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K11 NIGHT: A Memory Palace will present a seminal work by Korakrit Arunanondchai  - FAD Magazine

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K11 NIGHT: A Memory Palace will present a seminal work by Korakrit Arunanondchai 

K11 Art Foundation has unveil the title and theme for this year’s K11 NIGHT: A Memory Palace, an expansive celebration of art and life, fantasy and reality, science and spirituality.

Installation view of Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2015. Courtesy of Korakrit Arunanondchai, C L E A R I N G (New York, Brussels) & Carlos/Ishikawa (London). Bangkok CityCity Gallery (Bangkok), Kukje Gallery (Seoul, Busan). Photo: Aurélien Mole.

An annual celebration dedicated to artistic expression and creativity, the title sponsor for this year’s event is UBS, with additional support from Visa, BMW, Dior Parfums, Perrier-Jouët, and SUPREME, a premium brand of Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong.

From 17th December 2023 to 14th January 2024, artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s immersive video installation Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3 will be presented at K11 MUSEA. Adapted specially for K11 MUSEA in close collaboration with the artist, the video installation will include “body”, an oversized pond resembling an outline of a figure – which was last seen in its first public appearance in 2015.

Painting with history (…) is the fourth instalment in a series of video installations that Arunanondchai began creating in 2012. Encompassing sculpture, film, performance and painting, the installation explores the togetherness of humans, machines, and spirits in 21st-century Bangkok, a city where animist tendencies and the desire for modernisation co-exist in everyday life.

The art of Arunanondchai, who lives and works between Bangkok and New York, is a form of hybrid storytelling. Painting with history (…) is the artist’s ode to Sans Soleil, an experimental film by director Chris Marker. Using the idea of film as a constructed medium as a starting point, Arunanondchai imagines a conversation between a character called “Chantri”, embodied as both a spirit and a drone camera, and the “Denim Painter”, a fictionalised version of the artist.

Anchored by a consistent cast of characters and drawing inspiration from Buddhism and Animist beliefs, Arunanondchai’s installation attempts to build something that feels like a living thing, breathing out inanimate objects and discarded memories. 

Painting with history (…) is only visible in its entirety from above. Across the exhibition space, viewers will find denim canvases covered with handprints and gestural marks in primary colours, created by the artist using his body as a paintbrush. The central form in the canvases, as well as the oversized pond, resembles the outline of a yellow figure, a shape that was drawn by a go-go dancer in her body painting performance on the reality television show “Thailand’s Got Talent”, which sparked media outrage in the country in 2012. Public opinion was split between Buddhist moralistic values and Thailand’s reputation for sex tourism, presenting a binary which the artist tries to break down and take on as a mythic origin point. This painted manifestation, as a landscape and a stage which the viewer is free to explore, is also replete with “performers” —mannequins and fabric characters adorned in costumes and coated in paint. The installation constitutes one vast painting that is meant to be seen by Chantri from the perspective of a drone looking down from the sky.

As a firm supporter of the Hong Kong’s art scene, UBS is delighted to be sponsoring K11 Night and the immersive artistic experience that it will bring to the city for the third year. This year’s exhibition not only celebrates creativity and connections but also showcases a captivating expression of different cultures, which reflects the unique convergence of cultures in our beloved city.

Amy Lo, Chairman of Global Wealth Management Asia, Co-Head Wealth Management Asia Pacific, UBS Global Wealth Management Head and Chief Executive, UBS Hong Kong.

Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3 is Arunanondchai’s attempt at a gesamtkunstwerk or “total work of art”, where the past and the future, the spiritual and the profane, and tradition and modernisation collapse into a single organism that can be felt and experienced as a whole.

K11 NIGHT: A Memory Palace, 17th December 2023 to 14th January 2024, 6F, Kunsthalle, K11 Art & Cultural Centre, K11 MUSEA Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsu k11artfoundation.org

Tickets k11experience.com

About the artist

Korakrit Arunanondchai – portrait credit – Photographer Kelvin Boyes

The work of Korakrit Arunanondchai (b. 1986, Bangkok, Thailand) focuses on the transformative potential of storytelling. With each project, the artist expands his cosmos of interconnected stories through expansive video installations, paintings, objects, and performative works. In his videos, he processes experiences in his personal environment just as he does with political events, history and questions in our crisis-ridden present. Born in Bangkok and working primarily in Bangkok and New York, Arunanondchai often draws upon the cultural contexts in his life as well as spaces with postcolonial trauma. Using essayistic and experimental approaches, the artist works with multiple collaborators to assemble audio and visual materials from various sources. With references to philosophy and myth, his narratives weave together questions about consciousness, empathy, and community.

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