The Po-Mo Artistic Movement in Thailand: Overlapping Tactics and Practices
- Thasnai Sethaseree
AbstractModern Thai art and its historical development are not a symbol of modernism restricted to preconceived Western notion. But modern Thai art has its own genealogy whose complexity and system of meaning signify an expression of an ethical need to embody the denseness, structure and complexity of moral experience. Believing in this conviction causes Modern Thai artists to dig deep into materiality of their medium to find forms combining of matter or signs of solid substance. Accordingly, it becomes a yearning process of heroic aspiration to secure Thai artists’ identity, and, somehow, the identity and ethical structure of the nation. Therefore works of art in Thailand have been produced not for the sake of aesthetic pleasure, but for moralistic contemplation within very established institutional domains.
In turn, Thai contemporary artistic movement after 1990s has been inclined to suggest some emerging alternative of creative competency quite differently from artistic progress in the prior periods. This creates a political dialogue that can be critically understood in terms of the process of cultural hybridity that gives rise to something different, something new, transitional and unrecognizable – a new area of negotiation of meaning and representation taking place - in a third space. This kind of space is politically practical because it is a productive space of the construction of culture as different, in the spirit of alteration or otherness embedded in everyday idioms of artistic practices in various fashions. From this perspective, artistic practices in this period become a new terrain of practice as a site of contestation. Furthermore, in my study, the research methodology will encourage epistemological overlapping terrains for interrogating that of foundational dualism, which implicitly underpins the study of the social constitution of reality rigidly bounded on cultural identities of Thai nation state.
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