Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM), in collaboration with Festival/Tokyo (F/T), will present the collaborative exhibition “The City & The City 2020 Edition: Divided Senses” from November 5-14 at The Jam Factory.
The project is an initiative involving selected artists from Bangkok and Tokyo who look deeply into their own respective cities, and exchange and collaborate through digital platforms. The artists in each city began with finding five unique senses from their city, and then figured out ways to “translate” and “deliver” these senses digitally to the artists in the other city in order to co-create artistic results. The exhibition is the fruit of the multidisciplinary, international/inter-city, and exclusively online process of artistic experiment.
Artists selected by F/T to participate in the project on the Tokyo side include actress and dramaturg Chisato Sone, architect and scenographer Watanabe Shikine, and director, and lighting and sound designer Sakurauchi Shoumi. In Bangkok, BIPAM announced an open call for young, emerging artists from all creative practices, and selected Chatchavan Suwansawat (Chat), an architect and writer whose book “Architect-jer” (What an Architect comes across) was recently launched at the Book Expo Thailand 2020, Chanapon Komkham (Time), a visual artist working across multiple art disciplines, and Pakhamon Hemachandra (Much), a contemporary dancer with interests in multidisciplinary work. Piyawan Sapsamreom (Ning) was also selected from the open call to act as a Thai-Japanese interpreter, bridging the two groups through her expertise in the language and culture of both places.
With current restrictions on international travel, the project turned limitations into an artistic framework in which the artists worked. Throughout the project, both the Bangkok and Tokyo teams met and exchanged entirely through online platforms like Zoom or Facebook. The artists were challenged to work with limited means of communication, as well as differences in language and culture. Their conclusion of the five senses of the cities in Phase 1 of the process were consequently arrived at through different perceptions and processes, which, in turn, were exchanged and applied by each team to re-discover their own city in Phase 2.
Nagashima Kaku, Festival/Tokyo Director, says: “The City & The City: Divided Senses is created from the organizing teams of both cities wishing to see deeper and more diverse research about Bangkok and Tokyo as the capitals. The artists not only want to ‘re-learn’ about their own city but also get to know the other city in various dimensions through the perception of the other team. With imagination and interpretation of the digitally-exchanged materials between the two teams, the artists are presenting their findings in an exhibition both in Bangkok and Tokyo. Because of time constraints and other limitations, the exhibitions may not seem ‘complete’ or ‘finished,’ but that, in a way, is a truthful reflection of a city whose nature is constantly evolving and unfinished.”
BIPAM’s Artistic Director Sasapin Siriwanij says: “The project was born out of the strong and mutual wish to connect and work together between BIPAM and F/T, and there are indeed many special things about it. Firstly, we wanted to explore ways to work internationally beyond the borders of ‘nation,’ so we proposed to focus on the artists’ current city instead. Second is all the challenges related to the global pandemic crisis. And finally, the combination of Bangkok artists for which BIPAM carefully selected young, emerging artists from different creative disciplines so that we ourselves could not predict the results of their work. And so it went as intended. Every step of the project has been exciting for all of us, from artists’ research, exchanging and interacting between Bangkok and Tokyo, to finally bringing all the fruits of the work to the public’s eyes. If you think you already know Bangkok or Tokyo really well, I hope this exhibition will change a little bit of that idea.”
The project will be exhibited first at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre by the Tokyo artists from October 30-November 1, as part of Festival/Tokyo 2020. In Bangkok, the exhibition will take place at The Jam Factory from November 5-11, and will later be featured at Bangkok Design Week 2021 by the Creative Economy Agency (CEA).
For more information and the latest updates on the exhibition, please visit: