our work tackles issues including feminism, pre-industrial labour and traditional understandings of women’s work. Could you please tell me why you are interested in exploring this and what message you are hoping to send?
Feminism seems to have always been the key message to my work. My work focuses on valuing women’s everyday work and labour while offering a powerful examination of social and cultural ways of viewing women’s work. My work suggests women’s physical and psychological strength towards impossible tasks and situations by engaging the tools common for Thai female labourers which aren’t always assisted with efficient electronic contraptions but are time consuming and physically exhausting. My work tests the limits of women’s body and mind while using meditation postures and methods to expand physical and psychological limits in order to lose a sense of self; as I described “turns my body into a sculpture”. I think it is about the perception of women in our current society and the expectation of what they can or cannot do, but my work suggests that an individual should be seen for who they truly are, for their personal ability and talent, for their inner strength and endurance.
The performance work itself looks like it can be physically gruelling. How do you prepare for it? Is there a certain element of spontaneity in your performance or is it fairly planned out?
I usually practice my performance a number of times before the final shoot and they are always gruelling and painful. However, I can never control what is going to happen during each performance, for example, will a slice of watermelon will fall down and hit my face?
All I needed to know was to believe that my body and mind were ready to deal with the situations and the weight of different elements. The Scale of Justice was truly impossible for me to perform such a task at first, but I practiced until my body learned to adjust with the heavy weight of the vegetables, learned to move up and down acting perfectly as a traditional beam scale.
Your work features bright pops of colour, which is a surprising effect when juxtaposed with the hard-hitting topics you are exploring. What is your thinking behind this use of colour?
In these series of work, I re-staged a local fresh food market in Thailand, one of the most colourful and vibrant places here. These Market sellers use eye-catching colours as an advertisement to attract customers.
“The Scale of Justice was truly impossible for me to perform such a task at first, but I practiced until my body learned to adjust with the heavy weight of the vegetables, learned to move up and down acting perfectly as a traditional beam scale.”
From left: The Scale, video still, 2015. The Lift, video still, 2015.
e are living in an interesting age for the feminist movement, with Trump threatened to undo decades of progress. Do you think this will this political context influence your work? If so, how?
I believe that Feminism is a belief in all equality – not only gender, but also treating another individual person with respect whether they are male or female, rich or poor, what their nationality or religion is. I believe that each person is uniquely valuable and shall be respected for their quality as human beings.
Why did you want to be an artist?
Being an artist, to me, is a privilege to be able to speak out loud and offer audience to search for the ‘truth’ beyond tradition, beyond definition and beyond image.
Do you feel a responsibility as an artist to be an activist?
Yes, I do. I have been recently participating in numerous talks and seminars in regard to gender equality and inner strength (TEDxBangkok). I am currently working with UN women (Bangkok) to speak about my work and its context at Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre. I feel that it is my job’s responsibility to make people realise human rights, to make people value others.
“I believe that Feminism is a belief in all equality – not only gender, but also treating another individual person with respect whether they are male or female, rich or poor, what their nationality or religion is.”
Favourite book? Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marakami
Favourite film? Dead Poet’s Society
Favourite band / musician? Regina Spektor
If you weren’t an artist what would you be? A Pianist
If you could change one thing about the world today, what would it be? That we weren’t governed by money, power and possessions