Jim Thompson Life & Legend Thai House & Museum Visitor Information Bangkok's Leading Host Special Events
A media-based exhibition on the people behind Jim Thompson – The Thai Silk Company
by Hans Fonk, in collaboration with Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Koichi Shimizu and Jakrawal Nilthamrong.

Exhibition designed by Orada Singhadechachai
Organized by the Jim Thompson Art Center Team

After the success of “Lost in the city”, the exhibition conceived by Navin Rawanchaikul to celebrate the centenary of Jim Thompson’s birth, the Jim Thompson Art Center is pleased to announce its next exhibition, “Invisible Hands: the people behind Jim Thompson – The Thai Silk Company”. A media-based exhibition by Dutch, Thai and Japanese artists, “Invisible Hands” explores sericulture and silk production, taking a look behind the scenes of Jim Thompson – the Thai Silk Company.

After the mysterious disappearance of Jim Thompson in 1967, questions were raised about the future of Jim Thompson – The Thai Silk Company. Who would manage the company and how would it survive without its charismatic founder? “Invisible Hands” will examine the paradigm shift in administration and strategy, from a one-man show based on an outsourcing model to a vertically integrated firm that relies on its own workshops, with a new management emphasis on team-work.

“Invisible Hands” will concentrate on the people behind the scenes of Jim Thompson – The Thai Silk Company, the innovators in sericulture, design and the weaving of premium fabric. This multi-media exhibition will feature the faces and remarkable stories of the company’s people, from the second generation of management to the local people in upcountry factories. The installation of photos, videos, music and audio recordings will interpret the hidden story behind the most successful enterprise in Thailand’s silk weaving industry.

Photographer Hans Fonk will create the exhibition centerpiece, Rocking Faces: The Secret Stars of Jim Thompson, featuring images printed on textile.

Adding Thai and Japanese perspectives to the show is a multilayered installation of video and sound by Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, and Koichi Shimizu, working with exhibition designer, Orada Singhadechachai.

Jakrawal Nilthamrong will present video work focusing on three elements: the history and process of Jim Thompson’s traditional silk production; the personal story and daily life of one weaver, responsible for a particular traditional silk design; and personal stories of a group of weavers, shown working together “in orchestration,” synchronized like the musicians in an orchestra. The video merges ‘fact’ with ‘fiction’, affording glimpses of the weavers’ personal lives, of their train of thought as they craft their beautiful products.

Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr and Koichi Shimizu will explore the realm of sound, recreating the atmosphere of the Jim Thompson factory using sounds recorded on site. Drawing on the rhythms of three different kinds of weaving machine (wooden, iron and automatic), they create a unique polyrhythm orchestration, giving the audience the sensation of walking around within the factory.

Orada Singhadechachai will integrate these multilayered installations of video and sound with Fonk’s photographs on silk, to bring to life the little-known story of the “Invisible Hands”.

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