included in Truly Truthful in Miami. He has presented two solo exhibitions at Tyler Rollins Fine Art: Temple Fair (2008) and Karma Cash & Carry (2010). In Asia, Jakkai’s Shroud installation was recently featured in the exhibition, Exploring the Cosmos: The Stupa as a Buddhist Symbol (2012 – 2013) at Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, which acquired the work for its permanent collection. In 2011, he presented a major exhibition of installations, sculptural works, and embroidered tapestries at the Art Center, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2011). He was a featured artist in the 2011 Chongqing Biennial and in the 2009 Asian Art Biennial at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, which acquired his work,Suffrage (2008). Other important collections of his work include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, and the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul.

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PILLOW TALK — Hyemin Lee at Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, April 10-23, 2014


Hyemin Lee

April 10 – 23, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, April 11th, 6-8 PM


Hyemin Lee’s pillow installations can be discussed in terms of their historical background in the Chosun Dynasty when seen as symbols of dividing men from women. Used to denote the palace quarters that women occupied while working on creative projects, Kyubang defined the female space. Lee’s pillows however, are not just repetitions of past patterns, materials and forms but rather, they are new researches incorporating some traditional elements. In their categorical and hierarchic belief Confucianist doctrine instills in its followers a very strict code of ethics and hierarchical orientation. Thus, women needed to heed their roles as daughter in laws, be good in home management, be humble and chaste and have proper etiquette. These may seem like antediluvian ideas for today but revisionist studies like that of the Chinese American scholar Yuk Kwei Kwong posits a new more expanded perspective of Confucianism that shows Confucius as supporter to feminist ideas. By creating Kyubang pillows Lee speaks to these Chosun Dynasty Confucianist beliefs while respecting some, and changing others to suit her vision of contemporary art. She does not make them out of silk as did her forebears but rather out of repurposed materials that in themselves have a rich Korean history. Furthermore, Lee is reimagining the past into new forms. By sewing her works out of pieces of used Korean clothing she makes small pillows out of which she creates her installations. These configurations can take various forms like the frieze for example that usually wraps around the central part of a room. Although the frieze design is attributed to the ancient Greeks, by using it, Lee combines eastern and western compositional designs. As the artist says in her statement “I use daily objects representative of forgotten traditions or memories from my personal history, to create works, reviving in them the once lost dreams and hopes. I sew together old pieces of fabric and clothes, mostly traditional Korean garments that have been abandoned, to make miniature pillows, or collects wooden pieces from worn-out frames or cheap paper and cast them together into colorful sculptures. As I bring together everyday trivialities and traces of the past to restructure them in multiple layers into my own creations, I invite the audience to revisit and recollect their own past.”

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