In memory of place
One Bangkok explores how the Wireless Road, Lumpini Park and Rama IV area is remembered and the way in which it will be remembered in the future in a new art exhibition titled “In-Betweenness” at The Prelude Gallery.
The show brings together dispersed or missing memories of the changes the area has seen over the decades in the hope they will create a new collective memory that will remain in the minds of their local communities.
Three prominent Thai artists, namely Prof. Emeritus Pishnu Supanimit, Rush Pleansuk, and Nakrob Moonmana, were commissioned to create artworks for the show, which runs through November 30 at the Prelude One Bangkok. Their contributions interpret the memories of the land and refashion them into new and unique art pieces, celebrating Thai art and cultural heritage in a contemporary context.
The display also includes a rare collection of glass plate negatives from the Wachirayan Book Hall, the National Archives of Thailand. These glass plate negatives, part of 35,427 original negatives and 50,000 photographs in the Wachirayan Book Hall collection have been registered in Unesco’s “Memory of the World” since 2017.The priceless black-and-white glass plate negatives include portraits of key figures who shaped the area and Thai advances in general, among them the Saladaeng radiotelegraph station under the Royal Thai Navy. The station was the country's first telegraph station and was located exactly in the area now known as Wireless road. The photo shows Krom Luang Chumphon Khet Udomsak, the father of the Royal Thai Navy, who played a significant role in advancing radiotelegraphy for use in marine life.
Another photo shows HRH Prince of Kamphaeng Phet, who laid a strong foundation for the radio business. The last image portrays the clock tower in Lumphini Park, evidence of King Mongkut, or Rama IV’s strong will to build this park for the international exposition ‘Siam Rath Museum’ as well to serve as a recreational space for city-dwellers. Moreover, the exhibition includes a 1910 map of Bangkok showing the Wireless, Lumphini, and Rama IV area as remote rice fields before the area was transformed and evolved over time following the emergence of the first radiotelegraph station.
The exhibition also showcases the first edition of a souvenir book from the Siam Rath Museum event in 1927. This art exhibition thus captures and brings to life the old-school charms captured in these glass plate negatives.
The centerpieces of the exhibition are the newly commissioned artworks by Prof Emeritus Pishnu Supanimit, Rush Pleansuk, and Nakrob Moonmanas.
“These prints draw on the legendary elements of Lumphini Park, a place full of memories. I intended to make it like a great volume of scripture laying out the history of the park,” says Pishnu of his work.
Rush, a contemporary artist and designer whose inspirations come from spiritual elements related to specific objects or places, and the winner of the ‘Designer of the year award 2019’ from the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, showcases a modern sculpture that embodies the richness of the land. His delicate weaving technique represents the transformation of the area, from golden rice fields to high-rise buildings.
A rising collage artist, Nakrob challenged himself to move away from his usual bi-dimensional pieces and create his first video art, re-creating several worlds happening in the same time through the collage technique. His main subject for the art exhibition is the construction workers at the site – the individuals who have direct contact with the land in transition. He intends to place them in the story of this area, so they are not left out of the realm of memory.
Digital devices that offer detailed descriptions of the artworks including historical facts, concept explanations and artist biographies are available. Moreover, visitors can see behind-the-scenes shots as well as access its AR (Augmented Reality) feature.
In-Betweenness Art Exhibition at Art Gallery at The Prelude, One Bangkok is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is free.