Golden Tiger / Hidden Monkey Contemporary artists dialogue with the Jim Thompson Art Collection

Event Details

Golden Tiger / Hidden Monkey  Contemporary artists dialogue with the Jim Thompson Art Collection

Time: January 25, 2010 to February 28, 2010
Location: The Jim Thompson Art Center
City/Town: Bangkok, THAILAND
Website or Map:…
Phone: 02-612-6741, 02-219-2911
Event Type: art, exhibition
Latest Activity: Jan 26, 2010

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Event Description

Golden Tiger / Hidden Monkey
Contemporary artists dialogue with the Jim Thompson Art Collection

The Jim Thompson Art Center
November 24th, 2009 – February 28th, 2010
Open from 9 – 5 daily, Admission Free

Participating artists: Kamol Phaosavasdi, Wisut Ponnimit, Bhubawit Kritpholnara (Roj Singhakul) and Pattree Bhakdibutr
Organized by JTAC in collaboration with Kotchakorn Promchai

Golden Tiger / Hidden Monkey

The merging of invisible knowledge and scientific approach is still incredibly powerful and plays significant roles in Thai politics even today. It is not only leaders or the elite who are interested in astrology. This belief has become more accessible and popular among people from all walks of life. With the spread of digital technology, astrological information is more accessible to everyone. But why do people still believe and practice this tradition by consulting fortune telling? What is so special about astrology and why are we, as Asian people were so obsessed with it in our daily life? Is this because this belief is so deeply rooted in our subconscious that it cannot be taken away by modernism and globalization?

Who do you consult and confide with when you are depressed or have problems? How many of you check your horoscope when you turn on the internet or read it in the newspaper on a daily basis? Who never consults a fortuneteller? If you never see a fortuneteller, what about your mother or grandmother, do they? The fear of not knowing your future and trying to find the best solution to your problems with the help of either a fortune teller or Feng Shui master seems to be an alternative that most of us use, but are not likely to talk about openly.

In our upcoming exhibition, the JTAC is collaborating with the Khun Kojachakorn Promchai, a Chiangmai based Feng Shui master, to help conceive the idea of this exhibition “Golden Tiger/Hidden Monkey”. Here a series of contemporary artists will carry on a dialogue with Jim Thompson Art Collection, which highlights Brahma Jati : The Siamese Horoscope.

Among the collection of Jim Thompson Thai House museum, traditional Thai paintings are some of the first objects that caught Thomson’s attention. It is fascinating to learn that one set of his Thai painting in the collection is about astrology and consists of “Bhrama Jati”, which is the Siamese Horoscope or “Twelve Sings”, traditional Thai paintings on paper. For an American who relocated to Thailand and became interested in local astrology, it demonstrates his ability to blend two traditions: his personal background and interest as an American with a new culture from his adopted homeland. He constantly adapted his beliefs and local tradition to conform with his daily life. When he started to build his famous Thai house, he consulted the monk about the auspicious day that he should move into the house. His horoscope chart is installed and exhibited in his study along with his personal horoscope, cast by the monk for his 61st year of age.

To continue in the spirit of blending and reinterpreting local knowledge with contemporary practice, we have invited contemporary artists, fashion designers, animators and fortunetellers to carry on a dialogue with his collection, to explore the idea of horoscope, its origin and a relationship with our daily life. The result will be a reinterpretation by various artists, fashion designers, animators and academics of this belief which refuses to fade away from our reality. We will attempt to explore the relationship of the zodiac with Buddhism and how it became integral part of our society. Most importantly we will see how this invisible local wisdom can be applied to our daily life.

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