with David Fernandez, Reminisce Tattoo, N. Soonjorn.
Bangkok streets are lined with ubiquitous stalls, makeshift kitchens and a large variety of temporary structures selling different amulets, artifacts, and crafted gadgets.
In this context, we see informality as an effective response to pre-conceived societal structures, as an instrument to re-organize political and formal imposed conditions. It is rooted in people’s daily life, producing its own social, economic and cultural sphere, manifested through symbolically charged objects, sacred happenings and mundane rituals.
Spiritual Lines is a project to identify the appropriate design categories to grasp the spirituality behind such an informal asset into architectural devices. This happened through the appropriation of one of the most powerful procedures belonging to Thai subculture: the Sak Yant, the sacred protecting tattoes. We dissect their aesthetics, we construe their symbolic meaning - displaced into nowadays cosmopolitan culture and filtered through the logics of architectural representation.
“Yantra” is a sanskrit word derived from “yam”, which means control or restrain, and “tra” which means freedom or liberation. The majority of people in thailand are Buddhist but the Thai people have preserved a religious flexibility that forbits easy categorizing and the cocncept of a single religious truth. In Thailand Sak Yant are as much a manifestation of these open mindsets as they are tools of social control. Perhaps the Sak Yant tell us that life is full of contradiction not meant to be resolved.
Indeed, we see architecture as a relentless interplay between precision - the construction of hierarchies - and expression - the representation of symbolic mechanisms.
We see the act of drawing as a combination of figurative instances and geometrical abstraction, as well as a medium to address the spirituality embedded into people’s interactions.
Lemonot and Reminisce Tattoo collaborated to deconstruct architectural drawings and Sak Yant, hybridizing layers and elements, to highlight methodological parallelisms and to trigger a creative exchange between these two disciplines.
The event took place at Cho Why Gallery, set in a beautiful shophouse in Chinatown. Through different crafted experiences, staged across the three floors of the gallery, you will discover and engage with the nature of contemporary spiritual lines.