Nipan Oranniwesna

Osage Singapore is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Singapore of Thai artist, Nipan Oranniwesna. Oranniwesnaˇ¦s work has been widely exhibited internationally, most recently at the Busan Biennale in Korea in 2008, and at the Thai Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. Oranniwesnaˇ¦s work explores the fragile state of contemporary societies in the age of Globalization. This can be seen in the installation, City of Ghosts, which in this exhibition, will be the biggest installation of its kind. Using meticulously cut-out maps of ten different metropolitan cities (including Singapore), Oranniwesna uses talcum powder to create a sprawling cityscape that is a combination of all the different cities, reflecting the interconnectedness of our societies in our age of globalization. Its compelling visuality is contrasted at same time by consciousness of its fragility, highlighting the delicate, fragile and precarious nature of our societies. The use of talcum powder, a material typically used for babies, and hence its association with purity, is juxtaposed with the diminishment of utopian ideals in our current age, dominated by global capitalism.

Other works in the exhibition explore the related notion of nationalism, both within the context of Thailand, as well as globally. In Let us progress towardsˇK, ˇKlong last the victoryˇK and Deja vu, Oranniwesna explores the role of national anthems and national songs in the creation of collective memory and the fostering of nationalism and patriotism. In Let us progress towardsˇK and ˇKlong last the victoryˇK, he has reproduced the lyrics of the national anthems of Singapore and Thailand respectively, by making small holes to create the words, creating a Braille-like version of these anthems. While in Deja vu, Oranniwesna combines the lyrics of twenty Thai patriotic songs in a monumental and tactile installation using talcum powder. The work is at the same time, compelling yet difficult to read, questioning the intent and effectiveness of patriotic songs.

The opening reception will take place at Osage Singapore on 20 February 2009 from 6.30pm.