Where and when
On the occasion of Florence Art Week, the Museo Novecento hosts for the first time in Florence the work of the Thai performer and video artist Kawita Vatanajyankur (Bangkok, 1987).
Monday – Sunday
The exhibition Body, Labor, Consumption, curated by Sergio Risaliti and Stefania Rispoli and created in collaboration with ThAI, Thai Art Initative and CP group, presents a selection of videos taken from the Performing Textiles and Field Work series related to the fashion and , in particular, to women’s work.
All of Kawita Vatanajyankur’s research focuses on issues with a strong political content related to gender issues, ecology, the economy of consumption, which are conveyed through the use of a pop language, aesthetically appealing but at the same time disturbing. The artist appropriates the glossy and sensual lexicon of advertising to highlight the inequalities and criticalities of a globalized economy and make tangible that invisible humanity that is concealed and makes the job market possible.
Within her videos, the artist transforms her body into an instrument (a tool, a machine or a gear) that mechanically repeats tasks, testing one’s physical, mental and emotional resistance. Each exercise plays on a temporary balance that pushes her body to the strenuous of its forces. Works such as Spinning Wheel, Shuttle, Dye, Knit, The Scale of Injustice, The Spade, for example, arise from a reflection on the international production chain linked to fashion, from New Zealand to Thailand, and ‘stage’ related activities to the processing of raw materials and yarns. With an extremely original look Vatanajyankur opens to a reflection on the often vulnerable and precarious conditions of workers from all over the world in an increasingly interconnected production and consumption market.
Since graduating from RMIT University (BA, Fine Art) in 2011, Kawita Vatanajyankur has achieved major recognition. In 2015 she was a finalist at the Jaguar Asia Pacific Tech Art Prize and curated the Thailand Eye exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. In 2017, his work was presented in the Islands in the Stream exhibition in Venice on the occasion of the 57th Venice Biennale, at the Asia Triennale of Performing Arts at the Melbourne Arts Center, as well as within the Asian Art Biennial Taiwan. In 2018 he exhibited his works as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale and the successful year he exhibited in a solo exhibition at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in New York. In 2021, Vatanajyankur exhibits his works as part of “Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories” at the Maiam Museum of Contemporary Art in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
Vatanajyankur has exhibited extensively in Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe. Her work has become part of prestigious collections such as those of: National Collection of Thailand; Singapore Art Museum, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (Dunedin Art Museum), Maiam Contemporary Art Museum, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art (Bangkok), as well as university and private collections.