Invisible Town, a solo exhibition by Mariem Thidarat Chantachua
Curator: Haisang Javanalikhikara
at SAC Gallery, 27 January - 23 March 2024
Stunning embroidery and painting on black textile are aesthetics familiar in Thidarat Chantachua's, known as Mariem’s, works, deeply connected to her proud Islamic heritage. She extensively explores geometric patterns, using them to represent architectural elements and situational narratives. Her experimentation extends beyond traditional Arabesque motifs to include influences from Japanese, Chinese, and Roman designs. In this new solo exhibition, Invisible Town, she traces further back to her identity; the context of her surroundings and their issues.
Bangkok might be a paradise for some people. Nonetheless, to some extent, Bangkok is top-ranked in many issues, among which pollution is one. Most problems in Bangkok can be seen as caused by a deficiency in city planning. Due to corruption and the rapid expansion of the city, numerous areas lack proper structure, including the neighborhood where Mariem grew up and lives. While this location is typically regarded as one of the most convenient areas due to its good infrastructure, pleasant neighborhood, and thriving businesses, it also doubles as one of the city's largest dumpsites and industrial zones.
The Invisible Town series sophisticatedly addresses this issue by exhibiting Mariem's recognized artistic style, maturing concepts, and materials. Her body of work involves developing the use of trash and recycled materials fabricated into her works. Departing from her previous use of black cloth, Mariem now employs softer-colored tie-dye fabrics or prints of the locations surrounding her residence. These pieces evoke a sense of smog, symbolizing the alarming air pollution that troubles the people of Thailand, Bangkok being no exception.
Mariem explores various manifestations of found objects like smashed cans, mosquito wire screens, used cardboard, milk cartons, and wrought iron in her artistic practice. Through these materials, Mariem creates window-like and partition artworks resembling Thai and Southeast Asian housing elements. Utilizing recycled panels, she develops large-scale paintings and carved installations that carry her distinctive patterns and style.
Through Invisible Town, the experience is complex. The exquisiteness of Mariem’s artistic construction is lifted by the relationship between materiality and context. This exhibition resonates not only with individuals in Bangkok but also touches upon the situations of developing cities all over the world.
SAC Gallery invites you to discover the secrets of "Invisible Town'' from January 27 - March 23, 2024. Meet the artists at the opening ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at 5:00 pm onwards at the 2nd floor of art centre bldg. at SAC Gallery. Join us in conversation via the hashtag #sacThidarat
information provided by event organizer