We have never been modern
Barcelona bench, steel
We have never been modern examines underlying values of modernism in structures, particularly through benches, that in a gallery space and that in a public space. An intersection emerges through Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona bench, a recurring sight in visits to art galleries.
A Barcelona bench is modified with the installation of steel bars reminiscent of those on public benches, anti-deviation structures that excludes ‘undesired’ bodies and their functions. Modernist structures, in particular, the philosophy of Mies Van Der Rohe held multi-functionality in high regards. Modernity is embraced by contemporary society with its aesthetics ever more popular, this embrace of modernist aesthetics ironically has also attached the misguided values of modernism: the paradox of exclusion and inclusion, and the myth of progress. Certain bodies, values, and voices are labelled as deviations in the public, exclusion for progression. Perhaps then these steel bars of exclusion should exist in other spaces of demarcation as well, physically and culturally. The luxurious unassuming seats in a Barcelona bench for those who proclaim cultural discourse is actually a structure that supports demarcation and forbids deviation.
This project is exhibited in THE SHOW , the Emily Carr Graduation exhibition of 2016 as a functioning piece of furniture.
artist run centre
2016 – ongoing
Inclusive yet contested, imbued with simultaneity of interactions, plazas have always been a site of congregation and conversation, a festival at times and parades at others. They have been the heart of interactions, exchange, as well as commerce. It is a composition of cacophony, showing possibilities of multiplicity.
Hence our name, Plaza Projects. A space where artists have the opportunities to practice and manifest their imaginations. We are dedicated to the dissemination, discussion, and realization of contemporary art. Exhibitions, talks, events, and other projects are developed with emerging and established artists, providing space for experimentation, research, and practice. Furthermore, creating an inter-generational as well as multidisciplinary discourse.
Located in the Aberdeen Square mall in Richmond as a non-profit artist space, Plaza Projects aims to show an alternative in a commercial context, to shift a site of consumption to a site of dialogue.
We embrace our conditions of precarity with a space that exists only temporarily; negotiated for the occupation in the mall for the duration of one year with no rent. After that period the space is returned to the market for lease.
Community Cabinet explores the shifting of physical spaces due to political and economic concerns. The project re-purposes the exhibition space into an integral function of an institution, a storage facility. Modifying notions of exhibitions and their tendency to flatten contexts and claim neutrality. Alleviating storage spaces, a territory of contestation where student bodies compete for increasingly limited spaces. This project subsumes the gallery space into a conceptual critique while simultaneously serving practical purpose. All students, staffs, and faculties are invited to store their works in the exhibition in the cabinets and dividers provided for the duration of the exhibition.
Accompanying the Community Cabinet is a “cabinet meeting” where all students, staffs, and faculties are welcomed to a round table discussion on March 23rd, 2016. The meeting consists of no overarching agenda combating dominant ideologies that is enforced with the regulation of content allowed to circulate in a meeting space.
Cabinets as a political term originates from the name of a small and private room, and consequently adapted to describe an advice given in private to the monarchy in the late 16th century. Here we have an inverse where a cabinet is open to the public. Displayed is the integral part in the functioning of an establishment. Everyone is welcome, Food and beverages are provided.
Community Cabinet is produced in collaboration with YiFan Jiang and on exhibition at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada.
print, ink, gold leaf
“Can’t decide on a gift for your special someone? Peers don’t approve of modernist paintings? Parents don’t appreciate your last student sale purchase? Why decide under the rush
… Or are you an investor? venture capitalist? Do you believe in the potential of an Emily Carr graduate? … Presenting Art Voucher. Invest now for “creativity is our greatest natural resource”
( Emily Carr University ).”
A voucher is produced by the artist and is on sale. Upon purchase of these vouchers, one has the option to redeem it for an artwork by the artist that has yet to be made. Expiration dates of the vouchers are as written with the price of these vouchers escalating exponentially for each.
Work was for sale at Emily Carr’s Student Art Sale in
Hastily Marking Territories
A fully functional portable toilet labeled as Gender Inclusive is placed upon sand and rubble from the Great Northern Way Complex ( future site of Emily Carr University campus). After the duration of the exhibition, the sand and rubble and the bottled messages are returned to the Great Northern Way Complex.
In any form of architecture, once dissected exists an underlying ideology. The irony here then is revealed in a cultural and educational institution that advocates creativity, social progressiveness, and acceptance that lacks an architectural and design consideration towards gender issues. The gestures which we can perhaps take then is a symbolic petition, a message in a bottle that hopefully finds it way to those who will read it.
cubic zirconia, silver
An engagement ring in which the diamond is attached in reverse, protruding on the inside. Wearing the ring for prolonged periods of time leaves a mark on the wearer. The band of the ring is sculpted to be rough increasingly the likelihood of discoloration in the event that the ring is not cleaned on a regular basis.
Pongsakorn Yananissorn‘s practice investigates and expands on naturalized experiences and unobserved paradoxes in which ideologies are at their most potent. Employing various mediums that correlates to their own socioeconomic and historical specificities his projects often take form in subtle interventions and tongue-in-cheek responses.
His recent works take a position in which existential troubles, frictions of the human condition are born of negotiations of spaces. Negotiations with and for spaces are at its primal act our attempts at taming the chaos that is unknowable. Through different projects Pongsakorn attempts to perform these negotiations through inappropriations of private and public spaces, from the personal to the institutional. This extends as well to his curatorial practice, in which is currently the co-founder and curator of Plaza Projects in Richmond. Born in Thailand, he currently lives and works in Vancouver.