PERFORMANCE: Orawan Arunrak, Rituals on Walking, Ghost 2565: Live Without Dead Time, Bangkok Thailand, 2022
Growing up around Hua Lamphong, the terminal station of Bangkok’s first railway line, Arunrak has seen not only the migration of people, among them her parents and other family, but also of time. The station is one where lives intersect through the interest of survival, of moving into the center of Bangkok looking for a job or how modernity is prescribed onto neighboring provinces and other regions, an interchange of leaving and returning. Repetitive days and routines of those around the station seem stable, contained in the cycle of survival. The station itself is now on its last leg, ceasing operations and turning into either a museum or a mall.
The commissioned piece, Rituals on Walking invites registered participants on a guided audio walk around Hua Lamphong station. A recollection of sights, sounds, and scents that took hold in the artist’s memory finds form in a walk that invites us to follow intersecting lives, their scents and tastes and alphabets. The choreographed journey through the artist’s archive of her formative neighborhood is an antidote to the increasing divorce of the body from the city and the urban compression of time and space. The gap between what you see and what you hear becomes a trigger to reclaim our senses. As her practice urges a reconsideration of the body as extended outward, grafted onto our surroundings and redefined, this walk becomes a mode of forming relationships amidst isolation, to your senses, history, and memories.