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Warin Lab Contemporary
Chronicle of the Landscape
By Sakarin Krue-On
Curatorial essay by Rémy Jarry
Warin Lab Contemporary, Bangkok
April 26 – June 25, 2022
Bangkok – This photographic installation by Sakarin Krue-On (b. 1965) is a multilayered project. Its focus on the landscape doesn’t only reflect on art history and the artist’s past achievements but also on the environmental commitment of Warin Lab Contemporary.
The resonance of Chronicle of the Landscape is particularly compelling with Terraced Rice Field, Sakarin Krue-On’s land art installation transforming a sloping park in Kassel, Germany, into a paddy field. Conceived for documenta 12 in 2007, this art project was purposedly located in front of the Palace of Wilhelmshöhe, a neo-classical castle converted into a museum of fine art. Instead of representing any landscape, Sakarin Krue-On has “moved” a distinctive piece of land from Southeast Asia to Western Europe.
15 years after the conceptual breakthrough of Terraced Rice Field, Sakarin Krue-On’s decision to return to mimesis in Chronicle of the Landscape is intriguing. Apparently more conventional, the setting of this new landscape installation can turn out to be a trompe-l’oeil, like the backdrop of a studio for photo shoots or selfies. All taken at eye level, the perspective of the photographs challenges our ability to discern the real from the fake. At the same time, the artist’s subjectivity is contained, and his authorship is naturalised, dissolving into the landscape to test our visual literacy. Thus, Chronicle of the Landscape opens windows to raise the viewer’s awareness of both the subject and the medium.
In this regard, the reliability of photography as a medium to picture the world has been increasingly contested despite its pervasiveness in our digital age. Fostering overconsumption of images and the virtualisation of our own existence, the lens of the camera tends also to distort reality. In the meantime, our tangible environment is increasingly unstable. The irreversible and intensifying human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems has heralded a new epoch: the Anthropocene.
Using photography for the first time in his work, Sakarin Krue-On stages the ongoing mutation of the relationship of humankind with both the natural and the media environments. While pursuing the legacy of landscape art history, Chronicle of the Landscape adds a new chapter.
Chronicle of the Landscape opens to the public on April 26, 2022 with an opening reception from 18.00 to 21.00 hrs. The exhibition continues to be on display until June 25, 2022. Warin Lab Contemporary is located at O.P. Garden, Charoenkrung Road soi 36, Bang Rak, Bangkok.
More events during the exhibition’s time are to be announced after the opening.
Title: 13°33’55″N 99°35’04″E · 99.0 m
Medium: Digital Photography
Dimension: 220.1 x 438.7 cm
About the artist: Sakarin Krue-On
Sakarin Krue-On is a leading Thai contemporary artist. He is world renowned for his conceptual site-specific installations that draw from the history and traditions of Thailand. Since the year 2000, the artist has created notable nine solo exhibitions including 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), A Talebearer’s Tale: The Last Deer (2017).
Apart from the solo exhibitions, Sakarin has participated in many selected group exhibition both in Thailand and abroad. He has represented Thailand in international exhibitions such as the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), the Thai Pavilion at the 53th Venice Biennale (2009), the Busan Biennale (2012), and the Singapore Biennale (2016). The first Thai artist to participate in documenta in Kassel, Sakarin Krue-On presented two art installations, entitled Terraced Rice Field Art Project and Nang Fa for the 12th edition of the art event in 2007.
He also participated in the 21st Asian International Art Exhibition in Singapore (1999), Nanjing Triennial in China (2008), Art Sanya in Hainan, China (2013), Singapore Biennale (2016), the 1st Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), and the Kathmandu Triennale 2077 (2022).
In 2010, Sakarin Krue-On was invited to show his work Temple in the exhibition Murals at Museum of the Foundation Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain. In 2015, BACC has organised Imply Reply, a ground-breaking joint exhibition with Chinese-French artist Huang Yong Ping (1954-2019).
Working in the metropolitan area of Bangkok, Sakarin Krue-On is the head of the Art Department at Silpakorn University.
In 2009, he was the recipient of the Silpathorn Award for the category of visual arts. He was also honored with Prudential Eye Award and Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art in 2016.
His work is part of the permanent collections of several private and public museums, such as the Office of Contemporary Art and Museum Thailand, and the Singapore Art Museum.
- The act of representing or imitating reality in art (from ancient Greek “μιμεῖσθαι” “to imitate”) ↑
- The art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions (from French “trompe l’oeil” literally translated “to deceive the eye”) ↑
- The ongoing period during which human activities have had a tangible environmental impact on the Earth’s ecosystems. Anthropocene is regarded as constituting a distinct geological age, marking a break with the Holocene period that followed the last ice age.