Leave it and break no Hearts


Phaptawan Suwannakudt
Samak Kosem


Patrick Flores

Phaptawan and Samak are led to the edges or fringes of what can be visible or intelligible. In doing so, their work touch the condition of being minor in a social order governed by dominant consciousness. - Patrick Flores

Leave it and Break no Hearts

 A collaborative art project to investigate the notion of the minoritarian and gender within religious agencies in Thailand.

By Phaptawan Suwannakudt and Samak Kosem


There are very few narratives and voices to restate the precariousness of sentiments in minoritarian contexts that intersect with gender, religion, and nationality. Undifferentiated fears are part of living in freedom, to access facts and truths and freedom of expression are fundamental to our existence. The project Leave it and Break no Hearts investigates the notion of the minoritarian within religious agencies in Thailand. Phaptawan describes women’s issues related to Buddhist belief in regional Thailand, while Samak focuses on the issues of queer Muslims. Each of their works and trajectories explores their identities with the narratives of non-human forms in the context of Islam and Buddhism in Thailand. Being non-human implies a void or illegitimacy of human expression, a barrier for humans’ ability to voice, refuse, or deny. To “leave” and “break” suggests the action of a filter as we treat and sieve through objects to separate the good and bad, the useful and useless, the fertile and weeds.

The collaborative project, Leave it and Break no Hearts will be presented at the 100 Tonson Foundation, Bangkok during May-October 2022. The six-month long program will also present papers and workshops. Among other activities are gatherings of historic and ethnographic subjects of two distinct communities located near the Thai borders. By simply presenting their artwork, the two artists seek to make propositions to echo and make audible the non-human forms. Imposing the act of sifting out the non-human forms, serves to acknowledge their presence, rendering them visible either as a subject or object.


Leave it and Break no Hearts นำเสนอ ผลงาน ที่เกิดจากการสำรวจ ความเชื่อ ความคิดเห็นของชนกลุ่มน้อย จากศาสนา​พุทธ และศาสนาอิสลาม ในประเทศไทย เพราะเรื่องราวความรู้สึกของคนกลุ่มนี้ อันมีความคาบเกี่ยวกับเพศ ศาสนา และเชื้อชาติ  ยังถูกพูดถึงอยู่ไม่มากนักในสังคมปัจจุบัน

ผลงานชุดนี้เป็นผลงานที่ผ่านการศึกษาและหาข้อมูลที่เกี่ยวข้องทั้งทางประวัติศาสตร์ มนุษยศาสตร์ และชาติพันธุ์ศาสตร์ มาอย่างเข้มข้น งานของภาพตะวัน นำเสนอนัยของผู้หญิงที่เกี่ยวข้องกับความเชื่อในพุทธศาสนา ขณะที่สมัคร์ จะมุ่งประเด็นความเป็นเควียร์มุสลิมในวัฒนธรรมมุสลิม ศิลปินแต่ละคนจะสะท้อนเอกลักษณ์และตัวตนของตัวเอง ผ่านงานที่เกิดจากเรื่องเล่าต่างๆของทั้ง ‘สิ่งที่จับต้องได้’ และ ‘จับต้องไม่ได้’  ในบริบทของสองศาสนา นำไปสู่การทบทวนความอิสระทางความคิด และการแสดงออกทางความคิดเห็นอื่นๆ ของคนกลุ่มเหล่านั้น


















About the artist

Phaptawan Suwannakudt was born in Thailand, 1959, and graduated from Silpakorn University, Nakhon Phatom, with a degree in English and German. She later led a team of painters that worked in Buddhist temples throughout Thailand during the 1980s-1990s. She was also involved in the women artists’ group exhibition Tradisexion in 1995 and in Womanifesto. Phaptawan relocated to Australia in 1996 and completed an MVA at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University. She has exhibited extensively in Australia, Thailand and internationally including the18th Biennale of Sydney: All Our Relations (2012); Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia, Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, Canada (2017); the inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale, Thailand (2018); Asia TOPA, Art Centre Melbourne (2020); The National at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2021); a collaborative project with Sue Pedley Line work: The River of the Basin scheduled at the Lewers’ House, Penrith Regional Gallery New South Wales (2021); and an installation work Sleeping Deep Beauty for ESOK in Jakarta Biennale 2021. Her works are in public collections including the Art Bank Sydney, the National Art Gallery of Thailand, Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Singapore.










Samak Kosem is a PhD student in Social Sciences at Chiang Mai University and a research fellow at the Center for Women and Social Security at Walailak University. He investigates transnational sexuality frameworks that circulate and connect to sexual discourse, practice, and subjectivities on an individual migratory and religiosity. His project of ‘Nonhuman Ethnography’ (2017-ongoing) in Southern Thailand is considering how queerness is embodied in Muslim culture through the contexts of nonhuman relations. In 2021-2022, he is an Erasmus+ exchange fellow at the School of Humanities, Tallinn University, and teaches on ethnicity in Southeast Asia at the International Studies (ASEAN-China) Program, Thammasat University. His artworks are shown at galleries and museums in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Tokyo, and Manila. Samak's writing has recently been published by the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia (2020) and the Taiwan Journal of Southeast Asia Studies (2020).





Patrick Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003, and Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He is the Director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions of Asian Art in 2000 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010). He co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). He convened in 2013 on behalf of the Clark Institute and the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines the conference “Histories of Art History in Southeast Asia” in Manila. He was a Guest Scholar of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. He curated an exhibition of contemporary art from Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe titled South by Southeast and the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. He was the Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2019.


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