In 'Field Work' 2020, Vatanajyankur's artistic research is explored on modern agriculture. This series showcases the visual languages for contemporary consumption and desire within a world of instant gratification while unveiling the labour behind the mass production. Within a white, laboratory-like environment, Vatanajyankur is imaging a futuristic settings of the industry of agriculture. While different types of seeds are being grown inside the large reconstructed containers, the artist's physical body is forced to transform into agricultural machineries that are made to replace human.
2018 - 2019
This suite of videos is Vatanajyankur's physical manifestation of manual labour processes often undertaken by women in Thailand. These actions are presented through the double-lens of a hyper-coloured formal composition and a study into the physical abilities/vulnerabilities of the body, combining as works that provoke questions of labour, consumption, feminism and the artist's lived experience.
This series is commissioned by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Knit' is Vatanajyankur’s first live performance work. The performance component of this work is a part of her ongoing series of illuminating videos entitled ‘Performing Textiles’ which invokes a powerful sense of physicality, uncovering a world of often-invisible domestic labour by painfully testing the limits of her own body. Her dynamic video art is a springboard to explore the value and understanding of the performative body, and the role of gesture within that very performance.
As 'Performing Textiles' highlights the current world of consumption, consumerism and materialism; a world where we place higher value on objects rather than the workers and laborers behind the finished product -- the message of her work is clear. Human beings become undervalued and viewed as merely tools and even machines - that produce packages of food, clothes and other materials for us to consume. The work will bring together the ‘producer’ (the artist) and the ‘consumers’ (the audience) to present a microcosmic representation of society at large and will ask prescient questions about our complicity through inaction.
2015 - 2017
Vatanajyankur’s exploration of everyday and domestic work is particularly telling of her Thai homeland. A place where, for many, daily chores aren’t always assisted by electronic contraptions or white goods but are time-consuming, physically exhausting, and often the task of women. The videos’ happy, day-glow colours, dark humour and undercurrents of violence, however, bring a universality and contemporary currency to the historical trajectory of feminist art. It is telling, for instance, that she describes her performances as “meditation postures”, when such gruelling tests of resilience and fear are quite the opposite of what we might think of now as zen. But, for Vatanajyankur, extreme physical endurance offers a way to free herself from her mind: a mechanism to lose her sense of being. This deliberate objectification, she says, turns her body into sculpture.
A continuation of Tools Series (2012-present)
Commissioned with Art for Air Chiang Mai
In Vatanajyankur’s new performative video series titled ‘Air’, she explores her continuing “Body as Objects” methodology to address the state of polluted air. Within her 4 videos, Vatanajyankur transforms her body into a vacuum as an interpretation of lungs breathing in ‘air’. Vatanajyankur constructs a makeshift house to highlight the invasive result of air pollution which imitates the reality of ‘dust’ pollution. Using a living space as a factor, she challenges the idea of ‘assumed’ safety. The structure of the architectural space is compared to the corporeal which acts as a container; an outer skin. The interior, on the other hand, resembles the internal organs such as the human lung. In other words, the constructed house is itself the human body. Through her juxtaposition of colorful-like palette and satirical nature, the vacuum absorbs dust until the vibrance and brightness is finally seen. Brightness is a recognition of optimism while dust indicates desaturation. In symbolic of hope and despair, Vatanajyankur attempts to story tell the message of universality of life and dust. The visual imagery of dark to bright and blur to sharp which occurred through an intensive and repetitive action of breathing examines the reflection of human conditions such as existence and death, labour and stillness, yield and struggle. In a crucial manner, ‘Air’ is a criticism towards the nature of ignorance, the severity of the situation, and emphasis for environmental concerns.
2012 - Present Series
2012 - 2014
Kawita Vatanajyankur's performative video series Tools aims to reconstruct the elements of traditional seventeenth-century painting—often portraying a female figure, usually posed as a still object within a domestic work space. Vatanajyankur's work illustrates the relationship between the female body and domestic objects, which physically—sometimes violently—confront each other until the body succumbs and is pressured to work with the object; merge with it; become part of it; and eventually, is transformed into a sculptured domestic tool. The action and reaction of the body reflects the physical, psychological and cultural aspects of female endurance, physical resilience, strength and insecurity.
Live Performance Work
In collaboration with MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art
Splashed is a new approach towards a different artistic practice as it rather focuses on commenting the modified lies, modification and manipulations behind consumerism. Packages of food are printed and painted with surrealistic happy characters and graphics, bright and colorful logos, as well as idealistic and perfect shapes and colors of meat covering the truth behind the untold, unreachable, unseen stories of exploitations, violence and disturbance.