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Prapat Jiwarangsan —Residencies |  NTU CCA Singapore
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Artist-in-residence

Committed to supporting artists, curators, and researchers by offering them time and space to pursue their research without the pressure of deadlines and production commitments, the Residencies Programme values the open-ended nature of artistic research and embraces multiform expressions of creative enquiry. Aiming to facilitate the production of knowledge, this studio-based programme is dedicated to established and emerging artists and serves as platform for critical exchange in Southeast Asia. The Residencies Programme offers a wide spectrum of programmes aimed at sharing the process of artistic research with the public - Residencies OPEN / Studio Sessions / Insights, which range from open studios, artists’ talks, conversations, performances, and screenings. The Residencies Programme unfolds through annual cycles and runs by nomination only. Every year, a rotating pool of curators and arts professionals from all over the world is invited to nominate two artists for the residency. The nominated artists are subsequently invited to submit a research proposal along with their portfolio and CV. Ultimately, the Residencies Committee, an international panel of experts, reviews the submitted materials and designates the artists who are awarded the residency.

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Prapat Jiwarangsan

Residency period

3 January – 27 March 2020

About

The practice of Prapat Jiwarangsan (b. 1979, Thailand) is rooted in a deep fascination with archival materials which the artist peruses and reconfigures in order to question the relationships between nationalism and history, memory and politics in Thailand. In recent years, he has turned his focus to the experience of migrant workers outside of their home countries. His films and installations have been included in international group exhibitions such as, most recently, Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction; DIASPORA: Exit, Exile, Exodus of Southeast Asia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2018), and festivals including the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (2018) and the 27th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, Chicago, United States (2016).

Focus

In 2018, Prapat Jiwarangsan was awarded a fellowship from the Japan Foundation Asia Center to develop a project on migrant workers in Singapore. On occasion of a fieldtrip to the country, the artist chanced upon Koi Glai Ban (Persons Far from Home), a compilation of short biographies—edited by the late scholar Pattana Kitiarsa—penned by Thai migrant workers. He took particular interest in the stories of oppression and resistance recounted by Ploy, a woman who was employed as a sex worker in a makeshift “jungle brothel” located in the scant forestry of the island city-state. Inspired by Ploy’s diary entry, the artist’s investigation aims to excavate underground stories of transnational labour and frame them within processes of land appropriation for cultural, economic, and leisure pursuits. During the residency, Jiwarangsan will expand his research on migrant workers’ relationship to woodlands with the goal of developing a medium-length documentary film and a new series of works.

Residencies brochure (January – March 2020)

Public programmes

Residencies OPEN x Singapore Art Week
17 Jan 2020, Fri 07:00 PM - 11:00 PM
18 Jan 2020, Sat 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the artist’s studio. Through discussions, performances, installations, and presentations of works-in-progress, Residencies OPEN showcases the diversity of contemporary art practice from around the globe and the divergent ways artists conceive an artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and research.

Featuring Artists-in-Residence: Rossella Biscotti (Italy/Belgium), Carolina Caycedo (United Kingdom/United States), Fyerool Darma (Singapore), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Prapat Jiwarangsan (Thailand), Alecia Neo (Singapore), Trevor Yeung (Hong Kong).

 

Image: Façade of Residencies studios, Block 38 Malan Road, Residencies OPEN x Art After Dark, 20 September 2019, NTU CCA Singapore.

Residencies Insights: Wandering Ghosts, Screening and Q&A with Prapat Jiwarangsan (Thailand), Artist-in-Residence
17 Mar 2020, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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Screened all together for the first time in Singapore, Prapat Jiwarangsan’s film trilogy follows the meandering paths that lead migrant workers across Asia. Framing conditions of psychological and material uncertainty, the films eschew a documentarist approach and touch poetically on the workers’ precarious living conditions, slippery legal status, and experience of displacement while they also convey strategies of resilience, resistance, and adaptation. 

The screening will be preceded by an introduction by the artist.

 

The Asylum (Dok Rak), 2015, 9 min 40 sec

DJ Dok Rak used to work for a radio station in Chiangmai. After the shut-down of anti-military radio stations that followed the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand, she lost her job. “Ah Tay” is a boy of Karen ethnicity who secretly works in a village and fears being sent back to Myanmar due to the lack of identification documents. Dream-like sequences unfold around a pond, a symbolic sanctuary where the two characters face the reality of their submerged existence and quietly yearn for a far-fetched freedom.

 

The Wandering Ghosts, 2017, 20 min (Singapore Premiere)

Until today, thousands of Thai migrant workers live in a state of uncertainty in South Korea. Stringing together interviews, footage from the workers’ everyday lives, and recordings of job-hunting phone calls, the work flits between generations of migrants including an 80-year old Thai veteran who fought in the South Korean Army during the Korean War of 1950. Alternating sharp and saturated images with visual blackouts, Jiwarangsan captures the elusive quality of the workers’ existence. 

 

Destination Nowhere, 2018, 7 min 19 sec

Drawn by the economic boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of migrant workers relocated to Japan without a proper legal status. Destination Nowhere tells the story of a Japan-born Thai teenager whose mother, a Thai migrant worker who “illegally” lived in Japan for many years, was deported back to Thailand. The artist’s scraping of the boy’s silhouette, together with photographs and objects inspired by his life, alludes to the young man’s unrecognised status and his fight to stay in the only country he calls home.

 

BIOGRAPHY

The practice of Prapat Jiwarangsan (b. 1979, Thailand) is rooted in a deep fascination with archival materials which the artist peruses and reconfigures in order to question the relationships between nationalism and history, memory and politics in Thailand. In recent years, he has turned his focus to the experience of migrant workers outside of their home countries. His films and installations have been included in international group exhibitions such as, most recently, Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction; DIASPORA: Exit, Exile, Exodus of Southeast Asia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2018), and festivals including the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (2018) and the 27th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, Chicago, United States (2016).

 

Image: Prapat Jiwarangsan, Destination Nowhere (film still), 2018. Courtesy the artist.