Navin Rawanchaikul DEPARTED < > REVISITED at Wat Umong in Chiangmai, Thailand from December 26, 2020 – March 28, 2021
On December 26-27, 2020, please join the launch events for Navin Production’s upcoming special exhibition Departed < > Revisited, a tribute to the late Montien Boonma marking 20 years since his passing. Conceived and directed by Navin Rawanchaikul, this body of work paying homage to his beloved mentor has been realised by his studiOK team and various collaborators. In association with the Estate of Montien Booma, the exhibition will also present part of the late artist’s work and archives.
Departed < > Revisited will take place at Wat Umong, a forest monastery and temple complex in Chiang Mai that soothed Montien’s mind during a difficult period in his life. This historic spiritual site, surrounded by dense forest and archaeologically significant temple ruins, was also one of the venues for Chiang Mai Social Installation, an experimental public art festival initiated in 1992 by local artists and art students active at that time.
Covering different aspects of Montien’s time living in Chiang Mai, the exhibition will recreate two of the late artist’s site-specific social sculptures, Vipassana-Vessel (1993) and Room (1994). It will also include a new work, Black Question (After Montien Boonma), created by Navin in response to a Montien work inspired by Wat Umong’s unique tunnels and architecture.
In collaboration with Montien Atelier, this special event will bring together a rare display of archival materials, including Montien’s sketches and personal letters. A series of educational programmes and related events, including workshops and seminars themed around Montien’s ideas concerning public art and community engagement, will be staged in and around the temple. Using an illustrated map in the exhibition guide, visitors will also be able to navigate the natural and archaeological sites scattered around this forest temple complex.
Departed < > Revisited will be held in parallel with a public event hosted by the temple to commemorate the founding of the Buddha Nikhom (Buddha Estate) – a collective of local residents, led by the late Prince Chua Siroros, who restored the previously abandoned Wat Umong. For its 72th anniversary last year, the artist created a painting as a gift to the temple. As a continuation of this collaboration, Navin Production has teamed up with the monks of Wat Umong to create both an extended exhibition and a narrative comic book recounting the 700-year-long history of the monastery.
Meanwhile, a parallel exhibition, Becoming Stupa, will be hosted at DC Collection’s private residence and gallery compound in downtown Chiang Mai. Drawn from the private collection of collector and art patron Disaphol Chansiri and curated by Gridthiya Gaweewong, this tribute to Montien will present a selection of rarely seen sketches, sculptures and installations focusing on the period when he spent time in Chiang Mai experimenting with natural materials and connecting his practice to the spiritual world.