Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts (FAA) recently rebranded Art4C, its gallery and creative learning space, under the slogan: “Art for Life, Sustainability”. The three-story facility, located on the university’s Bangkok campus, was the venue for a live-streamed discussion, a seminar on marine pollution and fashion show on July 3, 2021, held under the title “RE-SCAPE: Bite Scape, Art Scape, Act Scape”.
The rebranding and launch of several related exhibitions were also held as part of the faculty’s active involvement in the Bangkok Design Week 2021.
The introductory discussion featured FAA Dean Professor Bussakorn Binson and Chupong Wangwattananan and was moderated by ART4C Director Haisang Javanalikhikara, the latter of whom introduced ART4C’s new collaborative partner Mr Wangwattananan, who is the owner of the Dragon Ink company. He has set up a new coffee shop on the ground floor of ART4C, Bite Scape, which is proving very popular with the university’s students.
This talk was followed by a seminar on plastic marine pollution (in 2019 Thailand was the 7th largest marine polluter in the world), which specifically discussed issues related to the exhibition, Plastic Sea, an interactive installation created by activist artist Witaya Junma and curated by Haisang Javanalikhikara. Junma utilised a ‘vortex machine’ to visually present plastic waste data in Thailand’s coastal waters from the Department of Marine Resources. The presenters were the artist Witaya Junma, Pornsri Suthanaruk (Deputy General Director of Department of Marine and Coastal Resources) and environmental activist Chanat Wutwikaikan; the seminar was moderated by Chanat Wutwikaikan of Kong Green Green.
ART4C Director Haisang noted a theme underlying all of these ambitious creative projects: “Artists and activists participated in these events to empower us to see that the environmental issues we face are so severe. They want to engage people in dealing with these issues so that we can all help heal the ecosystem. There isn’t any particular way to do this, so we must be creative and supportive.”
The third session brought together three well-known Thai environmental artists – Teeprang, Wishulada and Nee Fabritt – to discuss how to be creative through sustainable art practices. Teeprang recently held an exhibition, Liberated, at ART4C. Wishulada, a FAA alumni, is known for her use of recycled materials in her artworks. She created clothes and accessories using her distinctive style.
The sessions ended with a fashion presentation that featured a fashion show using recycled Thai fabrics, Recycle Rising by Lalalove and new fashion photography, Anusorn Mah Hua Nau (Memorial Outcast) by Akin Kanjanapokin (Teeprang). From 4 July to 11 July ART4C held related shows on each of its three floors: on the first floor Anusorn Mah Hua Nau by Teeprang, Ecological Expansion by Fabritt and MeClass, and Recycle Rising by Lalalove; on the second floor, Plastic Sea by Witaya Junma and Every Year is the Golden Year by Nin Narin (a collaboration between Narin and Lalalove); and on the third floor, Incarnate, by Wishulada.
Incarnate was inspired by Wishulada’s visit to Khao Yai National Park and her realisation that animals and nature are being destroyed by human behaviour. As with the Plastic Sea exhibition, Wishulada’s aim was to engage with her audience to make them aware of these critical environmental and ecological issues so that they can understand the need for change.
All the exhibitions at ART4C employed sustainable practices in the preparation and display of the artworks in order to reduce their carbon footprints. Due to the current pandemic situation, viewing was by appointment only.