What does it mean to be contemporary? How do we occupy the present, as agents, artists, and practitioners? If the terminology of “contemporary” is traceable to the Medieval Latin of “con” (“with”) and “temporarius” (“of/in time”), then we are with / in time(s), enacting spatiotemporal pluralities, of the many once back-thens and over-theres to right-now and right-heres. Running alongside the conception of time is progress. Charoen, loosely translated to “progress” inhabits clouds of possibilities, a Khmer word used ubiquitously in Thai once described a horizontal growth of immaterial matters instead of the now common, vertical model.
Charoen Contemporaries is an porous assembly of art practitioners invested in the redefinition of Charoen, and the notion of linear progress. Inhabiting another mode of being within progress, in the present, not only the contemporary but in contemporaries. Running sideways, counter, and in loops we produce projects which engages with site specificities, drawing from histories and collaborating with other artists, educators, academics, designers, and social workers. We are those that persists in different modes of time and interests yet have found ourselves together, of being contemporaries.
PostScripts proposes an opening up and re-framing of the complex history of Thai modernism through a series of projects taking place at the first postal building in Bangkok, Praisaneeyakarn. A hallmark of Thailand’s entry into western modernism, the building is a site that marks the introduction of the first postal infrastructure, of mass communication. Built and rebuilt several times, all that is left is an abandoned facade, a monument to tangled histories. Excavating its archives and engaging with the community surrounding the area, projects are developed employing the relic as the medium. One that reactivates the stasis of the structure and reimagines alternative timelines, inspecting different modes of communications and the role of mediums in the construction of modernist myths and monuments.
The building and the surrounding park will host a series of events: an art exhibition, education programs, film screenings, workshops and talks over the course of 15 days. The project space that sits on the side of the Chao Phraya River is situated in a diverse neighbourhoods of different cultural heritages, such as Little India, the Pak Khlong Flower Market, as well as local attractions such as Yodpiman River Walk and The King Rama I bridge. The event welcomes not just the usual audiences but also engages with local communities, re-learning their histories and re-connecting their relations with the abandoned place again.
Thanon Saphan Phut, Phra Nakhon Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Date & Opening hours
Fri. 20th July - Sun. 5th August 2018
Event Opening: Friday 20th July 2018 at 19:00
FRI: 16:00 - 22:00
SAT - SUN: 14:00 - 22:00
TUE - THU: 16:00 - 20:00