March 18-19-20, WTF Gallery and Café will host –I am Liu Xiaobo– a celebration of the life and work of Liu Xiaobo, the imprisioned Nobel Laureate Chinese writer and human rights activist.
Some of Thailand’s most exciting and provocative young artists—musicians, painters, DJs, and poets—will perform work inspired by Liu’s commitment to freedom of expression. Performers include “live-painters” Vasan Sitthiket and Kwanchai Lichaikul; DJ Maft Sai of the ZudRangMa radio show; Tul and Pump of indie rock band Apartment Khun Pa; and poets Zakariya Amataya (winner of the 2010 SEA Write Award), Mongkol Plienbangchang, and Sompong Tawee.
The celebration at WTF is presented in conjunction with a worldwide series of readings organized by Internationales Literaturefestival Berlin to draw attention to Liu’s case and the cause of freedom of artistic expression.
Artists & Performers:
Tul & Pump, Apartment Khun Pa
On December 10th, 2010, Chinese writer and activist Dr. Liu Xiaobo was given the Nobel Peace Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." However, his chair on the stage in Stockholm was empty: Liu remained imprisoned in the People’s Republic of China. In 2009, on Christmas Day, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison, charged with “inciting subversion of state power.”
Liu’s most recent arrest was sparked by his participation with the “Charter 08 Manifesto,” released on the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. However, Liu has been imprisoned many times before for his pro-democracy and activism, most notably his involvement in the Tiananmen Square Protests in 1989.
The “Charter 08 Manifesto” calls for sweeping political changes in China, and the writers’ nineteen specific demands include: legislative democracy, guarantee of human rights, election of public officials, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression. Despite intense international pressure, Liu remains incarcerated in Jinzhou Prison.
Yet, Liu Xiaobo’s case is not the story of one man: he represents all those in China—and other nations around the world—who struggle for democracy, human rights, and free-speech.
Each artist participating in I am Liu Xiaobo brings his or her own unique perspective on freedom and artistic expression in Thailand. Each night will also feature readings of Liu Xiaobo’s poetry in Thai and English, as well as selections from his letters from prison and excerpts of the controversial “Charter 08 Manifesto.”
Friday, March 18th, 8.00pm, painters Vasan Sitthiket and Kwanchai Lichaikul will create original paintings as part of a “live-painting” performance accompanied by DJ Maft Sai. Vasan Sitthiket is a painter and writer who’s multimedia works respond to nature, sexuality, and economic and social problems in Thailand and around the world. Inspired by dreams and the imaginaton, Kwanchai Lichaikul’s paintings engage the interconnected uncertainties in modern society: politics, religion, environment, and culture. Through his radio show, CD compilations, and Paradise Bangkok parties, DJ Maft Sai combines tough Jamaican roots and raw funk with the deepest molam and far eastern psyche rock to surprise and delight Bangkok listeners.
Saturday, March 19th, 8pm, Tul and Pump, the front man and guitarist for the popular independent band Apartment Khun Pa, will perform original songs, and collaborate with several poets on original improvisational works. Deeply committed to free speech, Apartment Khun Pa write songs about everything from politics and ancient myths to philosophy and fashion. Poet Zakariya Amataya, winner of the 2010 SEA Write Award, will join performance poets Mongkol Plienbangchang and Sompong Tawee.
Sunday, March 30th, 8pm Ing K, artist and film director will be reading an original poem by Liu Xiaobo before special film screening (tba) with post screening Q&A director Tawarin Sukhapisit.
Internationale Literaturfestival Berlin has called for a series of worldwide readings of “I wait for you with dust,” a poem written by Liu to his wife from prison, and excerpts from the “Charter 08 Manifesto.” The festival organizers hope the events will call attention to the plight of Liu Xiaobo and allow artists to stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted around the world for expressing their beliefs and creating controversial art.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 3pm-1am
WTF Café & Gallery
7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Wattana, Klongton-Nua, Bangkok 10110
For further information please contact:
T/F: 02 662 6246
M: 089 926 5474