Tada Hengsapkul (1987) is a Bangkok-based artist and photographer who uses perfomance and photography to create action, examine emotions – both private and public, and then to provoke reactions, not only from the Thai audience – he has already exhibited in France, USA and China.
H Gallery in Bangkok has just opened a new solo exhibition of Mr. Hengsapkul, “Parade”. Only last year the artist had a wall part a group show hosted by H Gallery, the name of that exhibition was “Intimately” that concentrated on the exploration of the “intimacy as a vexed rather than assured relationship” between people or the spaces where they live or simply occupy in that time. In that show Mr. Hengsapkul was more focused on physical and tangible intimacy related to abstract ideas and concepts such as seduction and desolation, lust and solitude. Like “Intimately”, but in a different way, today the new photographs at H Gallery recall how for the artist it is important to try to show off the appearance and its performance. It could be enough to note the title: “Parade” that means to show, to show off, and sometimes there is also a sort of veneration of symbols, icons and beliefs. In a way not easy to understand immediately, the Hengsapkul’s parades are the result of single perfomances, usually by men, and not expression of a collective or a group. But there is something collective as well, even if not universal, but local – Thai – as a parade has to be. Images, symbols and icons from his origins and background (like traditional costumes, Thai political posters, Buddhist ceremonials are staged, sometimes just evocated, into photographies performed by men not shy of their nudity, and of their roles as critical message of the artist. But not all has to be considered so seriously. As curator Brian Curtin says, “a brazen humor throughout Parade reveals a critical exploration of fissures that have appeared in local belief systems in recent years. With references to political instability and the Thai nationalist landscape, Parade claims a humorous but rousing loss of faith in traditional or ideal views of nation and identity”.
“Parade” by Tada Hengsapkul
Curated by Brian Curtin
January 31 – March 31, 2013
201 Sathorn 12