Rohini Devasher & Sung Tieu: The Ghost War

25 September – 23 October 2019
Curator: Abhijan Toto
Opening Reception: Wednesday 25 September 2019, 7pm
 
 
The Ghost War brings together video, print and sound works by Rohini Devasher and Sung Tieu. How have the infrastructures of war in the 20th Century produced the contours of the worlds we inhabit today? And how do these layered histories of war continue to haunt geographies and landscapes? The show engages with the particular position of Thailand in Southeast Asia, particularly during the Cold War, and the pivotal role it played during the American War in Vietnam. 
 
 
Vietnamese-German artist Sung Tieu’s work unpacks often-ignored histories of the War in Vietnam, layering personal narratives, archival material and poetic interjections. In ‘The Ghost War’, she engages with the history of the PSYOPS’s ‘Operation Wandering Ghost’, where sound was used as a tool of warfare against the Viet Cong. The CIA, who used the Ramasum Complex in Udon Thani as their base, developed a haunting soundtrack which was blasted into the forest by US soldiers in an attempt to force the Viet Cong to surrender. Through sound and video installation, Sung Tieu appropriates this form, and attempts to unpack the capacity of sound to alter and to haunt landscape, and the long-term effects of war on communities.
 
Speculating further on this relationship between landscapes and war is the Rohini Devasher. Devasher’s practice looks into the construction of scientific discourses, often focusing on Deep Time and the climactic. In this exhibition, she presents a work of speculative fiction entitled ‘Shivering Sands’, and an associated series of prints. Beginning from the ruins of sea forts off the coast of the UK built during WW II, Devasher uses this peculiar geography to unpack the layers of time haunting these strange ruins. She intersperses the video with a text by Laura Raicovich on the land artist Walter de Maria’s ‘Lightning Fields’, poetically weaving the two contexts together, and imaging a larger history of the masculinist reshapings of landscapes, and their long durée effects. 
 
The Ghost War invites the viewer to re-imagine the frameworks through which we have hitherto understood the histories of war in the region, unpacking specific histories, and their latent effects, and through this, to begin to imagine their relationship to cosmic and to other scales of history. 
 
 
Sung Tieu, born 1987 in Hai Duong, Vietnam is an artist based between Berlin and London. Her artistic practice spans installations, performances and public interventions. Forthcoming institutional solo exhibitions include Haus der Kunst and Nottingham Contemporary (both 2020), forthcoming group exhibitions include the David Roberts Foundation (2019) and Prague Biennale (2020), forthcoming performances include Tate Modern. She is part of several art collectives, among them TROI OI, Asia Art Activism, The Forest Curriculum and East London Cable.
 
Rohini Devasher works in a variety of media, including sound, video, prints, and large site-specific drawing. Her current body of work is a collection of “strange” terrains, constructed by observing, recording, fictionalizing, and reimagining objects and spaces that exist at the interface between science, nature, culture, perception, and production. Her work has been shown at the 7th Moscow Biennale; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas; Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon; ZKM Karlsruhe; and Singapore ArtScience Museum, among others. She has had solo exhibitions at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum and vis à vis Experience Centre, New Delhi. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Spencer Museum of Art, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.
 
WTF Café & Gallery 
7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Wattana, Klongton-Nua, Bangkok 10110
www.wtfbangkok.com
BTS: Thonglor Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 4-10pm 
Free Admission
 
For further information please contact:
Somrak Sila, Christopher Wise
Tel: +66 (0)2 662 6246, +66 (0)89 926 5474, +66 (0)89 926 5159
Email: somrak@wtfbangkok.com, cw@wtfbangkok.co

 

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