For her first solo exhibition in her home country in almost seven years, veteran Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook is writing a book. By David Willis

Writing has often played a significant role in her art—as seen on the occasions when she delivered art lectures to corpses, or with the prose-poetry that fills her catalogs—but, as she confessed in a recent interview, “maybe I have never gotten serious with it.” Accordingly, Araya is writing a novel during the almost seven-month run of her exhibition at Bangkok’s 100 Tonson Gallery, which includes multimedia works that act as witnesses to her writing process, or rather, her process of “trying to return to being a writer.”

The contents of the book remain a topic of conjecture, and by the same token, the gallery was practically empty for the first month of the show, save for a board with the exhibition title mounted on the wall, much to the bemusement of many Thai visitors who entered the space in June. Such conceptual pranksterism is characteristic of Araya, who revels in shocking the Thai art establishment, and who did not attend the show’s opening reception in July, but, rather, sent four body doubles to attend in her stead. This all went unexplained in the exhibition’s press release, but a hint as to the meaning of the stunt may be found in the artist’s statement in a recent interview: “In my return to writing this time, I am dancing in the midst of nostalgia with my unfamiliar self.”

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SOURCE: Art Asia Pacific

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