Saturday I wrapped up in Bangkok and made my way north to Chiang Mai. Upon arriving in Chiang Mai I grabbed my bags and was met by Khun Shukit. He’s the curator at the Ne’Na Contemporary Artspace where I’ll be staying for the next month to produce this body of work. After a brief ride from the airport to the artspace I was given an orientation of the place and left to go on about my business. This month I’m the only artist living here in the house so it’s kinda like home, a big huge open space with me (usually) all by myself.
What’s unique about Ne’Na Artspace is that they work very closely with Monfai Cultural Center. The culture center is basically a living museum which aims to preserve Lanna Culture. Lanna was a kingdom which existed in Northern Thailand, Laos, Burma from the 13th to 18th century. They have their own culture which is separate from the rest of Thailand and even their own dialect of which is distinctly different from the rest of the Thai language. You can still get by on every day Thai language here but you WILL miss some things if you aren’t familiar with the northern style of speaking. For what it’s worth, I’m not super familiar with it. I just know there’s a bunch of gaps now where there used to be words I knew.
Monfai Culture Center is right next door to the home I’m staying in so I have access to this treasure trove of artifacts, costumes, and perhaps the most important part, PEOPLE who work there preserving the culture. All this works very well for the theme of my project. I’ll be able to make a good chunk of work here…I think. You never know how a project will go until you begin it.
Here’s a few snaps shortly after I arrived. More to come soon.