Click to page 5. You can also pick up a copy at your neighborhood. Look for green newspaper box with the sign "Asian Reporter" Thank you Toni Tabora-Roberts for writing about my projects.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Answers for Jennifer Delos Reyes "3 questions" assignment. Jen co-teach the Social Practice class with Harrell this term.
1. WHY DO YOU WORK WITH THE SOCIAL AS A MEDIUM?
I want to do something that community can participate in or related to. I stopped making material based work after I live in Alaska and realized how fast global warming has become. I thought that if my husband and I are trying our best to live green, and believe that we should give back to the earth, then why can't I have a career that support my believe? Why do I have to compromise it for the sake of making art or being artist? I already made sculpture from recycle material at that time but I want to take it further, make less objects. Also I realized that my parent, cousins, and non-art friends has never been to the art museum. They feel too nervous to walk into gallery. I started to ask myself why I am doing this. It's never be about money at the beginning. I have never sold anything in my life. So I start to select my career choice. What do I want to do with this art education? What should I spend the rest of my life doing? I have always been a political active person and I believe in activism work so I start apply that to the project. I had a difficult childhood and I have seen a lot during those years so mundane and everyday life never attract me. As much as I love those cool projects that create fun activities, I never feel like doing them. Maybe I'm one of those naive artist who thought they can save the world (and I still believe that I somehow can). So I tried to do projects that make a change or save something from being lost. Basically do something that I think matter. I feel really uncomfortable to say that "Social" is my medium. For me Social is not the medium, I am the medium and Social (community) is the artist. For example, my Dave's Killer Bread project, the only thing I'm contribute is the idea of making a book and my book design skill. The wonderful stories and pictures are from Dave and other contributer. Dave is already an artist and very creative person. He just doesn't have time to make a book. But I do have time and therefore I am his medium.
2. TO WHAT END? (WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? WHAT IS THE DESIRED RESULT?)
I'm here with the conviction that my childhood background, subsequent life experience, and current environmental and political beliefs will inspire me to create sustainable, functional, and socially-conscious art works that the community can relate to and benefit from. My plan is to integrate my social art practice with other fields of study to create works that promote a better environment, advance social development, support human rights, enhance diversity, and preserve ethnic and cultural heritage. I know it might not be what art supposed to do but I can't help it. Somehow I feel that I need to do it this way, or change my career plan entirely. The goal is that people get something out of it, whether realized about toxic in their food, chemical in their surrounding, or help the city save the rotten river they saw everyday. When my dad was young he swam in Jao Pra Ya river (largest river in Thailand) everyday. Some day my grandma will yelled at him to get her some prawns. He said all he has to do was reach under the dock and grab them. River was so clean you can drink it. You can't even swim in Jao Pra Ya river now. I want clean world that my dad once lived for my children or great grandchildren to be realistic. I don't hate other art, this is highly just a personal choice. Just how I think I should live and work. Also I like humor, so I'm trying to put that in to keep people interest.
3. WHY DO YOU POSITION WHAT YOU DO IN AN ART CONTEXT?
First, I became an artist because I have no choice. Nobody tell me that by the time I realized what I want to do it will be too late. You need so many prerequisites for other fields and I have already invest in many years of my life to earn art degree. I'm not going to change field and gain more education loan debt. Plus, other field is so inflexible. For example, soup kitchen only open for certain hours, so if you are homeless you have to force feed yourself dinner at 4 pm. I probably got fire on my first day as Social Worker who try to do a midnight pancake breakfast. Also I have so many interests and art give me that flexibility, I can do social work today, linguistic tomorrow and so on. In a good way I think art is perfect for what I do. I keep thinking about advertising since the Harrell Fletcher told us at the first term "try to think of your work as advertising, how they attract people, what is the advertising agency does? So I guess that sort of how I position myself. I saw people, topics, or organization that I think interesting. Then I collaborate to make projects that advertise or promote them. I also want the work to embed in the society just like advertising so I try my best to stay away from gallery setting as much as possible. I don't want people to have to make an afford, stop doing what they do and go to gallery to experience art. My target audience is not art lovers or artists. But again maybe someone like my mom who went to the market one day and see one of my work and thought "hey that cereals I ate has chemical which known to cost cancer". And maybe she'll stop buying it and tell her friends. I just thought, if "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" sounds and looks as cool as Nike's "Just do it" ads, the world will be different now. After all, you don't have to pay a museum admission fee to see Coke's commercial. Writing the answer to this question caused me a lot of stress because I feel that I am shooting myself in the foot, again feeling like I'm in the wrong field and I have no future in the art world. But I am very happy about what I am doing so I guess that's cool. Good questions by the way.
Posted by Varinthorn at 12:14 AM
Monday, September 29, 2008
Posted by Varinthorn at 11:52 PM
Pictures from my paper presentation, "Mindfulness in Thailand: A Phenomenological Analysis" at the International Association of Cross Cultural Psychology Conference (Jacob University, Germany). I forgot the camera so I don't have picture of me at the podium. Thank you Jean Marc for sending photos.
Posted by Varinthorn at 11:22 PM
- ▼ September (4)