WTF Pavilion has constructed based on the previous works which have consistently embraced progressive thinking and pushed the barriers of what a small independent art space can sustain and present in terms of diverse art forms. A pioneering successful independent space, WTF is a vital meeting point and offers a rare platform in Bangkok for artists to exhibit works with thought provoking and critical analysis of current affairs and social issues from within and outside Thailand.
We can find a mysterious mound on the old map of ancient Ayutthaya drowned by Dutch cartographer Vingboons in the 1660s. At the ground of palace on the map, there are debris and artificial mound made of sand: on the modern idea of cartography, a map usually consists of static, permanent things like building, palace. The old Ayutthaya map was also drowned by the modern way except for the temporary mound.
The mound on the map is regarded as ‘Trai phum’: the imaginary mountain toward the ‘another’ three worlds where doesn’t connect physical world. A foreign cartographer in Ayutthaya might thought of the attempt and remnant of creation of the Trai phum as ‘permanent object’, even though it’s made of temporary material. The creation of artificial mound continues until now. In the 20th century there was an attempt building artificial mound as Trai phum in Bangkok. Golden Mountain built in 21st century Bangkok seems to be the successor of the mysterious mound on the Ayutthaya map.
The author of ‘Siam mapped’ Thongchai Winichakul explains what we are staggered in Thai conception of space is: the cosmography is treated as if it were the native’s view of planet earth, as if the indigenous conception of materiality doesn’t exist. This indicates when a foreigner tries to grasp the Thai conception of Space and time, the thinker him or herself ends up to enter the imaginary world instead. Though rising cosmopolitan generation of young urban dwellers in Bangkok are not looking to dress up their culture by tradition, the city of Bangkok has been harboring the legacy of tradition as what it was in Ayutthaya. On one level, it is a stage on which a great tradition is idealized, the spectacle of a storied past juxtaposed with the speed and density of current urban life.1 A foreigner –Faran, Yiipon, and Kaek – strays into a ‘dangerous classical city’ –named by V.S. Naipaul after Giorgio de Chirico’s work, The Enigma of Arrival - where is located above the physical world. We can find a certain coincidence of metaphysics here.
For this first year of participating in Bangkok Biennial, the artist Shinya will install an interactive installation derive from a mound and elevator. The space of inside elevator is a homogenized No-Places: it means ‘utopia’ originally from Greek, and an anthropologist Marc Augé re-used the term as ‘hyper modernism’: these "spaces of circulation, consumption and communication" exist beyond history, casting the illusion of being part of some grand global scheme. Shinya will show the juxtaposition between two worlds: ‘NEW OLD’, ‘NO PLACES’ as ‘Permanent Temporary’ installation.
Pavilion's curator: Somrak Sila
2nd and 3rd floor of WTF Gallery. 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Klongton-Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
24 August - 21 October 2018