Bangkok Opportunistic Ecologies

Location:  Bangkok/Singapore
Type: Research/Installation
at CCA NTU Singapore - The Posthuman City. Climates. Habitats. Environments
Status: Completed
Year: 2019
Collaboration: Dew Tikumporn Panichakan , Pinn Phunnara Prachuabmoh, Matteo Marabelli

Bangkok Opportunistic Ecologies looks at the urbanity of Bangkok from a non anthropocentric perspective focusing on the presence of pythons. Mapping the city also through a snake’s experience of it, the resulting tapestry puts multiple beings of different species at the centre, displacing the human from its exceptionalism. The graphic realisation is freely inspired by the representation techniques, colour palettes, and composition of Thai traditional mural paintings. including hybridisations of typical urban animals, recalling the iconography of folkloric mythological creatures, particularly the half-human, half-serpent naga. The development process involves an intensive moment of drawing elements related to the previous research and progressively enrich the different areas of the artwork with multiple encapsulated narratives. Such elements include from technical sections of sewerage and rainwater “cracked” pipes, as fire department experts of catching snakes have explained that these are typical spots for hiding, that snakes utilize; to information about the number of catches in various neighbourhoods, or specificities and details of the canals and water swamps, but also to folkloric cultural practices like the numerology and superstitions connected to the shape and location of the animals. The artwork has been modelled in 3D, transposed in elevation oblique, coloured and blended in vector graphic software, and later printed on fabric with the addition of CNC embroidered elements, allowing to include materials and colours important in Thai context, like silver, gold and different textiles.