A chair rests on the crown of a bird’s head whose eye is white and open wide, as if to stare into the souls of passers-by. The beak is golden and blunted. This peculiar head is attached to the torso of a mannequin. Above each breast appear two tattoos of a bluebird. The mannequin’s fingers are crossed, but the image is flipped—the fingers are crossed on a right hand raised beside the left side of the mannequin’s body, a physical impossibility by any measure. In comparison to the subject, the chair looks absolutely miniscule. The image is haunting, original, the stuff of dreams and nightmares.
For millennia, since the days of the Greek stoics, humans have wrestled with the concept of free will. That fundamental struggle inspired Melbourne-based Thai sculptor Pimpisa Tinpalit in her latest series. Titled Freedom & Captivity, the exhibition features birds and their body parts merged with human figures—a canary-yellow bird head cast onto a woman’s body; red and blue female figurines holding white dove-like birds in their palms.
According to Tinpalit, birds in this series represent freedom while humans are symbols of the power of free will. The sculptures themselves speak to the supremacy of the mind once freed from captivity, yet they remain ambiguous, which was an intentional choice. Tinpalit believes that humans often fail to weight the difference between their sense of freedom and captivity. The exhibition highlights this dichotomy, encouraging viewers to make their own meaning from the sculptures.
Freedom & Captivity will be on display at La Lanta Fine Art from September 19 until October 21.
La Lanta Fine Art
245/14 Soi 31 Sukhumvit Rd | 0 2260 5381, 0 2204 0583 | Tue-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun by appointment | lalanta.com