Studio 88’s the Air We Breathe in the media

In March 2023 Studio 88 held a series of events as part of the Art for Air festival in Chiang Mai, including a special residency, an exhibition at Studio 88, a pop-up exhibition at WEAVE and a public talk at Dream Space Gallery. Read what Max Crosbie-Jones from Nikkei Asia had to say about the Art for Air programme.

Crosbie-Jones starts by explaining that the Art for Air festival offers “fresh perspectives and intriguing vantage points, a glut of artworks that offer a piquant kind of collective catharsis and frame the issue in particular, rather than abstract, terms – sometimes with anarchic humor, sometimes with irony-tinged beauty, sometimes with applied science.”

Studio 88 artists as part of the Art for Air festival, 2023.

He provides an overview of the exhibitions, giving a sense of the breadth of work on display. He goes on to say:

“Cumulatively, such works build a tangible, nuanced picture of air pollution, not as a monolithic phenomenon of incomprehensible proportions, but as a lived issue that acutely intersects with and impacts the Thai context – its ecosystems, economies and non-human, as well as human, inhabitants.

That said, Kamin [instigator of Art for Air] hopes the event gives people a universal appreciation of the issue, too. ‘We cannot just solve the problem by saying this is my river. This is my Chiang Mai pollution. No. You cannot think that way,’ he told Nikkei Asia in an interview. ‘You have to think in terms of oneness.'”

There was a feeling from the artists that Crosbie-Jones spoke to that inaction was not an option. He concludes by saying that:

“those involved instinctively feel that it is important to do something. Take Sasiwimon Wongjarin, the founder-director of Studio 88, an artist residency community in nearby Doi Saket district. ‘There are people who gave up and think things can’t be changed,’ Sasiwimon said at the opening of “Un’Natural,” an exhibition of her residents’ air pollution- themed artworks, from experimental black and white photography of parched forests to a dramatic, tentlike installation made from Mylar blankets. ‘But if you think that way, you’ve already lost,’ she added. ‘You’re just a dead fish going with the flow. Better to be a live fish swimming upstream against the current.'”

Read the full article on Nikkei Asia or download the article below.

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