Interweaving Cultures, a project that involves art professionals from Japan, Thailand and Europe, creates a unique opportunity for curators and artists from different parts of the world to actively exchange their views and ideas. The results of this collaboration will be presented in the form of an exhibition at the Art Center at the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. For the project, five artists have been invited to respond to the unique cultural, social and historical context of the Jim Thompson House as well as the surrounding local community. Their objective is to explore, question and supplement the story begun by Jim Thompson and his love for Thailand’s cultural heritage. The artists, invited to stay in Bangkok to conduct research on the Jim Thompson House and those aspects of Thai culture represented by the silk industry, worked closely with museum staffs and local residents to complete the project. For the exhibition the artists will present new works based on their in-depth, on-site research.
This catalogue is intended to extend the ‘afterlife’ of the exhibition. Essays by the three project curators provide a context and deeper exploration of the issues raised through dialogue between the artists and curators throughout the research period. Sachiko Namba’s essay sets out her personal reasons for initiating the project and reflects upon her professional training and practice as an anthropologist and curator. Gridthiya Gaweewong, independent curator and co-founder of Project 304, is a dynamic force in the Thai contemporary art scene. Her essay outlines the historical context of cross-cultural collaboration in Thailand and indicates some of the more pressing issues for emerging Thai art. Ann Coxon, a curator form the UK, has contributed a glossary of words and terms of relevance to the project, The glossary is not intended to act as a dictionary giving strict definitions, but instead to give insight into the role of language and of translation in forming our cultural understanding and interpretations of the world. Artist biographies are also provided in the catalogue.