We are pleased to present the 3-channel installation of Inverso Mundus (2015) at the Bangkok Art Biennale.
We are experiencing the age of disruption, delusion and fear. Terror, chaos, natural disasters, pollution, and overpopulation are threats to human happiness that are increasing all the time. Spurned by global disruptive events, our lives are determined by what we consume daily from the media and through headlines. Losing faith in godless zones and our inability to predict the future result in insecurity and panic. Human species experience happiness through the five senses of touch, taste, sound, smell and sight. Our body and senses are stimulated and send messages back to our brain. The pleasure peaks and then begins to wane. Naturally, the desire demands more happy experiences and contentment, otherwise, restlessness and despair result in unhappiness. Some people want happiness as the sole purpose of life. They do not believe in the afterlife so their quest is earthly happiness. Production and commodity provide the material basis for happiness but the blind pursuit of money, fame and pleasure eventually make life miserable. Bliss, some believe, is a superlative state which is far above and beyond happiness. Bliss is a heightened experience pertaining to the soul and is not related to external stimuli. Ajahn Jayasaro Bhikkhu explains levels of happiness in relation to bliss as happiness without allurement. He wrote, “The bliss of sensual pleasure depletes our wisdom; separation from it is painful. The bliss of nonsensual pleasure nourishes our wisdom; separation from it is experienced as a natural expression of the way things are.” Beyond bliss is the state of neither happiness nor sorrow. So, there is no more craving for sensual stimulants; no desire for fame, success and power. Such a title for a biennale is intentionally paradoxical and openended. By inviting 75 artists to interpret their idea of what happiness is and the meaning of Beyond Bliss we may find ways and paths that guide us to our own pursuits in life. The theme challenges both artists and viewers to achieve their own interpretations. They will be contemplating the unattainable happiness and ubiquitous connection of impermanence. Blissfully, some artists offer glimpses of hope, a breath of freshness. A moment to remind us that for happiness to last in this precarious world, a combination of excitement and tranquility is necessary. Other artists jolt us out of comfort zones. Bliss is bleak as they see it in relation to suffering, survival, sorrow, discrimination and diaspora. Our journeys are not simply looking at art but the experience of travel and the ambiance around it. Temples, heritage buildings, riverbanks, art centers, parks, learning centers and department stores are backdrops for artists to transform their interpretations into works of art. They guide us through labyrinthian paths and avenues with layers of meaning and symbols. Our experiences from these journeys can be contemplative, joyful, as well as testing and repellent. Like in life the ultimate happiness may be very difficult to attain. But at least let us try.
Link to Exhibition