On View
Off Site
: MAIIAM pavilion | Point of No Concern
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| EXHIBITION |

Current
Dates
Location
The former Wiang Thong Bookstore (west side of the city market), Trairat Road, Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai, Thailand
ArtistsSahapon Chootinan, Gobpong Khanthapan, Puvamin Indee, Nontanan Intarajakra, Lalita Singkhampuk, SHAN Spirit, Anurak Tanyapalit
CuratorsAnusorn Tunyapalit & Atikom Mukdaprakorn
Press release

MAIIAM pavilion | Point of No Concern

Sahapon Chootinan, Gobpong Khanthapan, Puvamin Indee, Nontanan Intarajakra, Lalita Singkhampuk, SHAN Spirit, Anurak Tanyapalit

The Pack-Ox Merchant Route was a historic path connecting communities in the Himalayan foothills, starting from Chiang Rung and winding along the mountain range until it reached the Andaman Sea at Mawlamyine.This route wove relationships between mountain valley villages and town communities, facilitating the exchange of goods and beliefs. Numerous stories traveled with the adventurers along this route, where encounters spurred the blending of identities and cultures, a phenomenon that persisted for centuries. However, as this route lost its significance with the construction of highways in the 1900s, the identities, traditions, and beliefs of diverse cultures along this path diminished. With the establishment of nation-states, some of the communities along this route were assimilated into the northwest provinces of Siam, resulting in the division of the route.

Although the governance and administration of this area have changed in name from the Siamese era to the present, no administration has truly empowered constitutents with decision-making and self-determination. The nation-state has attempted to consolidate power by limiting identities and commodifying cultural differences, divorcing them from ways of life. Therefore, we reclaim the narrative of this path to reshape perspectives on north Thailand in the form of a decentralized network and borderland. We connect numerous narratives of artists/cultural figures from the areas surrounding this route, who currently engage in exploration and research processes. They convey the stories of the region, memories, historical narratives, and excavating the relatively overlooked origins of ordinary people that elude historical records, all of whom carry captivating, timeless tales. This is the path we continue to walk together into the future despite the impact of nation-states.

The results of this project reveal the consolidation of power across every dimension, particularly in cultural aspects. The colonization and intrusions of the modern nation-state draw dividing lines between individuals. The pain of being separated from one’s environment and way of life, the loss of dignity and protection over one's own identity: These are consequences of a wounded, as yet unhealed history tracing back hundreds of years.

This exhibition is an offering, prompting us to broaden our perspective amid waves of hometown affection and seek roots to reconstruct new identities that intertwine with ongoing decentralization. It encourages us to shift our focus beyond the beauty of different provinces and instead attend to reality by studying overlooked historical events in local and cultural communities. As we do so, we find that the region is not merely an inanimate resource but a place teeming with life.

Recognizing the significance of this project, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum presents a pavilion for the Thailand Biennale, Chiang Rai 2023, in collaboration with the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture. The artist and initiator of the project, Anusorn Tunyapalit, puts forth a curatorial conservation project in collaboration with Atikom Mukdaprakorn, curating stories from contemporary artists in the region. The pavilion runs for two months, showcasing multidisciplinary artworks and knowledge-sharing activities, aiming to deepen the roots of each artist, enabling them to support the ongoing aspirations of the local community.

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1

Nonthanan Intharachak (B. Tak in 1989, resides and works in Tak)
KHAGOM No.1, No.2 (2023)
Mixed media painting

2

Kobphong Kanthapan (B. Chiang Rai in 1990, resides and works in Chiang Rai)
Majestic Cage, Face of the Land 2023
Acrylic paint, charcoal, powder colour, coloured pencils, spray paint on paper

3

Sahapon Chootinan (B. Uttaradit in 1999, resides and works in Chiang Mai)
The Unarchiver, 2019 - 23
A digital collage, printed on paper and multimedia interactivity

4

Phrae Pro-Democracy Network (established in 2020, Phrae)
SHAN, a distilled spirit

5

Lalita Singkhampuk (B. Chiang Rai in 1996, resides and works in Bangkok)
The State of Returning, 2023
Installation

6

Puwamin Indee (B. Lampang in 1996, resides and works in Bangkok)
Lost forest, 2023
Video installation

7

Anurak Thanyapalit (B. Phrae in 1992, resides and works in Chiang Mai)
Yee Do Ra, 2023
Sound installation