“HAUS”, an exhibition by Wanlop Hansunthai and Kritsada Phonchai at Chiang Mai’s Head High Second Floor

Press Release


Solo Exhibition by

Wanlop Hansunthai


Curated by Reinhard Kressner

Co – curated by Jirarat Chaiyarach

15 July – 26 August 2023

Opening: Saturday, 15 July 2023 from 6 pm onwards, with Guest Artist XOH (live performance) at Chiang Mai’s Head High Second Floor (a non-profit Art Space).

How does it feel to live as a minority in a foreign region, far away from the original homeland? What are the feelings of these people, how do they manage to survive without giving up their ethnic identity? What connects them? What role does the traditional food culture of the home country play in this? These are just some of the questions that the artist Wanlop Hansunthai asks in his exhibition “HAUS”.

Statement of the artist:

The changing social context influences the everyday life of every diaspora. The exchange of conversations, telling stories from the old homeland and reflecting on cultural roots, helps the diaspora to find their way far away from their original home. Observing the majority’s view of events at a particular time in a foreign country is the key factor in cognitive perception and finding one’s way in a new environment. The incorporation and preservation of tradition and ethnic identity, or even translocation, are crucial for adaptation and survival within a territory that has always been linked to the homeland through historical, economic and political factors. Consolidation of food culture shows an effort not only to live in accordance with the new environment, but also to enrich it and thus contribute to the cultural diversity of a territory or country. It is about “creating a space” that keeps alive the longing for the taste of the old homeland and awakens memories of the good old days. In this exhibition, the audience is introduced to “diasporic memory” and confronted with questions about cultural diversity and the oppression of an ethnic minority.

“Clan Tales”

Wanlop Hansunthai in collaboration with XOH, Kritsada Phonchai

Sound performance / Sound documentation

Presented by Wanlop Hansunthai / Jirarat Chaiyarach / Head High Second Floor


The feeling created by memories of shared meals is intended to evoke the atmosphere of a family meal. Through his sound collages, the artist conveys his own memory experiences to us and all visitors are invited to indulge in and explore their own memories of a shared meal, of people, of a particular place and atmosphere.

When you talk about family, you can’t deny that food is the first thing that evokes a sense of security and many memories. Sometimes I miss my family because of the taste of the food or sometimes I remember important stories through the look and presentation of the food or sometimes I think of “Wong Pha Kao” because of the atmosphere that spreads while eating. Food is one of the most important factors that makes people nurture their relationships. Food itself is also used as a status symbol and the appearance of the food says a lot about the social status of the people.

“Pha Kao” is an Isan Lao word meaning “set meal”. Eating is a time-consuming activity that brings people closer together. Through the culture of eating, people interact. Pha Kao describes the food culture and is closely related to the personal background of the artist Kritsada Phonchai, who is ethnically Lao Isan.

Through the perspective that “we all go through the family meal”, he invites us to look back on our own experiences and at the same time asks questions about the social status of the people involved in a shared meal. The quantity, choice and quality of the food say a lot about that. For the artist, food culture, faith and spirituality are interconnected. This can be felt and experienced in the soundscapes he creates, in which there is room for memories of a shared food culture as well as a spirituality associated with it.

Wanlop Hansunthai, born in 1978, Nakhon Ratchasima, lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wanlop Hansunthai graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University. Fascinated by the relationships between humans and nature that he observes in everyday life, Hansunthai uses a variety of media to express his thoughts and views that reflect reality and facts. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos and mixed media are the techniques Hansunthai uses in his work. Since 2023, the French Embassy in Bangkok has presented a sculpture by the artist in the garden of the residence, which was created as part of a global art project initiated by the Embassy. His most notable exhibitions in 2023 include participation in the group exhibition “Laboratory 88: The Air We Breathe” at the Studio 88 Artist Recidency in Doi Saket.

In 2022, the solo exhibitions “The Presence of Silence” at Gallery Seescape, Chiang Mai and “Against the Wall” at Numthong Art Space, Bangkok, which explored historical and contemporary wars. Furthermore, participation in the group exhibition “Face to Face: A Recollection Through Portraits” from the collection of MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum Chaing Mai.

In 2021, video art by Hansunthai was selected for the Shinano Primitive Sense Festival “The Fleeting Moment of Water” in Japan. In the same year, solo exhibition “Clouds” at The Golden Triangle Hang Dong and participation in the group exhibition “Art for Air”, which dealt with the issues of climate change.

In 2020, Hansunthai’s video art was shown as part of the “Shine Landscape 2020 Award” at M.A.D.S. Milano, Italy, and was followed by a solo exhibition “Cell Nature” at Golden Triangle Chicago, USA. His works are represented in numerous national and international collections, private and institutional. To date, Hasunthai works as an independent artist.

XOH, Kritsada Phonchai, born 1993, Kalisan, lives and works in Kalasin, Isan (Northeast Thailand). Kritsada Phonchai is a freelance sound artist and currently works with two artist groups in Isan: Mahasarakham Mid-field Artspace, Maha Sarakham and Ubon agenda, Ubon Ratchathani.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Fine and Applied Arts Program of MAHASARAKHAM University. Phonchai is interested in sound, local history and the culture of the people of the Northeast. His sound works are based on his own experiences or he uses already existing resources, which he incorporates into his special sound and understands as sound therapy. Similar to and based on an Isan ritual, the “Lam Phi Fa”, a sound therapy ritual, which uses music and poetry to improve or even heal the condition of mentally disturbed people. Phonchai is not only concerned with entertainment, but also with the preservation of a traditional culture, which he transports into the present with the help of his experimental sound worlds, thus ensuring that the tradition of his native Isan is preserved and not lost.

For more information, please contact:

Head High Second Floor (New Address)

28/1 Singharat Rd. T.Si Phum A.Muang, Old Town, Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200

+66 61 686 0660 hello@head-high-second-floor.com www.head-high-second-floor.com

Open by appointment


TQPR Thailand, Nuie Titichayapon, nuie@tqpr.com +662 260 5820

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