Zombie-like internet junkies and willing sufferers of TMI syndrome roam our streets in herds. 24-hour news loops dominate the airwaves. Amongst the information overload, what is true, what is nonsense? Who controls the spewing ‘facts’ and figures? Can, AND should the man-in-the street respond? Is freedom of speech a right or a responsibility? What are the citizens doing with their voice?
With his new body of work titled Lost Info, Thailand’s Vasan Sitthiket, one of Southeast Asia’s most lucidly trenchant, but also internationally respected socially engaged artists, prompts us to rise up and re-conquer our minds, rekindle our critical intelligence, and think for ourselves, information once more a tool, not a herd-driver.
Multi-media and interactive, with a particular emphasis on regional themes, Lost Info compels us to use our own voice even as we listen to the words of the nations of ASEAN in the form of our respective national constitutions. A specially-commissioned new video work, and a three-D audience-involving installation that allows all Gallery-visitors to take part in a street demonstration, form the core of this exhibition. For the duration of Lost Info, Gallery-goers will be able to interact physically with the naked-Vasan demonstrators by positioning them and producing written placards for them. These audience interventions will be documented by Yavuz Fine Art, this ongoing documentation part of the final work of art at the end of the show. New works on canvas on the theme of Southeast Asian voice and free-speech will also be presented.
Vasan Sitthiket is one of Thailand’s most revered artists, and has exhibited all over the world, including participating in the Venice Biennale in 2003, The Sydney Biennale in 2004, Gwangju Biennale in Seoul, South Korea in 2006 and the Cuvee Biennale in Austria in 2008. He also had solo shows in the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Sitthiket was awarded the Silpathon Award from the Thai Ministry of Culture in 2007, as well as various residencies in the USA and Canada. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, the National Art Gallery, Thailand, Queenland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia and the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore have collected his works.
Curated by contemporary Southeast Asian art specialist Iola Lenzi, Lost Info is a specially-commissioned, single-theme exhibition that provides a cogent examination of the power of voice, and the meaning of message in early 21st century Southeast Asia.