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THE CHINATOWN EFFECT

INDA Design and Build at ATT19 Gallery


with Mook Attanawong
Students: Varinda Suphantharida , Pichamon Taksinawong , Tinn Kiewkarnkha , Waris Majitnapakul, Pann Sermchaiwong, Lalida Attawetkul, Koonanan Panyahom, Choomcherd Virapat, Warut Im-erb, Leelaratrungrueang, Sirapat Sapthaweeteera kul, Thatsama Leeumnadwong, Kasipang Phantajak, Chanakarn Pongteekayu, Santhila Chanoknamchai, Preeyanuch Natthapan, Sasipat Tarinamornpong, sasipa punkase

“The Chinatown effect” is a project made at the ATT19 gallery as an intensive four weeks workshop with INDA students in Bangkok.
A site-specific stageset, a series of props and composite videos investigate the notion of commonality and stereotype - in relationship to the world of Chinatown(s) as social typologies. When analysed through the Chinese cultural attitude towards reproducibility, the proliferation of Chinatowns reveals a network of what we define “authentic trans-territorial clichés”. We need to craft challenging techniques for the legitimization and preservation of such a specific yet diffused identity: Chinatowns are constantly reconstructed and experienced in different parts of the world, growing into a familiar system of habits and iconographical values that represent a reminiscence of home for everybody.

Once inside the pavilion, the spectator, through videos on multiple screens, inhabit a “Chinatownised “ wolrd made of communal rituals. The stageset itself, through its materiality, structure and ornaments, is a spatial manifestation of stereotypical yet identitarian forces: an inhabitable red folie, a dragon, a votive pavilion - a purposely recognizable architectural cliché.  The project was first conceived and exhibited in Bangkok, then it will travel around the globe, to be showcased in the Chinatowns of different continents.