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BEAUTIFUL FUTURES

H Gallery Bangkok and H Project Space are very pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Mit Jai Inn. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and also further to the international group exhibition Somewhere in the Distance at H Gallery Bangkok in 2011. Beautiful Futures takes over both the main gallery and project room in an ambitious installation that continues to evolve his interests in the spatial possibilities of painting, from bulbous surfaces to canvases that hang or scroll free of support. Here an experimental use of lighting allows for the exploration of newer physical and perceptual relationships to the artworks.

Mit plays with his audience, as he allows his audience to play. Earlier exhibitions encouraged visitors to move and re-shape the freestanding works. His angular and color-field compositions suggest flags or other ceremonial forms but the often intensely bright colors also claim a saccharine parody of the objects of reverential use. And heavily textured surfaces usurps visual contemplation for tactile disorientation. Indeed, a strangely beautified sense of glut if not grotesqueness sometimes emerges and can dizzyingly impact the process of interpretation. This is the heart of Mit’s practice: subversively playing with and against expectations of surety of understanding.

Beautiful Futures most immediately introduces a darker, somber tone to his oeuvre. Any number of contemporary Thai artists are currently grappling with the profound impact of a continuing military government since the coup d'etat of 2014 and the passing of the revered Rama IX King Bhumibol in 2016. Mit allows for an acute acknowledgement of the public role of the artist in reflecting conflicts and ambiguities about how experience is to be assimilated. Facing unpredictable futures, recognition of the problems of the present and the forces of the past becomes paramount.  Beautiful Futures immerses visitors in metaphoric questions of direction and guidance amidst spot-lit artworks; and also explores the seductions and illusions of surface as we pursue significance and insight. But, ultimately, surfaces can belie any depth and we turn back and forth for other guiding lights. The title of this exhibition should be read as deeply ironic.


Mit Jai Inn is one of Thailand’s leading artists. A graduate of Silpakorn University in Bangkok and the Academy of Arts in Vienna, Mit has been at the forefront of avant-garde artistic practices in his native country since the early 1990s. He co-founded the Chiang Mai Social Installation Project in 1992, has been active with the influential grassroots organization Land Foundation, also in Chiang Mai, and currently manages the experimental art space CARTEL in Bangkok. Included in the 21st Sydney Biennale (2018), Mit’s recent group exhibitions include Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia from 1980s to Now (2017), The National Art Center and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Hi-So/Low-So (2014), Sno Contemporary Art Project, Sydney; Medium at Large (2014), Singapore Art Museum; All Our Relations (2012), 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; Museum Serve Project (2011), Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, Bangkok; Somewhere in the Distance (2011), H Gallery, Bangkok; The Social Mandala and other Mit-ologies (2009), Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur; Nim Kruasaeng and a Friend (2008), Stone Gallery, Dublin; and the Singapore Biennale (2006). His recent solo exhibitions include WETT (2017), Gallery VER, Bangkok; Patchworlds (2015), Yavuz Gallery, Singapore; Postpositive: Freaky You Are Always (2013), SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh; Pastorale (2015), G1 Contemporary, Bangkok; Untitled (2012), H Gallery, Chiang Mai; Duckocrasy (2011), Toot Yung Gallery, Bangkok; and Tropical Nights-Lost in Paradise (2006), Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

 

Installation and New Paintings by Mit Jai Inn
February 2 – July 30, 2018