Good Old Neon

Marisa Srijunpleang, Chetsada Phuwiang and Thuy-Tien Nguyen


19 Mar - 18 May 2024

Good Old Neon, Chetsada Phuwiang, Marisa Srijunpleang and Thuy Tien Nguyen. Curated by Arin Rungjang

Curated by Arin Rungjang, Good Old Neon features multimedia works by Thuy Tien Nguyen, Marisa Srijunpleang, and Chetsada Phuwiang, as well as a twenty-four-year-old work from Rungjang’s long standing oeuvre. The exhibition takes its title from David Foster Wallace’s short story, where he traces the haunting existential quest of finding inner truth against the constructed facades we present. Good Old Neon probes this central tension of interiority, abandoning logic and reason in favour of the sensorial and evocative.

Though using the visual and tactile as starting points, the included sculptures, paintings, and photographs employ non-material aspects as their true mediums. Each artist harnesses shifting intangibilities, such as tenderness, touch, or time. Metamorphosis is inherent to these senses: in the same way liquid turns into vapour, or a breeze into a tornado, attraction can evolve into love, then longing. Transfiguration happens in this show when tactile moments move into vague impressions and are further mediated into artistic form.

These works explore light, colour, texture, and the feelings embedded with them. Rungjang coats neon lights from the Phaholyothin theatre in honey, a secret rendezvous spot for those seeking the sweet pains of love and lust. Nguyen transforms the legs from her grandmother’s chair into moulds for caramel sugar, crystallising the feelings of home and nostalgia. Phuwiang’s paintings are luminous prisms: they combine a nightclub’s metallic lustre with the fleeting currents of bodies within it, as well as the piercing light of their phone screens. Srijunpleang offers photographs of her journey from Bangkok to her hometown, showing the hazed orbs of streetlamps and headlights from a fogged bus window. Next to it is a picture of her destination: it shows her parents watching the sunset, only one week before her father passed away.

In Good Old Neon, semiotics are replaced by instinct and impression. We are left with channelled remnants, experiencing allusions to gentle or fervent touch, or the closeness and distance of intimacy. Here, language and logic are reworked into fundamental memories of the sensorial, waiting to resurface and become felt.

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