Produced on the occasion of the 54th International Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2011 for the Thai Pavilion at Paradiso Gallery, Giardini della Biennale, Castello, 4 June to 27 November 2011.
‘Marking Thailand’s fifth occasion at La Biennale di Venezia 2011, the Thai Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC) has taken the initiative of inviting artist Navin Rawanchaikul to establish the para-pavilion of Paradiso di Navin as the inaugural convening point to endorse global recognition for Navinland. In what is Thailand’s most ambitious national presentation to date, the Navinland Pavilion is site-responsive to the historic and entertaining locale of the Paradiso along the Giardini’s splendid waterfront.
‘Conscious to both the exhibition’s theme of ILLUMInations and Thailand’s ongoing fractious political landscape, Navinland is a multifaceted situational environment that challenges perceptions of identity and nationhood, through the trajectory of a borderless community. An extension of the Navin Party, a previously established network to connect Navins of the world, Navinland acknowledges the historical framework of kingdoms, republics, unions, micronations, and transnations, while extricating itself from geographic, theological or ideological containment.
‘At Paradiso di Navin, the public is asked to consider and register support for the fledgling non-nation of Navinland. At the transit area for the burgeoning collective of Navins and friends of Navin, Chairman Navin satirically subverts utopian idealism in extant art agendas.
‘Typically approached from a site-specific geo-cultural viewpoint, Navin Rawanchaikul is renowned for dynamic art works that involve direct interventions, social commentary, and an innovative style of integrating community or individual experiences into eccentric fictional tales. Incorporating everyday culture relevant and current to the chosen environment, Navin explores the negotiation between local circumstances and trends of globalisation. His oeuvre encompasses a broad array of media including installation, film, performance, mobile galleries, billboards, comics, games, merchandise and cocktails.
‘At Paradiso di Navin, the artist collaborates with Jim Thompson, to style the Paradiso restaurant and bar with indigenous Pha Khao Mar textile motifs. A leading Thai brand of fine fabrics and a dedicated promoter of art from Thailand, Jim Thompson also teams up with Rawanchaikul to produce associated memorabilia toward the greater recognition of Navinland.
‘Paradiso di Navin is organised by Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Thailand, in collaboration with Concilio Europeo dell’Arte. The project is made possible through the support of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited; Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong; Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm; Double A (1991) Public Company Limited; and Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company Limited.’ (From press release)