Born 1957, Trad, Thailand
Lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Inaow, an ancient Thai text on the theme of female desire, is the narrative that
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook reads to the corpse of a woman in this video of a
performance. The woman died in anonymity leaving no family members to perform death
rituals or to offer prayers to comfort her in her transition from life to death,
which Rasdjarmrearnsook believes is within the power of art. Over the past several
years, she has taken it upon herself to sing songs, recite poetry, and tell stories
to comfort those who died alone. The textures, lighting, and visual patterns
captured in the video have an elegance and spiritual simplicity, but the artist does
not consider the video to be her artwork. Rather, it is merely a convenient device with
which to document the act of consoling and communing with the souls of the deceased. The
artwork itself exists in the action and in the connection made between the artist and the
spirits of the dead. No evidence is given for the success of this connection; its
existence is a matter of faith on the part of the artist as well as the viewer.
Cooke, Lynne. "New York: Contemporary Art in Asia." Burlington Magazine, 139 (March 1997): 223–24.
Heartney, Eleanor. "Asia Now." Art in America 35 (February 1997): 70–75.
Poshyanade, Apinan. "Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook." Art Asia Pacific 3, no. 3 (1995).
Rasdjarmrearnsook, Araya. Lament. Bangkok: Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited, 1999.
–––. Why Is It Poetry Rather Than Awareness? Bangkok: Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Company Limited, 2000–2002.
Rama IX Art Museum