: The Unfaithful Octopus


DatesMarch 9 — July 15, 2024
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Mieke Bal, Fyerool Darma, Ian Tee, Diem Phung Thi & Thao Nguyen Phan, CAMP, Ricardo de Baños & Alberto Marro and Chulayarnnon Siriphol
Roger Nelson

The Unfaithful Octopus

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Mieke Bal, Fyerool Darma, Ian Tee, Diem Phung Thi & Thao Nguyen Phan, CAMP, Ricardo de Baños & Alberto Marro and Chulayarnnon Siriphol

MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum is delighted to announce the opening of its latest exhibition, "The Unfaithful Octopus," curated by Roger Nelson. This distinctive showcase, running from 9 March to 15 July 2024, features an international ensemble of artists who delve into the concept of adaptation in art, transforming various inspirations into new creations.

All the artworks in The Unfaithful Octopus can be considered “adaptations,” meaning that they respond to stories that the artists have taken from elsewhere. For example, some artworks are inspired by works of literature and cinema. Other artworks take their cue from historical paintings, sculptures, and designs by other artists. Some artworks are also inspired by writings by scholars and theorists.

Despite this, all the artworks in the exhibition transform the stories they respond to into something new. In this way, while they can be considered “adaptations,” they are not trying to be exact copies of other artworks or literary or cinematic sources. Instead, they are deliberately “unfaithful” kinds of adaptation, meaning that they use their artistic license to freely change the look and feel of the stories they are responding.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (b. 1957, Thailand) 2022.3, 2022 Embroidery on digital C-print on canvas 125 x 255

The concept of The Unfaithful Octopus is inspired by two of the artists that are included in the exhibition. They are Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (b. 1957, Thailand) and Mieke Bal (b. 1946, Netherlands). Both artists are world-famous and have exhibited at many prominent platforms internationally. Both artists are also prolific writers, and their writings as well as ideas from their artworks have inspired the title and curator’s concept for the exhibition.

Mieke Bal (b. 1946, Netherlands) It’s About Time! Reflections of Urgency, 2020 Single-channel video with sound 31 minutes

The exhibition also showcases newly commissioned artworks, including an installation by Fyerool Darma featuring a recording of a séance with a deceased man, a series of paintings by Ian Tee based on a Chinese mythological tale, and an artwork by Thao Nguyen Phan, which reconstructs furniture designed by Vietnamese artist Diem Phung Thi, serving as seating for visitors to engage with the displayed works. This approach is inspired by the writings and artworks of Mieke Bal and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook. Additional pieces include videos and films by internationally acclaimed artists like Mieke Bal, CAMP, and Chulayarnnon Siriphol, as well as an early silent film from Spain showcasing extended sword-fighting scenes, created in 1908 by Ricardo de Baños & Alberto Marro.

Chulayarnnon Siriphol (b. 1986, Thailand) Forget Me No, 2018 Single-channel video with sound 90 minutes

CAMP (India) Capital Circus, 2008 Single-channel video with sound 27 minutes

Originally exhibited at Nanyang Technological University's ADM Gallery in Singapore, this exhibition was made possible with the support of Jim Thompson and Quu Hotel.

Installation View