AT TIMES INSANITY OR MADNESS FOR SOMETHING IN PARTICULAR HAS BEEN THE ROOT OF THE CAUSE THAT ALLOWED FOR ONE TO ACCOMPLISH A TASK, DESCRIBES GALLERY MANAGER PATTICHA THITITHAMMAPORN OF THE INAUGURAL EXHIBITION AT THIS NEW BANGKOK ART SPACE.
In very early 2017, DUKE Contemporary Art Space, a brand new art venue in the center of Bangkok unofficially opened with the purpose of serving as a meeting point for one and all who are interested in art, and offers yet another new home for the significant movements occurring within the city’s art scene.
Through the collaboration of Noppadon Narittakurn, Pitipong Benjarungroj, Tawatchai Somkong, Arnat Mongkornhong, Attawoot Papangkorn and Tawatchai Somkong (Editor in Chief of Fine Art Magazine), DUKE was launched upon the 1st floor of Gaysorn Plaza, a renowned shopping mall at the Ratchaprasong Intersection, the center and commercial district of Bangkok. Walking inside the space, one finds an exhibition space and multi-purpose hall open to many forms of events and content ranging from small lectures to live performances and the Water Library restaurant. Nearby one finds the cigar lounge, a cozy living room that, at the same time, functions as a digital library of sorts where one can come to take a break and also gain access to a database and publications providing readers with detailed information regarding beverages and all things wine or whiskey related.
DUKE’s debut exhibition, ‘SATI’ curated by Tawatchai Somkong, was held from the 12th of January to the 4th of February and, through the works of its 27 participating artists, considered how obsession or madness are transformed into consciousness. The SATI exhibition’s title in itself is a Thai word that means consciousness, with its opposite being ‘madness’ or ‘unconsciousness.’ In Thai we refer to such ‘mad’ temperament as ‘MAO,’ although it is true, and as Patticha Thitithammaporn, gallery manager described, that at times insanity or madness for something in particular has been the root of the cause that allowed for one to accomplish a task. To clarify and exemplify such concept, Untitled (2016) by Gumsak Atipiboonsin would be an obvious starting point. The project began from his individual obsession for the unstable color, form and light of the natural environment. He picked, combined, and transformed all of these elements into a painting that is filled with a bloody red color and a mad accumulation of brush strokes. However, when all come together, the final result is a peaceful, calm and an idiosyncratic sum of its parts.
Atipiboonsin’s work is just one of many interesting works of art showcased in this show, as well as various aspects and meanings of SATI as interpreted by the participating artists. Following this inaugural exhibition in the space, the next upcoming show will be curated by Tawatchai Somkong and while the theme remains unconfirmed, do stay tuned and follow this space as DUKE is undoubtedly off to an interesting start and one we look forward to seeing play out further.
TEXT: NAPAT CHARITBUTRA