S P A C E | Bangkok, 'The Last Copy is for Reading Here'
Really jazzed to share this week's issue.
Our feature artist this issue is Napisa Leelasuphapong. Her photography is on the cover, and inside pages, too.
S P C | Bangkok, 'The Last Copy is for Reading Here' takes its title from an exhibition which Leelasuphapong had curated. DK had the chance to see and experience that show, when we were in Bangkok in February 2020 for Galleries Weekend and 'seeing what Bangkok's contemporary arts scene is up to these days.' Asking questions, showing up and discovering, on the spot, led to the making of this issue.
Special thanks to the contributors..
Napisa Leelasuphapong is a designer, and the Bookshop Manager for the Bangkok CityCity Gallery. About the photography: ‘It talks about the way Thai elites in the period of colonisation borrowed the Western coloniser perspective,’ explains Napisa Leelasuphapong, ‘in looking at native villagers as ‘the others’; identifying them as barbarians to negatively identify themselves as civilised persons.’
She is referring to an academic article, 'The Others Within,' by Thongchai Winichakul.
Curious, we reached out to the author (see below).
Author Thongchal Wikichakul was born and grew up in Bangkok. In 1993 he presented an idea, 'The Other Within' at a conference, ahead of publication of his book, Siam Mapped. His research interests include the cultural and intellectual history of early modern and modern Southeast Asia, with a focus on the encounters between Southeast Asian societies and the West.
We talk with him in a Q&A in this issue.
According to the University of Wisconsin's page about the book Siam Mapped, it challenges much that has been written on Thai history 'because it demonstrates convincingly that the physical and political definition of Thailand on which other works are based is anachronistic.'
For this issue, our lead story is a first-person account called 'In the Margins,' by DK Director Dipika Kohli. It is about how she and Leelasuphapong got the chance to talk in real life together about art, design, and curation, in light, honest and easygoing conversations at the library and garden spaces of the privately funded contemporary art space, Bangkok CityCity Gallery, in Feb. 2020.