Thuistezien 241 — 20.04.2021

Arin Rungjang
Let’s Make Sense

In a white and pristine exhibition room belonging to the Groenewegje exhibition space of West, a large and long dining table was placed which appeared to function as the centering piece in the room. Despite carrying four elegant flower bouquets in vases, this dining table stood in large contrast to the original stately architecture of the room as it consisted of an ensemble of objects one would normally consider as discardable objects or even trash. Various forms of plates were carried by cardboard boxes, once used for containing our precious and valuable goods. Besides this unconventional dining table, almost nothing else was present. Surprisingly, the walls were completely empty with the exception of one small photograph showing a dark sky with two identical moons.

These were the physical premises of the exhibition ‘Let's Make Sense’ which took place at West in 2011. Initiated Thai artist Arin Rungjang (1975) invited a group of Thai artists to create a shared installation. The starting point for the exhibition would be to form connections between Thailand and the Netherlands, stemming from their cultural differences. Based on the idea that an event or situation could function as a platform where the shared experiences would become the work. Initially, the work was based on four Thai food recipes by Rirkrit Tiravanija which would be presented in an environment created by three other artists Kornkrit Jianpinidnan, Chitti Kasemkitvatana and, Shooshie Sulaiman but the installation was only completed by its visitors. Instead of presenting the Thai food to the visitors, the visitors would be part of making the food themselves. In that way, the two cultures were brought together and, in this moment, shared one community. The idea of a high end aesthetic value to achieve sublimation in terms of how to define an artwork was thus questioned. In this communicative work, it was the connection that became the sublime.

The little photograph on the wall is called ‘Moonlight’. As Rungjang explains, this picture could function as a channel to access the idea of the exhibition. The two moons are belonging to two different spaces in the world but were taking only a few hours in between. Despite the many cultural differences between Thailand and the Netherlands, the light from the full moons is a stable common point. Exactly like the exhibition ‘Let’s Make Sense’.

In the video above, Rungjang prepares one of the Thai meals presented in the exhibition space while explaining the idea and the starting point of ‘Let’s Make Sense’.

Text: Rosa Zangenberg