In the second edition of Crossing SEA, DECK presents a group exhibition on Thai contemporary photography from 15 Nov 2019 to 22 Jan 2020. Curated by Ark Fongsmut, the exhibition features the works of Thai photographers Miti Ruangkritya, Piyatat Hemmatat, Surat Setsaeng, and Nat Bowornphatnon.
‘GAP: A Distinct to Reality’ questions to what extend could reality be presented by photographic images, and how the distance between the invisible and reality became a space of deliberation on the immediate circumstances and conditions of contemporary life in Thailand, with topics ranging from pollution, Bangkok’s infamous traffic jam, and the Narcotic Act in Thailand.
Crossing SEA is a research-based exhibition series initiated by DECK which examines the development of photographic practices in Southeast Asia.
Images: Exhibition banner; Piyatat Hemmatat, EDEN, 2015 – 2018; Miti Ruangkritya, Coloured Dust and Metallic Particles (detail), 2017; Surat Setsaeng, Somewhere Only We Know (detail), 2015 – 2018; Nat Bowornphatnon, Shades of Grey (triptych), 2018 – 2019.
About the Curator
Ark Fongsmut has been a curator at Bangkok University Gallery, Bangkok since 2000 and has produced many important exhibitions and initiations. With insight and experience in the field of contemporary Thai photography, Ark was appointed chief curator of the 2004 and 2006 Month of Photography – Bangkok, a major international photography exhibition, co-curator of the International Singapore Photography Festival 2008 and 2010, co-curator of the Singapore Biennale 2013, and curator of the Photo Bangkok 2015.
A vocal contributor to critical writings on contemporary Thai art, Ark has published in many exhibition catalogues and books, including “Art Now,” his latest collections of art writings. He had also contributed to many publications, namely, Esquire (Thai Edition), MARS, and East Bridge, an online Korean art magazine.
About the Artists
Miti Ruangkritya is a Thai-based photographer and visual artist. In 2016 he was selected as one of the finalists of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. He is nominated for 2020 Sovereign Art Prize. Exhibitions this year include a solo exhibition, A Convenient Sunset | A Convenient Holdup (Bangkok CityCity, Thailand). Group exhibitions include Temporal Topography: MAIIAM’s New Acquisitions; from 2010 to Present (Maiiam Museum, Chiangmai, Thailand), Long March Project: The Deficit Faction (Long March Space, Beijing, China), GAP: A distinct to reality, (DECK, Singapore) and Electrical Moods, (Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Germany).
He produced 4 books – Thai Politics and Sunset series. His work and publications are collected by the Singapore Art Museum, Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum (Thailand), The Backers Foundation (Japan) and Library at Tate (UK), Tai Kwun (Hong Kong), Metropolitan Museum of Art (US) and Centre for Artists’ Publications at Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Germany).
Nat Bowornphatnon is a successful commercial photographer based out of Bangkok, Thailand. His clients include Central Departmentstore, King power, and etc. He is a permanent lecturer of Photography in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University. His works have been exhibited at the 4th PASA Festival, South Korea, the Southeast Museum of Photography, USA, and CMU ART CENTER, amongst others.
Nat’s personal work delves into an analysis of the changing traditional values and day-to-day life of people in Thailand. He approaches this from a personal standpoint in his work ‘Dreaminess Bride’ which addresses the pressures surrounding matrimony and relationships in Thailand. He further analyses the significance of symbolism in Thai religious life in his series ‘Votary’. Nat received his MFA in Visual Arts from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in Bangkok in 2017, and his BFA in Mass Communications from Chiang Mai University in 2002.
Piyatat Hemmatat was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1976. At the age of 14 he moved to Devon, England to complete his secondary education. He then focused his increasing passion for experimental arts by earning a Bachelor’s degree in fine art from City & Guild London art school (1999 – 2001), followed by a Master’s degree in visual art from Chelsea College of Art & Design (2002).
Piyatat gained considerable practical experience while working at a design studio in London. In 2007 Piyatat returned home to Thailand and established his own eponymous studio and founded RMA Institute (2009 – 2019), a creative space exhibiting emerging, regional and international photography as well as other media. His community project eventually evolved into PhotoBangkok, Bangkok’s first home grown International Photography Festival, that he founded (2015 – onwards). Piyatat’s multimedia explorations in Photography, Sculpting and Video Installation encompass a variety of narratives – from socio-political commentary, faith, spirituality and abstract experimentation to groundbreaking conceptual photography – and have been continually published and exhibited both locally and internationally. He is recognised for his experimental works, combining ideas of nature, science, technology, mystery and mythologies.
Surat Setsaeng was born in 1992 in Bangkok, Thailand. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from King Mongkut’s institute of Technology Ladkrabang and received a young Thai artist award in the Photography Category in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, he had his first solo exhibition in Brand New art Project. In 2014, he exhibited in a show curated by Isabel Ching. Since then, Surat has exhibited in many group exhibitions in Thailand. Now he works as a Fashion Photographer and Guest lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang.