“Bangkok-raised artist Korakrit Arunanondchai engages a myriad of subjects such as history, authenticity, self-representation, and tourism through the lens of a cultural transplant. His work seeks to find a common ground in artistic experiences through a pastiche of styles and mediums,” reads the MoMA PS1 catalogue.
The 27-year-old’s exhibition at the Queens-based art institution premiered March 9th and this Sunday, he’s hosting one the museum’s notorious Sunday Sessions. We’ve met up with Arunanondchai to find out what we can expect from his performance.
Lars Byrresen Petersen: What are you trying to depict in your performances and is there a red line through all of them?
Korakrit Arunanondchai: All the performances are extensions of the videos and something in common between all of them. A lot of them (except for the body-paintings) are skills which I had aqcuired prior to being an
artist, such as playing soccer or rapping.
LBP: Body paint seems to play an important role in your pieces, why?
KA: There was a woman who apparently was working as a gogo-dancer in Thailand. She went on a very popular Thai TV show and performed a body-painting performance. It was a big deal. I wanted to collaborate with her but I couldn’t find her anywhere. In the end I started copying her body painting routine and doing it myself. Every time I perform a body painting it’s hers and not mine and I wanted people in Thailand to know that. In a way, the discourse on painting in Thailand was shifted because of her.
LBP: Do you plan a performance beforehand or does it happen organically?
KA: It really depends on the situations. Like sometimes there isn’t the space or time to rehearse or practice. I don’t practice body-painting because the woman who I body-paint after probably didn’t practice it before she performed it on the TV show either. For this upcoming performance at MoMA PS1, I have been planning it for a while and practising with my twin in my living room.
LBP: What can people expect to experience at your performance on Sunday?
KA: It’s 3 years of video footage I have been working on, and it’s an hour and fifteen minutes long. There’s some fog, strobe lights and loud music so maybe don’t bring your babies. Come early if you want to sit down and beware of wet paint.