BRACK ARTIST LEAD ALECIA NEO VISITED PINAREE SANPITAK IN SINGAPORE AT HER RESIDENCY SPACE AT STPI IN SEPTEMBER 2018. PINAREE SANPITAK IS AN ESTABLISHED CONTEMPORARY ARTIST CURRENTLY BASED IN BANGKOK. ALECIA INTERVIEWED HER ABOUT HER ART PRACTICE, FOCUSING ON THE PARTICIPATORY ASPECTS OF HER PROJECTS. READ PART 3 HERE.
A: Now, let’s talk about your new work here with STPI…
P: It’s a great opportunity to work with the paper mill here, and I’ve always loved working with paper. Apart from the print works, I also wanted to make works just with paper. Because recently I’ve been working with large-scale installations that deal with architecture and space. I came with the idea about building walls with paper. At first, I thought of stacking paper, but how could I do this? Eventually we started by experimenting with pulp.
Then I realised we could make these sheets and create these walls with them. Paper is fragile, but it can define space. You can say, it’s there but not there. You can break through it.
A: Earlier on in your talk, you also mentioned this idea of being by yourself and being with others. Can you share more about this and perhaps how this connects with our world today?
P: This evolved from my work “The House is Crumbling”.
You know, the world now is so fragile – the environment and the socio-political conditions that we are all in all countries. We are set in rules, territories, borders. But how can we break away from that and open up our mindsets?
That’s why these breast forms I’ve printed here have morphed a little bit, I think. It’s no longer just about the female now. A bit cross-gender, maybe. I’m still thinking of a title of the show… I’m thinking “Of Breasts and Balls”. You know, playing a bit with the expression “You’ve got balls”, meaning you’ve got to have the courage to go beyond. It’s not just about a woman. This is my second time doing print works. The first time for me was in 1999. I did a series of prints based on the woman’s body, like sculptures. The form has grown over the years.
A: Your work doesn’t discriminate in the sense that everyone can access and get something out from it. Even though there may be some underlying political issues that inspires the work, there remains a kind of directness that allows you to come close to it.
What do you make of the current movements, such as #metoo? In your talk, you also mentioned that in some parts of the world, the socio-political issues that you raised through your earlier works are still relevant today.
P: Yes, I responded with a new series of work called “Red Alert”. I used deep tones of red. I was asked to respond to the #metoo movement for an article featuring women in the art world who faced harassment as well. Fortunately, I did not have this experience professionally. But I was attacked when I was 21. Though the experience fades. And By talking about it and thinking about it reminds me that we just have to keep at it. It is still an issue.
Gender is so fluid and there are so many definitions of gender. They’re not just male and female. For my works which deal with sensory perceptions, I feel that they kind of respond to a sort of gender fluidity. Like “Temporary Insanity”, which are these moving silk sculptures. That piece is about human beings and emotions. Even “Breast Stupa Cookery”, for example, extends to everybody.
Photo credit: Pinaree Sanpitak