May 19, 2017 - KfW Stiftung - Orawan Arunrak: Exit - Entrance
May 19, 2017

KfW Stiftung / Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Orawan Arunrak, Exit – Entrance, in-progress images, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

Orawan Arunrak
Exit - Entrance
May 25–June 18, 2017

Opening: May 24, 7pm

Künstlerhaus Bethanien
Kottbusser Strasse 10
10999 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–7pm

Orawan Arunrak’s work is largely inspired by her everyday life. Using tools like pencils, pens, paper, but also photography and the internet, she creates works that take the forms of drawing, painting and installation. Her practice is aimed at engaging in dialogue with specific local communities in an attempt to merge the spaces of art and non-art. Drawn to dialogues shared throughout Southeast Asia, the artist has spent several years travelling between her native Thailand and neighboring countries, repeatedly crossing national, cultural and spiritual borders. In recent years Arunrak’s work has examined likeness and difference within and between cultures, luring her into subjects of history, and Southeast Asia’s socio-political landscapes.

Arunrak’s most recent series of works communicate through conversations that focus on elements and mixtures of Thailand, Germany, Vietnam, and elsewhere, encompassing religion, otherness and gender, as defined by customs, contexts, and environments. Presented as an installation titled Exit – Entrance, these works explore the juxtaposition of different states of being in the "real" and in the spiritual world, with the ideas of nationhood and nationality. The artworks featured in Exit – Entrance combine visual and sound elements drawn from conversations held in Thai, German, English and Vietnamese. The audio component of the project is presented within an immersive installation of hand-drawn images printed as wallpaper. The conversations include ten people, whose voices we hear: a Thai monk, a Thai nun, a Thai anthropologist, a Thai woman, a German woman, a German anthropologist, a German man who ordained in a Thai temple in Berlin, a Vietnamese nun, and a Vietnamese woman, all of whom live between Asia and Europe. Arunrak sees her work as an experiment for the viewer, to try to hear, listen and see in ways that might develop mutual understanding for different ways of living.

A catalogue of the exhibition is available: edited by Nicola Müllerschön and Christoph Tannert, Orawan Arunrak: Exit – Entrance includes an essay by Roger Nelson and an interview by Yvette Mutumba. Published by Verlag Kettler (Dortmund), 2017.

Orawan Arunrak, born 1985 in Bangkok, Thailand, lives and works in Bangkok. Her work has been exhibited regionally and internationally, including at CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2017), Saigon Domaine, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2015), Sa Sa Bassac, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2015), Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), Thailand (2014), Kanagawa Arts Theatre, Yokohama, Japan (2013) and Frac Île-de-France, Le plateau, Paris, France (2012). Orawan Arunrak currently holds a grant of KfW Stiftung and is taking part in the International Studio Program at Künstlerhaus Bethanien; she will be concluding her residency by showcasing her current project Exit – Entrance.

Promoting cultural diversity is one of the primary goals of KfW Stiftung. Together with the art center Künstlerhaus Bethanien, it has set up an artist-in-residence program that seeks to stimulate intercultural dialogue by providing up-and-coming artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East with the opportunity to spend twelve months in Berlin. Encouraging artistic production and critical reflection, the program also facilitates encounters between professionals working in arts and culture. The infrastructure and the international environment of Künstlerhaus Bethanien offer a suitable setting, allowing participants to try out new ideas, engage in debates, and carry out projects.

For more information, please contact
Nicola Müllerschoen, Arts and Culture, KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt: nicola.muellerschoen [​at​]
Valeria Schulte-Fischedick, International Studio Programme, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin: schultef [​at​]

KfW Stiftung
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