Conflicted Visions AGAIN

2 July – 23 August 2020
Opening Reception: 2 July 2020, 6pm 
Prakit Kobkijwattana 
Sutee Kunavichayanont 
Manit Sriwanichpoom
Pisitakun Kuantalaeng 
Jakapan Vilasineekul 
Miti Ruangkritya
Curator: Somrak Sila

For the 10th anniversary of WTF Gallery, we have invited 6 artists to re-visit their ideas presented in Conflicted Visions exhibition at WTF gallery back in 2014. The six artists have been asked to exhibit new artworks that best reflected their views of the current social and political climate in Thailand in 2020 in Conflicted Visions AGAIN’. 

When the exhibition Conflicted Visions appeared in 2014, there was despite intractable differences on the political scene a certain accepted reality for each side of the conflict. The exhibition raised the question whether we can ever have disagreements over fundamental beliefs and ideologies without becoming overwrought. Conflicted Visions was about reaching beyond prejudice.
Not long after the exhibition in 2014, however, the military staged the coup led by General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, with the ostensible aim of bringing the country back to order and peace. Since then Thailand has witnessed drastic changes across its social fabric. Questions have been raised whether the junta has created more conflict than it has solved; or whether it has created confusion both within and among groups who may have felt they had a stake in bringing this change about. The chief purpose was to reduce the country once again to a single vision, but by doing that, the junta has limited human rights and freedom of speech, and this approach has spilt over even into areas that have nothing to do with the political conflict at hand, such as simple natural justice or compassion. 
In March 2019, the fiendishly complex electoral system designed to thwart the country’s powerful opposition parties still resulted in a general election result that was questionable. The government was formed, once again, under the leadership of General Prayuth Chan-o-cha. We witnessed several political scandals, the tanking of country’s economy, government mishandling of natural disasters and resources being squandered on promoting national and institutional stability. While Thailand did return to some form of peace and order despite increasingly polarised political views, the government placed its priority on heavy-handed attacks on those who dared to criticise its performance, while allowing the military to gain more influence in all areas of governance. 
‘Conflicted Visions AGAIN’ consists of works made between 2014-2020 by six Thai artists whose work actively criticizes and questions social and political issues in Thailand from different or perhaps opposing ideologies.
Prakit Kobkijwattana re-visits the media he used in the first Conflicted Vision exhibition by mocking the country and its mentality using paint on woodcut. Thailand New Normal concept derives from the Thai government’s COVID-19 measures PR jargon and his observation of what the new normal for post COVID-19 actually means under the current military-democratic regime. 
Both Pisitakun Kuantalaeng and Miti Ruangkrityai’s works are documentations of Thai political events. Miti’s work is part of an ongoing series called Thai Politics (since 2006), exploring the different political views and behaviours of Thai people by using a new expressive language – ‘emoticon’ stickers. Pisitakun’s installation is selected works from from ICONOCLASTOR – a brand created by the artist using drawing, stickers, comics and fashion as accessible tools for documenting and telling stories of the major Thai political events in the past 10 years, from the 2010 riots to the dissolutions of the Future Forward Party as well as the government’s current imposition of emergency decree as a measure to control COVID-19.
Renowned photographer and filmmaker Manit Sriwanichpoom presents new installation Program Will Resume Shortly which allows the audience to speculate about the ‘untouchable’ content and question the rationale behind the censorship of some international news broadcasts despite the country’s return to ‘democratic’ society after the election in 2019.
Sutee Kunavichayanont’s latest work FREEHATESPEECH uses his signature medium neon tubes to highlight the debatable land between free speech and hate speech. While many could argue that freedom of speech does not exist in Thailand, the internet allows people to hurl abuse and insults at others — and even send death threats. This new reality shines a light on human weakness and creates a climate of fear and polarization.
Jakapan Vilasineekul’s installation In The Tension is the metaphoric articulation of the increasing tension and the unbearable anxiety across the Thai social fabric due to conflicting ideologies and the imbalance of power structures. 
The exhibition is an attempt to examine the evolving political attitudes of a polarized society and the artistic community with a new or revised perspective on our realities six years on.
About Conflicted Visions exhibition in 2014
Visitor information
WTF Café & Gallery 
7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Wattana, Klongton-Nua, Bangkok 10110
BTS: Thonglor Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 4-10pm 
Free Admission
For further information please contact:
Somrak Sila 
Tel: (66) 2 662 6246, (66) 89 926 5474


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