@Viewing Room / Ubatsat and Lookcomb / The Parallels of Pistol Forest

May 16 —  May 30, 2020

 

THE PARALLELS OF PISTOL FOREST 

 

ARTWORKS  —  UBATSAT x LOOKCOMB

CURATOR  —  CHATNABADHANA PANYAPHET

PHOTOGRAPH — SUWAT SUPACHAVINSWAD

 

 

Environmental issue occurring now in Chiang Mai may not be seen as crucial as the issues occurring in other places all over the world. However, in reality, Chiang Mai and her residents have been confronting with increasing air pollution problem from the wildfire triggered by forest invasion for these past 10 years. Every year, Chiang Mai’s residents have been trying to raise their voices to the authorities in order to solve this problem. Unfortunately, the problem has never been seriously taken and solved.

 

Apart from the wildfire, the protest to reclaim the forest area from the Judicial Housing Project at Doi Suthep is another example of the voice to fight forest invasion that will affects largely on the ecosystem around the area.If the demonstrations related to environmental issues were to happen in the capital city, they would likely be promptly responded by the authorities. Therefore, the problems that remains unsolved in Chiang Mai can quietly imply us the otherness as if the place is in the parallel world.

In the art exhibition “The Parallels of Pistol Forest” 2 Chiang Mai-based artists – Ubatsat and Look Comb intend to present the pictures of mountain landscapes inspired by the oppression regarding the environmental problems in the local area. The ideas are presented through series of drawing in with the process created by the collaboration of the two artists.

 

Look Comb began the process by collecting the brochures and leaflets from the local tour companies that went out of their business due to economic regression in Chiang Mai, recycled them and made new piece of papers. After the initial process of making papers, Ubatsat continued the process by drawing different shapes and using materials to create different shades of black and white forms on the pictures of Doi Suthep’s landscape to reflects the obscurity in the management regarding environmental problems in Chiang Mai which tend to surface from times to times.

 

In “Once Walking into the Wood” series of artworks, the two artists created the dialogues harmoniously through their own different techniques. Look Comb went into the disputed area of the aforementioned Doi Suthep Judicial Housing Project and sketched the landscapes with the black charcoal pencil. The sketches were drawn over with the white charcoal until the original sketches are nowhere to be seen by Ubatsat in his studio. This process gave the artworks the mysterious outcome as if the landscapes were covered with haze, as the place was where no human can enter. Otherwise, the landscape could probably be the picture that people wanted to erase from the memories.

Many of the drawings in this exhibition were created using black geometric forms on the white backgrounds, or vice versa as in the series of artworks “How Dare You MR Gun Handle”, “In the Memory of the Grandparents Collecting Mushrooms” and “Wild Pistol Movement”. These works were recreated using the forms of invaded forest areas from the bird’s eye view. The artists rearranged those forms, twisted them and placed them in repetition manners until the original forms are swallowed by the shapes that strangely reminded us of the pistols.

 

The artworks in “The Parallels of Pistols Forest” are the reproduction of landscapes of forest invasion which has been a long-standing concern in Chiang Mai. In fact, these are the representation of one the goals in Sustainable Development Goals; SDGs, which requires cooperation among every sector whether the goals would tackle the poverty issue, social disparities issue, peace and justice issue, climate issue or any issues related to declination of the nature.

 

In summary, this exhibition aims to reflect the need of the artists to be part of the voice to fight the environmental problems, which is currently a global issue. At the same time, the exhibition itself also questions the environmental issue in Chiang Mai, which is likely to be neglected as if it occurs in the parallel world.

 

 

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