Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook

 

presented by Tyler Rollins Fine Art

 

 

Born 1957 in Trad, Thailand

 

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook is universally recognized as one of the leading video artists from Southeast Asia. For the past 25 years, her video, installation, and graphic works have been regularly shown in institutions in her native Thailand and throughout the world.  Araya’s video works have a meditative, ritualistic quality, and, like many of humanity’s important rituals, they are often focused on the idea of communication between different realms. Her earlier works, for example, have explored the connection between the living and the dead, between the insane and “normal” people, and between humans and animals. Over the past few years, Araya has focused on art itself and the way the viewer interacts with a work of art. In her recent video series, Two Planets (2008) and Village and Elsewhere (2011), Araya placed framed reproductions of iconic Western artworks in settings that are radically different from the art museum, specifically in rural villages, markets, and Buddhist temples in Thailand, where she films groups of farmers or working class people discussing the artworks. The scenes are shot from the perspective of a member of the crowd, thereby incorporating the viewer into the flow of conversation.

 

These videos show the meeting of two different worlds: “high art” and everyday life; the personal and private spheres; elite vs. mass culture; art and commerce; East and West. While issues of class and cultural differences, exoticization of the “other,” etc., are invoked, these videos also convey a sense of curiosity, humor, and joy that emphasize a common humanity.

 

Videos from Araya's Two Planets series will be shown later this year at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, which will present her first solo show at a US museum. She will also participate in a group show at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, opening in May. Her works have been shown in numerous international museum exhibitions on five continents, including the groundbreaking exhibition, Traditions/Tensions: Contemporary Art in Asia, organized by the Asia Society, New York, in 1996. In 2011 alone, her work was featured in group exhibitions at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; the Musée de l’Objet, Blois, France; the Zentrum für Kunst, Karlsruhe, Germany; the Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway; the Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy; MDE11 (Encuentro Internacional de Medellin), Medellin, Colombia; the Changwon Asian Art Festival, Gyeongnam, South Korea; and the Singapore Art Museum. Araya’s work has been regularly featured in international biennials; she represented Thailand at the Venice Biennale (2005) and was featured in the Sydney Biennale (2010 and 1996), the Nanjing Biennale (2010), the International Video Art Biennial in Tel Aviv (2010), the Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art (2010), the Incheon Women Artists Biennale (2009), the Taipei Biennial (2006), the Gwangju Biennale (2006), the Carnegie International (2005), the Istanbul Biennial (2003), the Johannesburg Biennial (1995), and the Asia Pacific Triennial (1993). She was also an artist in residence at Artpace, San Antonio (1998-1999).

 

 


Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Village and Elsewhere: Jeff Koons’ Wolfman in Pakoitai Market and Sunday Market, 2011, single channel video

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Village and Elsewhere: Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes, Jeff Koon’s Untitled and Thai Villagers, 2011, single channel video, 19:40 minutes

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass and the Thai Villagers, 2008, single channel video, 16 minutes