The 4 Foundations
16.12.2023 - 27.01.2024
BANGKOK CITYCITY GALLERY is proud to present The 4 Foundations, a contemplative new exhibition by Orawan Arunrak, which probes the depths of presence and awareness in the tapestry of everyday life. The gallery welcomes visitors to explore its transformed space, now serving as a training room where individuals can practice and prepare themselves for the uncertainties of the world.
In The 4 Foundations, Arunrak presents an odyssey that traverses the terrain of personal and shared experiences through an intricate melding of visual and auditory elements, marking a continuation of her ongoing dialogue with both the self and the collective unconscious. Woven into the fabric of the space, the four cardinal pillars of Mindfulness, Perception, Mentality, and Form offer a reflective mirror to the audience by serving as a guide on a profound journey of self-discovery and personal development.
The exhibition is a testament to adaptation and the search for connection in times of silence and solitude. Arunrak’s work unfolds as a series of vignettes—each a chapter in a larger story of resilience and introspection. The artworks, ranging from paintings and audio installations to embodied sculptures, coalesce to form a gestalt that captures the essence of the artist’s quest that she now seeks to relay to audiences.
Arunrak transforms the gallery into a living, breathing entity where the ambient sounds of life—church bells, the cadence of a washing machine, and the unceasing undertones of a bustling city —merge with the visual stimuli. The tactility of silicon forms derived from massage implements, signify the profound connection between the body and its practices, reiterated by paintings employing massage techniques in their creation as well. Meditation cushions and curtains, both embroidered with patterns that echo the rhythms of breathing, carve out a space for contemplation.
Her employment of skin-tone colors and the incorporation of soil textures across the various elements reflect a constant reference to the body, grounding the ethereal concepts of the exhibition in the corporeal. The orange lights, reminiscent of warmth, complete the sensory experience giving rise to an atmosphere where one can draw vital energy from. The repeated motif of clocks around the space symbolizes its omnipresence in our lives and its synchronization with our personal and architectural spaces. In such a recontextualization of the everyday object, the clocks invite consideration of time’s flow and memory’s role in distinguishing and counting moments.
The 4 Foundations is an invitation to pause and engage with the elements that shape our daily existence, often unnoticed. It is Arunrak’s call to recognize the profound embedded in the routine, the narratives laced within silence, and the depth of simplicity. Amidst the harmonious interplay between life’s quiet moments and its resonant, chaotic crescendos, the artist charts a course through the layers of consciousness that invite a deeper understanding of self, cultivating in audiences a more empathetic perception of others.
Swan Dive. Boomerang. Mermaid. One Leg Circle. Cobra. Breastroke. Rolling Back. Clam, 2023
17 x 19 x 11.5 cm, 16 x 18 x 14 cm, 10 x 29 x 10 cm, 9 x 21 x 14 cm, 8 x 24 x 7 cm, 23 x 26 x 5 cm, 9 x 19 x 8.2 cm, 16 x 28 x 4 cm (Set of 8)
Study for Swan Dive. Boomerang. Mermaid. One Leg Circle. Cobra. Breastroke. Rolling Back. Clam, 2023
Archival Pigment Ink Print on ILFORD Galerie Smooth Pear 310gsm, mounted on Aluminium with Archival Tape; custom polyethylene foam frame
80 x 100 cm (each)
b. 1985, Bangkok, Thailand
Lives and works in Bangkok and Berlin, Germany
Orawan Arunrak’s work is largely inspired by her everyday life. Using tools like pencils, pens, paper, but also photography and the internet, she creates works that take the forms of drawing, painting and installation. Her practice is aimed at engaging in dialogue with local inhabitants in an attempt to merge the space of art and non-art. Repeatedly crossing national, cultural and spiritual borders, Arunrak’s work has examined likeness and difference within and between varied locations in both Asia and Europe where she has lived in recent years, and based on relationships she has with these places.