January 10 @ 7:00 pm - January 31 @ 7:00 pm UTC+8
A+ Works of Art is proud to present The Enmeshed, a group exhibition showcasing five Thai artists, Marnee Maelae, Samak Kosem, Anuwat Apimukmongkon, Ahama Sa-I and Amru Thaisnit, curated by Penwadee Nophaket Manont.
Through photography, installation and video, The Enmeshed portrays a diversity of personal perspectives from artists living in the Deep South of Thailand — Pattani, Yala and Narathiwas — three places that have been stereotyped by the violence and unrest that has plagued the area and its people.
While images of bombings and criminal activity around the border between Thailand and Malaysia may be the staple of mainstream media coverage, these images barely offer a glimpse into the everyday lives of the region’s inhabitants.
An anthropologist, Samak Kosem, in his short documentary film, attempts to depict the experience of alienation and exclusion felt by the minority community of Muslim Thais. His film juxtaposes narratives from the Deep South with those from the rest of Thailand, by examining the journey of sheep fated for sacrifice. While the killing of animals for food is common throughout the whole country, Samak’s film reveals how 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.
Amru Thaisnit draws from personal experience to create an installation based on the passing of his own relatives and friends because of the civil unrest in the region. Digging shallow graves in the shapes of bullets, Thaisnit provokes the viewer to go beyond reacting abstractly to the images of more violence, inviting us to contemplate the deaths of real individuals from Nathariwat on a visceral level.
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.