A group Exhibition
Curated by Alexandre Melo
Ayrson Heráclito (Brazil), Jonathas de Andrade (Brazil), Lyno Vuth (Cambodia), Pratchaya Phinthong (Thailand), Soe Yu Nwe (Myanmar), Tawatchai Puntusawasdi (Thailand), Torlarp Larpjaroensook (Thailand), Vasco Araújo (Portugal), Wantanee Siripatananuntakul (Thailand), Yonamine (Angola)
How Many Worlds Are We? explores and distances itself from traditional binary oppositions between notions of East and West considering the ways they can be positively articulated in contemporary artistic and cultural practices.
The transformation of the dynamics of cultural relations between regions made distant in the past due to geography is revealed today as an important factor of decisive mutations in the social landscape of the world we live in.
According to Alexander Melo’s research and reflection made during the last few years in the WEST, namely in Latin America (mainly in Brazil and in the states of Amazonas and Bahia), and in the EAST (mainly in Thailand and South East Asian countries), this exhibition arose, aiming to gather a diversity of contemporary artists active in these regions. Besides a decentering of geo-cultural perspectives, we search for the possibility of confrontation between different ways of relating to notions like nature, spirituality or humanity.
The approach is not anthropological or ecological, in a strict sense, still takes “NATURE” and “SPIRIT” – namely in relation with the “FOREST” and the entities that inhabit it, in Brazil or in Thailand – as main topics or references to help audience understand the knowledge, motivations and expectations expressed in the work of the selection of artists, namely, in the way in which they articulate an eventual affiliation to a specific cultural tradition with potential insertion in the global dynamics of popular mass culture.
The sculptures, installations, photography, and film in this exhibition investigate the ways in which we can re-imagine our relations with nature and the realm of the spiritual within a kind of poetic intelligence as it manifests itself in the work of the artists we present.
How many worlds are we?
Alexandre Melo is a Professor of Sociology of Culture and Theory of Art at the University of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), Curator, essayist and Art Critic. Since the early 1980s, he has written for publications such as "Expresso" (Portugal), "El País" (Spain), "Flash Art" (Italy), “Art Press” (France) or "Parkett" (Switzerland).
He is a regular contributor to "Artforum" (New York, USA).
He organized exhibitions in Portugal and abroad : 10 Contemporary at Serralves in Oporto, Eduardo Batarda at Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Julião Sarmento at Venice Biennial, and Rui Chafes / Vera Mantero at São Paulo Biennial.
Liquid Skin - Apichatpong Weerasethakul / Joaquim Sapinho, MAAT, Lisbon; Roi Soleil - Albert Serra (Lisbon).
He co-directed ( with Gabriel Abrantes ) the film “Fratelli” and performed as an actor in the film “Pacifiction” ( Albert Serra, Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection 2022 ). He is the author of Films and Documentaries on artists and exhibitions and cultural programs for Television and Radio. He published several books, among them “We’re All Famous – Pop Hollywood Warhol Stars”, “Art Critic as an Accomplice”, “Art and Power in the Global Era”, “Triumph of Economic Crisis”, “System of Contemporary Art” and “Cultural Globalization”.
He was a Cultural Counselor for the Portuguese Government (2005–2011) and Curator of the contemporary art collections “Banco Privado for Serralves” (Portugal) and “Ellipse Foundation” (Netherlands)
Based in Cachoeira and Salvador, Ayrson Heráclito is a visual artist and curator. He is a Professor of Visual Arts at the Center of Arts and Humanities at the Federal University of the Recôncavo of Bahia (UFRB).
The artist’s works – comprising installation, performance, photography, and audiovisual media – incorporate elements of Afro-Brazilian culture and have been exhibited throughout Brazil as well as in Europe and Africa. Heraclito’s works include elements such as palm oil, life in the Brazilian colonial era, jerky, sugar, fish, sperm and blood, body pain, raptures, apartheid and dreams of freedom. His work can be found in the Weltkulturen Museun in Frankfurt, MAR Museu de arte do Rio de Janeiro, Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Videobrasil, São Paulo, Raw Material Company, Dakar, Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon and in several private collections. He was the head curator of the 3rd Biennial da Bahia in 2014.
Jonathas de Andrade
Jonathas de Andrade is based in Recife, Brazil. He develops videos, photographs and installations based on the production of images and texts, employing strategies that juxtapose fiction and reality, tradition, and negotiation with local communities. His work challenges the notion of truth, power, desire, and social imagination. Solo exhibitions include Jonathas de Andrade: Oeil—Flamme, at Maat, Lisbon (2023) and Crac, Alsace, France (2022); Staging Resistance, at Foam Amsterdam (2022); One to One, at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2019); The Fish, New Museum, New York (2017); The Power Plant, Toronto (2017); Visiones del Nordeste, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2017); Museu do Homem do Nordeste, MAR: Museum of Art, Rio de Janeiro (2014-2015); group exhibitions include 16th Istanbul Biennial (2019); Artapes, MAXXI: National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome (2018); 32nd Sao Paulo Biennial (2016); Unfinished Conversations: New Work from the
Collection, MoMA (2015); and Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, Guggenheim, New York (2014). Jonathas de Andrade presented a solo project for the Brazilian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022).
Vuth Lyno is an artist, curator, and educator interested in space, cultural history, and knowledge production. His artworks often engage with micro and overlooked histories, notions of community, place-making, and production of social relations. He works with photography, video, sculpture, light, and sound, often constructing architectural bodies as situations for interaction. He introduces human stories and knowledge in his installations by drawing on a wide range of materials such as original interviews, artifacts, and newly made objects.
Lyno’s artworks feature at major exhibitions and festivals - Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Biennale of Sydney, Singapore International Festival of Arts, and Gwangju Biennale - and at institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Metropolitan Museum of Manila; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou; Osage Gallery, Hong Kong; and Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre."
Phintong’s work features financial fluctuations, media alarmism, and the world labor market, transferred into matter as it transforms from solid to liquid to a gaseous state, and then back again. Phinthong is a trader who operates according to a logic opposite to that of profit, dealing in cultural and value systems, trafficking in everyday meanings and hopes. Phinthong accepts the perpetual transformation of forms and politics, of existence and daily life, poetically transferring the metaphor of fluctuation in currency values to various areas of human action. Solo show/ Pratchaya Phinthong, gb agency, Paris (2015, 2012, 2009, 2007) Broken Hill, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2013) Sleeping Sickness, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Rennes (2012), Give More Than You Take, GAMeC, Bergamo (2011) CAC Brétigny (2010). Group show: 40th Anniversary, Ludwig Museum, Köln; 11th Gwangju Biennale, dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial.
Soe Yu Nwe
Since earning a MFA degree in Ceramics at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in 2015, Soe has participated in numerous residencies in the United States and across Asia. Her experience of living cross-culturally has inspired her to reflect upon her own identity as a fluid, fragile and fragmented entity. Through transfiguration of her emotional landscape by poetically depicting nature and body in parts, she ponders the complexities of individual identity in this rapidly changing globalized society. Exhibitions include the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Australia), 2018 Dhaka Art Summit (Bangladesh), The New Taipei City Yingge Ceramic Museum (Taiwan), Yavuz Gallery (Singapore), ZieherSmith in Chelsea, New York (USA), and The National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (Indonesia). Recently, Soe was accepted as member of IAC (International Academy of Ceramics), the first member from Myanmar. Her work was shown at the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. Soe was named in Forbes 30 Under 30: Art & Style 2019."
His work features sculptures in hard-wood, slate, organic fibers, and various types of metal using precise mathematic calculations while incorporating handcrafted elements. His works play with the aspect of the world’s gravity to challenge the viewers’ understanding of volume and space, communicating with and questioning ego and impermanence in Buddhist philosophy.
Tawatchai has received many grants, including Asia Arcus Project 1996, 15th Silpa Bhirasri Creativity Grant, Asia Cultural Council, New York, and Pollock Krasner Foundation, USA (2008 and 2000). He featured in national and international exhibitions, including 21st The Sydney Biennale; Singapore Sciences Museum (2018). Head of tails’ Sundaram Gallery, New York, USA, Mapping Macrocosmsadam, A Parallel Project of Singapore Biennale (2016) at ADM Gallery; Minimalism, Art Science Museum Singapore (2018). Solo shows at A+, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2019); Existence of Void, The Art Centre, SIlpakorn University, Bangkok (2022); Silpatorn Award, Bangkok: Rift, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok (2020) Shifts in Perception, Gajah Gallery, Singapore (2021).
As an artist whose works involve multiple mediums, Torlarp focuses his interest on creating interaction between art and audience by using ready-made objects in sculpture, installation, and also other artworks in a form of moving architecture. His works act as connectors, linking the audience’s feeling to materials found in everyday life.
His work features in international galleries and museums like the Singapore Art Museum and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum. In 2011, he had a solo exhibition Bookshelf at 8Q Singapore Art Museum. In 2012, his solo exhibition In Progress was exhibited at Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery, Singapore. He exhibited at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. Apart from being an artist, Torlarp is also the founder of the Gallery Seescape (alternative art space). Torlarp is now based in Chiang Mai, Thailand where he runs Gallery Seescape and actively create his new series of his artwork.
Vasco Araújo is based in Lisbon. He completed his first degree in Sculpture and also studied Visual Arts. He has participated in various solo and group exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad, also taking part in residency programmes, such as The University of Arts, Philadelphia (2007); Récollets, Paris (2005); and the Core Program (2003/04), Houston. In 2003, he was awarded the EDP Prize for New Artists.
His work has been published in various books and catalogues and is represented in several public and private collections, such as the Centre Pompidou, France, Art Institute Chicago, USA; Musée d’Art Moderne, France; Museu Colecção Berardo, Arte Moderna e Contamporânea, (Portugal); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Portugal); Fundación Centro Ordóñez-Falcón de Fotografía – COFF (Spain); Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Centro de Arte (Spain); Fundação de Serralves (Portugal); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (USA); and Pinacoteca do estado S. Paulo (Brazil)."
Siripattananuntakul’s oeuvre is grounded in social, political, economic, and political ecology issues from which she questions the meaning of life. Each project often consists of different media, such as video, sound, sculptures, and installations, associating social and economic inequality and ideological state apparatus. They are executed to investigate what is at stake in our society. She has exhibited at: Galeri Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia; Museo MACRO, Santiago, Argentina; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul, Korea; MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand; UP Vargas Museum, Manila, Philippines, National Gallery Singapore, and Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto, Japan."
Yonamine’s prolific and diverse artistic practice includes painting, drawing, graffiti, photography, video, and other media, such as tattooing and body art. His multimedia installations are both personal diaries and explorations of African history and politics. Currently, his work is articulated by complex installations, large murals, photographs, and videos. In these works, the artist uses an immense range of objects and materials, such as newspapers, serigraphs, drawings, collages, to trace where images from popular culture, American films, celebrities and political figures of the African continent and the world overlap.
Yonamine’s art has been displayed in Mexico, Spain, Brazil, and Zimbabwe, and in such spaces as the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); Cristina Guerra Gallery, Lisbon (2012, 2016 and 2019), the 15th Istanbul Biennial (2017) and JAHMEK, Luanda (2018) as well as Michael Janssen Gallery, Berlin (2022). Yonamine’s works have also been included into the Centre Pompidou and Franks-Suss collections.