Driftwood and ghosthunters




A Painting Installation
2018, at Landsforeningen Norske Malere, Oslo, Norway

Materials: canvas, acrylics, wood, concrete
Measurements: variable

Agitated by increased Flooding in my childhood village and the larger Isan region of Thailand, a series of paintings, came about. This topic has occupied me since 2014, when I first became aware of its impact on my family and the region. Several factors played a role in the work; not being able to find much news coverage on the topic in Western news channels, wedded to the disinterest that followed my few and feeble attempt to mobilise social networks.

Formally my interest lays with the nature of news imagery, and painting. With the ideas of acceleration, proliferation, and its opposites. At the same time I wanted to think through the word flood(ed) as a motive, explore its clustered roots embedded in phenomenon, mythology, psychology (a sense of feeling overwhelmed). I want to make clear, that my investigations are not linear nor structured as such. Rather, it could be described as fragmentary, a frantic and scattered studying up on these range of topics, the resulting material work exist as an amalgamation or a collapse of ideas and imagery.

The source imageries came from pictures I had taken myself from houses along Bangkok canals, as well as found images from the internet of flooding elsewhere, in Bangladesh and the U.S to name a few.

On the news I hear that the water has been rising. Flooding the fields, rotting the rice. I imagine what it must be like. To watch it happen and be powerless. From a distance I never really know what’s going on. Although there’s internet now, we are used to not communicating much. I try to imagine places around the world that have been flooded, all inter-connected in a precarious ecology.

Frantically I search online for imagery. Try to grasp what the impact of flooding is. Both where you are, and elsewhere. I find an abundance of imagery. Muddy greens and browns, blood red streets of Dhaka. Beautiful and horrific at the same time. My painter’s brain looks at the images and I see the sky and the roofs being mirrored, multi coloured objects drifting by, lights refracted. Yet what lies underneath these muddy surfaces? Attempting to embody a flood, entering a flow, nearing you


On the news I hear that the water has been rising. Flooding the fields, rotting the rice. I imagine what it must be like. To watch it happen and be powerless. From a distance I never really know what’s going on. Although there’s internet now, we are used to not communicating much. I try to imagine places around the world that have been flooded, all inter-connected in a precarious ecology. I worry, and worry that that is the extend of my engagement.

Frantically I search online for imagery. Try to grasp what the impact of flooding is. Both where you are, and elsewhere. I find an abundance of imagery. Muddy greens and browns, blood red streets of Dhaka. Beautiful and horrific at the same time. My painter’s brain looks at the images and I see the sky and the roofs being mirrored, multi coloured objects drifting by, lights refracted. Yet what lies underneath these muddy surfaces? Through painting my body is forced to engage with abstract movements which are not mine. Attempting to embody a flood, entering a flow, nearing you.

The Exhibition Team
Exhibition design in collaboration with: Mahan Salim  
Construction: Markus Moestue and Mahan Salim


Photo credit: Niklas Lello


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