For more information contact
Warin Lab Contemporary
By Nakrob Moonmanas & Mary Pakinee
Curated by Waiting You Curator Lab
Warin Lab Contemporary, Bangkok
July 9 – August 27, 2022
Cheewit kong chan lookkrating [My Life…A Little Gaur] (1977) is a renowned piece of young adult literature ranked among the top 100 books for children and youth by Thailand Research Fund in 2000. Written by Dr. Boonsong Lekagul (1907–1992), a prominent naturalist and conservationist, the book anthropomorphizes a small guar and other animals to teach readers about forest animals in Thailand. The literary work shifts readers’ understanding of the forest from an impenetrable, mysterious jungle to a scientifically comprehensible natural ecosystem. The book also depicts human hunters as two-legged monsters who ride on the back of a traitorous elephant who take life by using thunder. Boonsong uses literature as a union of arts and science to create an entry point for children to learn about ecology and human effects on the forest system. Even by today’s standards, the book is very progressive.
At present, the dialogue between nature and aesthetics goes beyond beauty and the sublime. Having become a crucial tool for understanding the relationship between the human and nonhuman, artistic practice now helps to raise awareness about the conservation of nature in a world where nothing is undisturbed by human actions. Warin Lab Contemporary together with Waiting You Curator Lab invited Nakrob Moonmanas and Mary Pakinee, two young Thai artists, to create new works inspired by Cheewit kong chan lookkrating in Warin Lab Contemporary’s exhibition space that used to be Dr. Boonsong’s office.
In “Artificial Nature,” Nakrob takes audiences on a historical journey through the zoological literature of Siamese intellects prior to Dr. Boonsong. He creates an interactive installation influenced by generations of poetry that attempts to describe and depict the Karawek, a mythical bird that makes the most beautiful sound in the world. He also uses taxonomy to question the placement of mystery and beliefs after science changed perceptions of nature.
Meanwhile, Mary uses a digital library to create a new environment in a simulated world. The shared culture of open-world design, a game mechanic that allows players to roam freely in the pre-designed space, influences her work. Therein, audiences again assume a position as another being. The work explores not only the lack of forest in the physical world but also human violence that creates the artificial environment of the virtual world. The exhibition is an exploration into art’s role in environmental conservationism and asks questions about what has been lost in the wake of modernity.
The exhibition is the first in the “The Tropics” series, a long-term project of Waiting You Curator Lab that explores the relationship between contemporary art and the environment in the tropics.
Some Valley, 2022, 3D rendering and digital painting printed on metal sheet, 76.2 x 50.8 cm (W x H), edition of 3 (Mary Pakinee)
About the artist: Nakrob Moonmanas
Nakrob Moonmanas finished his degree in Thai literature from Chulalongkorn University. The foundation of his artistic practice is making collages based on research into visual production of Thai arts and cultures, in illustration, publications, photographs and advertisement. The artist had solo exhibitions such as “Sacrifice” at People’s Gallery in Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre in 2017; “Coronet” at Thonglor Art Space in 2018. He participated in group exhibitions, for example, “In-betweenness” at The Prelude One Bangkok in 2019, and “The Immeasurable and World’s End at JWD Art Space” in 2022. In 2020-2021, Nakrob is a laureate of Cité Internationale des Arts Paris. His artist residency in Paris is supported by Institut français and the embassy of France in Bangkok, Thailand.
About the artist: Mary Pakinee
Mary Pakinee (Pakinee Srijaroensuk) graduated from the Visual Arts Department, School of Fine & Applied Arts, Bangkok University. Mary is an interdisciplinary artist who investigates the complexities of narrative, information consumption, and perception. She is interested in intimacy and humanity’s relationship. She uses observation-based drawing and realistic techniques to create images and representation in stories. She had a solo exhibition titled “My Hands Remember How Your Body Felt” at Bangkok University Gallery (BUG) under BrandNew Art Project 2017. She also participated in group exhibition such as “the end is now, now is here: the exploration of drawing” at SAC gallery, Bangkok in 2020 and “They Have Brought Erasers With Them” at A+ WORKS of ART Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 2022.
About the Curator: Waiting You Curator Lab
Waiting You Curator Lab (WTU) is an experimental curatorial workshop and artists’ book publishing house, based in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Founded in 2016 by Kittima Chareeprasit, Vipash Purichanont, together with Kasamaponn Saengsuratham, Time Chotivilaivanit, Taratchanan Pongpanich, and Setapa Prommolmard. WTU offers itself as a laboratory for experimentation on infrastructure of artistic practice such as, exhibition, publication, and beyond. WTU aims to be an open platform where artistic invention can be made based on research, discussion, and participation. ‘Waiting You’ spelling in broken English in Thai style, meaning that we are ‘waiting’ to collaborate with ‘you’.
Selected works from Waiting You Curator Lab include Metaphors: An Evening of Sound and Moving Image with Kick the Machine at Bangkok City City Gallery (2017), The revolutionary things at Cartel Art Space (2018), In search of other times: reminiscence of things collected at JWD Art Space (2019) and Our daddy always looks down on us (2020)