Mit Jai Inn at Publlic Art Group Show “Art on Farm” at Jim Thompson Farm
NEWS Source: Art Asia Pacific
One noticeable gap in Bangkok’s contemporary art scene is a lack of strong public art. For more than a decade, Thai artists have been demonstrating their potential to fill this gap at the annual “Art on Farm” at the Jim Thompson Farm in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, a 3.5-hour drive northeast of the capital.
The setting is a mulberry plantation established to cultivate silkworm eggs by the eponymous textile and fashion brand in 1988. Since 2001, the site has been hosting year-end cultural tours for visitors, most of whom are families from the surrounding northeastern region of Isan and from Bangkok. In 2009, the Jim Thompson Art Center, led by curator Gridtiya Gaweewong, began to invite artists to produce temporary site-specific installations in and around the heritage farmhouses and temple buildings conserved at the site. In a visit to the latest rendition, held over five consecutive weekends between December 2019 and January 2020, the project proved exceptional in at least three ways: the artists’ achievements in producing some of their most outstanding work to date; the art’s strong engagement with the setting; and the atypical audience and place.
Mit Jai Inn produced five temporary installations of abstract paintings: two outdoors, and one in each of the three temple pavilions. People’s Wall (2019) was a 100-meter-long curtain of 60 paintings that spanned a mountainside field of cosmos flowers. Each of the 4 by 1.5-meter slit canvases was spray painted in stripes and blocks of Mit’s characteristic confetti colors, while a central square section of larger canvases formed a gate, as in a temple wall. The festive palette evokes old Buddhist temple murals but also Thailand’s 20th-century popular culture: movie posters, product packaging, and stage costumes.
Other artists include Pinnaree Sanpitak and Savinee Buranasilapin