curiously enough... - an insight into Southeast Asian art scene - vol.2

curiously enough... - an insight into Southeast Asian art scene - vol.2

2019 9.13 - 10.12

Opening reception: September 13th (fri.) 18:00 – 20:00

©Dusadee Huntrakul
Press Release

Venue: nca | nichido contemporary art
Exhibition Schedule: September 13th (fri.) – October 12th (sat.)
Opening hours: Tue. ~ Sat. 11:00 – 19:00 (Closed on Sunday, Monday and National holidays)
Opening reception: September 13th (fri.) 18:00 – 20:00
Artists: Dusadee Huntrakul / Samak Kosem / Tammy Nguyen

nca | nichido contemporary art is pleased to present the exhibition “curiously enough… - an insight into Southeast Asian art scene- vol.2” which focuses on Southeast Asia’s contemporary art. The exhibition title, “curiously enough...”, is an expression used to introduce a fact that, against all expectations or beliefs, reveals to be surprising and curious. Even things that we recognize as actual facts, the truth, can take on a completely different meaning or emotional connotation depending on the way we look at them. While social networks have made our lives more comfortable and convenient, enabling real-time access to a myriad of news and information regardless of someone’s location, deeply affecting societies nowadays, quite a few are the episodes when information is distorted and the truth becomes muddy. Selecting and screening each piece of news to verify its validity/correctness is one of those issues that will stick with us for a long time. This exhibition puts into focus matters and uncomfortable feelings each of these artists, from different upbringing, orientation, and religious background, has personally faced and experienced, conveying through the works on view their unique vision, thinking and expressive language.

Dusadee Huntrakul’s production of drawings and small sculptures emphasizes the point where individual and collective meet. His selection of works imagines new waves of people that cross borders looking for a better life, regeneration and growth, and brings to the surface their beliefs and messages, entwined together. Powerfully metaphorical, at times the surreal nature of his works evokes innocent childish drawings. Yet, at times it reminds of something primitive that could have been easily made thousands and thousands of years ago, as well as been accidentally created the other day. Regardless of nationality and gender, our memories and emotions make us feel as we are all connected somehow, and this can be one of the clear marks of human evolution.

Vietnamese artist Tammy Nguyen creates works that tell stories about terrorism, diaspora and other harsh conditions war left behind and that are still affecting people, while looking at the same time at her own experience as daughter of Vietnamese refugees who fled the country during the Vietnam War and escaped to the USA. In these avian-themed works, Nguyen associates her mother’s cooking of chicken and stretches it into her imagination of catching and killing the bird as a way to fictively explore trauma, and war as a catching-prey game. Through unrestrained vision and geopolitical researches, Nguyen traces the history of the local environment, interpreted as one of the survivors, and creates narratives through the continuous overlapping of images.

With a degree in anthropology, Samak Kosem centers his works around non-human/animal relation and the Muslim culture of Thailand’s Deep South, subject of his ongoing research. Instead of using images of conflict and turmoil often portraited by mass media, Kosem uses animals (sheep) and landscape (waves) as tools to represent violence and societal pressure towards the Muslim community and the sexual orientation of its members. The works on view put into focus the condition of Thai Muslims belonging to the LGBTQ community. Kosem identifies himself as a member of the queer community, as well as a Muslim. However, the conflict with religious groups, society and family continues and there is still a climate of ignorance and lack of understanding. Sound can be pleasing sometimes, sometimes it can be an unwanted voice, then it becomes noise to be silenced. Starting from his personal experiences, Kosem navigates us through some of his scattered ideas bringing them to life with his pictures and videos.

This is a touring exhibition first displayed at galerie nichido Taipei in July 2019, created in collaboration with the exhibition “SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now” currently on view at The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art, and presents new additions to the artworks’ selection.

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