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TRANSMISSION - Sopheap Pich, Albert Yonathan Setyawan, The Propeller Group, Nick Chan, Suwichcha Dussadeewanich, Sakarin Krue-On and Thakol Khao Sa-ad.

21 March – 30 August 2014
At The Jim Thompson Art Center

The Jim Thompson Art Center is pleased to present TRANSMISSION, an exhibition exploring the interface between cultural heritage and contemporary art.

TRANSMISSION takes as its starting point a storied collection of art and artefacts, that of the Jim Thompson Thai House and Museum, a collection that is almost synonymous with Thai heritage thanks to the museum’s preservation and promotion of Thai culture, old and new. But like other important Thai collections, most of its contents are actually older than Thailand - certainly, older than the modern nation state inaugurated in the 1930s. Speaking to us from pre-modern and pre-national times, what is the place to which it refers? Taking in centuries of cultural exchange and an area now spanning many countries, what the museum assembles and displays is also a collection of regional art.

TRANSMISSION offers a glimpse into Thailand’s pre-national unconscious, through the looking glass of contemporary art. The exhibition sees seven contemporary artists from Thailand and Southeast Asia responding to the Jim Thompson collection in their own terms. Their works show that the past is not just an inspiration, but a challenge, that ‘tradition’ is not just an inheritance of forms and techniques, but a live process of translation and adaptation that is integral to the experience of modernity. TRANSMISSION suggests that ‘heritage’ offers much more than a sense of identity, but also conceptual, spiritual and practical knowledge – renewable resources for thinking, feeling and making.

Through new and recent creations in a wide variety of media – from woodwork and painting to video and sound installation – the exhibition raises the question of how knowledge is transmitted, between people and between peoples. How does a culture reach across time and space? What makes it rigid or adaptable? Why do some cultures thrive, while others fade away?

Such questions could not be more timely as Southeast Asia readies itself for greater political, economic and cultural integration. Yet most of this region still grapples with defensive and divisive forms of nationalism, and art and archaeology are often the prized sacrificial victims. Despite populist appeals to national heritage, and international claims to ‘world heritage’, the region’s cultural roots reach across all national borders.

Rather than provoke, TRANSMISSION opens a dialogue amongst forms – ancient, modern and contemporary – that reflect the region’s deeper, shared past and its inevitably common future. Like the Jim Thompson brand itself, founded on giving time-honoured techniques a contemporary expression, TRANSMISSION advances a forward-looking view of the past. It celebrates the vitality of moradok, and art’s ongoing contribution to this living heritage.

TRANSMISSION is curated by David Teh, with the assistance of Mary Pansanga

Participating Artists

Albert Yonathan Setyawan
Albert Yonathan Setyawan started his study in ceramic in 2002 at Faculty of visual art, Bandung Institute of Technology. After graduating in 2007 he started to develop several series of ceramic installations and drawings. In his works he combined simplified forms of human, animals, plants, and geometric shapes and usually arranged them repetitively into a geometric configuration. Although his drawings might look different visually from the ceramic works, both of them represent the same characteristic and that is repetition. Cosmic Labyrinth series presented for the first time in his solo exhibition at Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore in 2011 titled Temple of Threshold. Last year one of the labyrinth works titled Cosmic Labyrinth: A Silent Pathway presented in Indonesian Pavilion at 55th Venice Biennale, Italy together with 4 other Indonesian artists. Select solo exhibitions include “I am a bird now”, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Koka city, Shiga pref., Japan (2009) Cosmic Mantra, SIGIarts Gallery, Jakarta and Liminal Being, The Japan Foundation, Jakarta (2010) Temple of Threshold, Valentine Willie Fine Art Gallery, Singapore (2011). In 2012, Sacred Veranda, Sumarja Gallery, Faculty of Visual Art and Design, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bandung, Grammar of Meditation, Galeri Canna, Jakarta and Cosmic Totems, WTF Gallery, Bangkok. Albert took a postgraduate program in visual art at the same former university and graduated in 2012. He received a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education to take further studies in ceramic art. This year he is taking a Master Course in ceramic art at Kyoto Seika University. While currently living and working in Kyoto, Japan he is trying to maintain his small ceramic studio in Bandung, Indonesia through the help of friends and some fellow artists.

Sopheap Pich
Born in 1971 in Battambang province, Cambodia, Sopheap Pich lives and works in Phnom Penh. He holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts (1995) and an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999). Working primarily with rattan and bamboo, Pich’s early sculptural works (2004 – 2010) addressed issues of time, memory, and the body, often relating to Cambodia’s history, particularly with regard to his childhood recollections of life during the Khmer Rouge period (1975-79), and its culture, both its ancient traditions and contemporary struggles. In his recent wall relief works (2011 – ) Pich departs from the burden of socio-political references. Working with materials indigenous to Cambodia – bamboo, rattan, burlap, beeswax and earth pigments – Pich turns inwards towards his practice itself, its materiality and formal references. Select solo exhibitions include A Room, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2014), Compound at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle (2011), Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich The Metropolitan Museum, NYC (2013), and his fourth solo exhibition with Tyler Rollins Fine Art (2013). Select group exhibitions include: dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), Singapore Biennale (2011), Asian Art Biennale in Taiwan (2011), Fukuoka Triennale (2009) and the Asia-Pacific Triennial (2009).

Suwitcha Dussadeewanich
Suwitcha graduated with a BFA in Thai Art from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art, Silpakorn University. His works are mostly installatiosn of three-dimensional structures. In 1999 he cooperated with his friends to form a group of young Thai artists called “ As Yet Unnamed” and participated in the art exhibition at project 304. The group has been active since then. In 2008 he showed his work in the exhibition “Wall Saw” as a member of As Yet Unnamed at About Studio/About café. In the very same year he joined the exhibition “TheTtraces of Siamese Smile” at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) and had a solo exhibition A Matter of Background at PSG Art Gallery. In 2010 Suwitcha took a step forward by making cloud shape holes on the wall of BACC. The impressive clouds spelt the word “Freedom” as if it was wandering across the wall of the art space, catching the eye of the beholders during the exhibition “Imagine Peace”. In 2011, he joined the workshop Temperature with Nordic artists at Silpakorn University Art Centre. In 2012, he was part of "Temporary Storage #01", a project-based exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)

Sakarin Krue-On
Born in1965 in Mae Hong Sorn, Thailand. He is currently an Associate Dean For Sanam Chandra Campus Affair / Art Instructor at The Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art, Silpakorn University Bangkok. Sakarin has 8 solo exhibitions which have been shown since 2000: Temple(2000), Yellow Simple(2001), Cloud Nine (2004), 2005 Crisis (2005), Equal Opportunity? (2006), Horizon(2008) Ripe ProJect, Village and Harvest Time (2008), “h” (2008), Manorah and Best Friends of the Snake (2010). Apart from the solo exhibitions, Sakarin has participated in many selected group exhibitions both in Thailand and abroad. He participated in Thai Pavillion at 50th Venice Biennale in 2000, 21st Asian International Art Exhibition in Singapore (1999), Invited Artist to Documenta 12 in Kassel Germany (2007), Nanjing Triennial in China (2008), Thai Pavilion for 53rd Venice Biennale under the Project Gondola al Paradiso.,Ltd.(2009). In 2010, Sakarin was invited to show his work Temple in the exhibition Murals at Museum of the Foundation Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain. 2011, Participated in the exhibition Prop at Guests Project, London, UK. Lately he has participated in Busan Biennale 2012, South Korea and in 2013 Sakarin has occasionally been invited to be a visiting artist, guest lecturer and conductor of many international workshops such as: Guest lecturer at Asia link Center ( 2001 and 2008), Guest lecturer at Victorian College of The Art in Melbourne (2008), Visiting Artist and conductor of the workshop Traditional Thai Painting at Institute of Contemporary Art(ICA), London, UK(2005). Visiting Artist at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2007). Invited Artist and Guest lecturer for Post Academic International Theatre School of Das Arts/De Amsterdamse School Advanced Research in Theatre and Dance Studies, The Netherlands (2007), The curator of Art and Community Project Metro-Sapiens: dialogue in the cave (2013).

Thakol Khao Sa-ad
Born in 1977 in Rachaburi, Thailand. Thakol graduated with a BFA in Painting from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art, Silpakorn University. His practice is both in painting and woodwork. Thakol’s solo exhibitions include ‘’Between…’’ in 2006 at Gallery VER, Bangkok and “An empty mind with what eyes have seen” in 2008 also at Gallery VER. In 1998, he was involved in a group show called “Present” at PSG gallery, Silpakorn University, Bangkok and the “Witches Stuff” exhibition at Project 304, Bangkok. Thakol has also regularly participated in numerous group exhibitions, “Hold on, don’t get it wrong” and “Grounding” both held at About Studio/About Cafe, Bangkok. In 1999 “Surface/Tension”, Window project, organized by –AARA- About Art Related Activities and “As Yet Unnamed Not Yet in Progress” at Project 304, Bangkok. In 2000 he participated in the “Euro Vision” exhibition at PSG Gallery, Silpakorn University, Bangkok. In 2008 Fidelity Not Fealty” at H Gallery, Bangkok. In 2009 “Parallel” exhibition in collaboration with Kobpak Promlekha, As Yet Unnamed: station 1: About Studio / About Cafe, Bangkok. “Imagine Peace” in 2010 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Bangkok and in 2012 “Retro VER-spective” Gallery VER, Bangkok. Thakol is also a Messy Sky magazine and Messy Project Space founding member and his most recent project is designing the new platform for Messy Sky (new structure/Messy Sky window)

Nick Chan
Nick Chan is an award-winning and accomplished media artist, with a background in music composition and sound design. As a musician, he has released numerous albums within the milieu of contemporary and electronic music, both of his own work as well as in the role of producer for other artists. He has also been involved in various multi-disciplinary projects, exhibition soundtracks, and installations employing the use of stochastic and audio-reactive processes, where sound plays a complementary and synergistic role in relation to the visual and tactile aspect of things. Currently, his artistic focus explores the primacy of sound and its polymorphous use as a relational object and mediator of meaning outside established notions of musical form, whilst maintaining continuity, rather than alienation from them.

Nick has participated in various projects including “PlusMinusTen: A Celebration of Dieter Rams' Principles of Design” Asia’s first exhibition celebrating Dieter Rams' 10 principles for good design, “Dual City Sessions” a traveling exhibition showcased at Berlin International Design Festival, Tokyo DesignTide, Shanghai Design Biennale, Kuala Lumpur Design Week and Singapore Design Festival. “Cognitive Resonance” a short film for fashion designer Max Tan, ‘A Design Film Festival 2013’ and “Musicity” a location-based, curated music platform that explores the intersection of music, place, architecture, memory and experience, spearheaded by the British Council Nick has received several honors and awards including Straits Times Life! '30 under 30' cover story (2008) National Arts Council 'Patron of the Arts' Award (2009) Creative Circle Awards, Gold, Sound Design 'The Rubber Band' (2012) and MTV/Lenovo Project COLAB Regional Winner (2013). Nick is currently living and working in Singapore.

THE PROPELLER GROUP
Formed in 2006 by Phunam, Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen
PHU NAM
1974 ​Born in Saigon, Viet Nam.
1988​ Stone sculpting and restoration in Khmer antiques, Kun Ya apprenticeship, Bangkok, Thailand
1995​ Bronze Buddha sculpting and bronze casting, Chiang Mai, Thailand
1997​ Ecole des Beaux Art Hanoi, Oil Painting Restoration, Ha Noi, Viet Nam

MATT LUCERO
1976​ Born in Upland, CA, U.S.A.
2000​ BFA, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California, U.S.A.
2003 ​MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, U.S.A.

TUAN ANDREW NGUYEN
1976 ​Born in Saigon, Viet Nam.
1999​ Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art, with Minor in Digital Arts, University of California, Irvine, CA, U.S.A.
2004 ​Master of Fine Arts, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, U.S.A.

AWARDS AND GRANTS
2012​ Creative Capital Award, Muriel Pollia Foundation Award, Center for Cultural Innovation - ARC grant
2010​ Art Matters

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2013 ​Lived, Lives, Will Live!, Lombard Freid Gallery, New York, New York, USA
2012​ The History of the Future, 10 Chancery Lane, Hong Kong, Static Friction, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, Static Friction: Burning Rubber, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
2010 ​Your Name Here, Sàn Art @ L’Usine, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
2007 ​Requiem for a Wall, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS / SCREENINGS / PERFORMANCES
2013​ Residual: Disrupted Choreographies, Carre d’Art, Nimes, France
In Between, Beit HaGafen - Arab Jewish Culture Center, Haifa, Isreal
Home Away, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California
ASEAN Media Arts Festival, traveling exhibition, Tokyo, Japan.
Unknown Forces, MSGSÜ Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center, Istanbul, Turkey
Cities of Ancient Futures, Changwon Asian Art Festival, Changwon, South Korea
No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Yebisu International Festival For Art & Alternative Visions, National Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
2012 ​Impakt, Utrecht, The Netherlands
7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
The Unseen, Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou City, China
Six Lines Of Flight, SF MOMA, San Francisco, CA
Made In LA, Los Angeles Biennial, Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
The Ungovernables, The New Museum, New York, NY
Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Bangkok, Thailand.
2011 ​Video, An Art, A History, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Project 35 - Independent Curators International, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY
Commercial Break, Venice, Italy
Negotiating Home History And Nation, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Singapore Biennale - Open House, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
2010​ Night Festival, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore
Art Paris + Guests, 10 Chancery Lane, Grand Palais, Paris
Projects 93, MOMA, New York, NY
Against Easy Listening, 1A Space, Hong Kong
8th Shanghai Biennale, in collaboration with Superflex, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Kuandu Biennale, in collaboration with Superflex, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
Porcelain / M ả nh Ghép Cu ộ c Đờ i, in collaboration with Superflex, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Your Name Here. Sàn Art @ L’Usine, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Project 35 - Independent Curators International, New York, NY
FAX - Para-site - Hong Kong
2009 ​Lim Dim. Curated by Tran Luong, Stenersenmuseet, Oslo, Norway
Palais Project. Vienna, Austria
Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany
What’s the Big Idea? Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2008​ Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou City, China
TransPop , Korea Vietnam Remix, Seoul, Korea
2nd Singapore Biennale, Singapore
GwangJu Biennale , Korea
The Farmers & the Helicopters, Freer & Sackler, Smithsonian, Washington DC, USA
2007​ Requiem for a Wall, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Lyon Biennial, The History of a Decade That Has Not Yet Been Named, Lyon, France
Vietnamese International Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA
Depiction Perversion Repulsion Obsession Subversion, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Witte de Withe, Center for Contemporary Arts, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2006​ Imaginary Country, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Diaspora, Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore

LECTURES / WORKSHOPS / PANELS
2013 ​USC Roski School of Fine Arts, MFA Lecture Series, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
No Country: Regarding South and Southeast Asia, symposium, Guggenheim Museum
2010 ​PUBLIC INTEREST: Projects & Prototypes, LACE and Otis College of Art & Design, Los Angeles, CA
Art Matters, grantee panel discussion, Los Angeles, CA
2008 ​ TransPop, Korea Vietnam Remix, panelist, Seoul, Korea
2007​ UC Irvine, School of Art, Irvine, CA
California Institute of the Arts, visiting artist, Valencia, CA
2006​ GOMA, Queensland Art Gallery, guest speaker, “White Cube Black Box,” Queensland, Australia