AMITIAE - Friday 18 July 2014
Art in Bangkok: Experimental Video Art (EVA) and Faculty of Arts, CMU
By Graham K. Rogers
I was interested to see that the Experimental Video Art (EVA) exhibition focussing on video art forms was opening in Bangkok at the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center and I pencilled the date in my diary. While it was billed to open on 17 July, the exhibition itself is running from 18 July to 7 September. This is run under the guise of Thai-European Friendship 2004-2014 so as well as European artists there were works from Thai exhibitors too.
Experimental Video Art (EVA)The first day was not well signed and escalators to show the area were not on. There was also evidence that some of the show (at least the hardware) was still being assembled. Some of the exhibits were (comparatively) small screens while some used the larger medium of walls in the show area.
A lengthy video display of a face and its changes during the video was nothing new - although one of the subjects was not unattractive - after all, John Lennon did this more than over 40 years ago (Smile, 1968). Another face used in a video on the same display was a little more disturbing and the subject appeared to be vomiting.
Some items were set up in the more secluded environment of a couple of large tents. Inside each were seats, projector and a screen of approximately 2metres. The repetitious nature of one of the examples was interesting in the use of shapes, but this sort of Art may be better as background rather than a viewer's constant focus.
Perhaps the best for me was a video by Khae Mongkornwong, titled "Bangkok" that used common everyday scenes of working people, but with a background of a traditional song (many years old) extolling the beauties of the city. The subtitles were helpful and the whole effect spelled IRONY in capital letters: as if it were the creation of angels.
As with all experimental Art some works and some does not. It is the opinion and feelings of the viewer that makes the validation. It is at least useful that Bangkok can examine the potential for digital displays as a medium, perhaps investigating or even investing in their own.
Faculty of Arts, CMUAlso in the BACC, a couple of floors down from the EVA show, but sadly on its last day, was an exhibition from staff members of the Faculty of Arts, Chiang Mai University. There was a wide range of styles and some clever pieces. I particularly liked a lithograph from Kazuhiro Abe.
Exhibits were both pictures and sculptures, with a number of photographs on the walls outside. A rather witty exhibit of small Thai flags along the wall as one entered the main part of the show caught my eye. Actually, even the floor was artistic.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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