Kafka in their eyes

Art November 18, 2017 12:38

By The Nation

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Unfolding Kafka – a biennial festival that provides a platform for outstanding artistic trends in the field of contemporary art in Thailand – is back for its second edition at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum in Chiang Mai this Friday and Saturday (November 24-25).

The persistent fascination for Kafka’s style and for his mysterious characters provides plenty of room for interpretation. In a natural and rational way, Kafka combines obscure and surreal scenarios with the real world, a motif which today is used in a variety of literary and cinematic formats.

                 The festival poses the question of how choreography, physical movements, installations, sculpture and visual art interact to address animalism, gender and identity, folding and unfolding material or bodies. Conceived as a multidisciplinary approach, the festival focuses on the relationship between material and choreographic design, perception and literature interpretation, design of inner and outer space of the human body and interaction and participation between different media

                Yoko Seyama is participating in the Unfolding Kafka Festival for the second time. This year, the Berlin-based Japanese artist presents, for the first time in Southeast Asia, an art installation where light folds and unfolds to continuously modify the surrounding space in various hues. Her clever use of physics principles transformed into an artwork gives light a somehow more tangible quality.

                  “Red Peter” will be presented for the second time in Thailand, but in a new version in collaboration with Yoko Seyama and her art installation, Saiyah #2.3 on Saturday. At the beginning of 2016, Jitti Chompee was invited for a residency project supported by Kylian Foundation and Korzo Theatre in The Hague to create a new piece: “Red Peter”. Inspired by Kafka’s short story "A Report to an Academy", Red Peter presents Chompee’s exploration of freedom through his artistic choices in breaking the boundaries between the traditional and the contemporary. Following the 2016 premiere's great success in the Netherlands, “Red Peter” was performed in Vietnam at the Ho Chi Minh International Dance Festival 2016, again in the Netherlands at Cadance Festival 2017 and in South Korea at the Changmu Performing Arts Festival 2017.

                Roni Chadash is an independent artist, based in Tel Aviv, who is making her first trip to Southeast Asia with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Thailand. She’ll premiere two works on Friday. “NO-Body”, first created as an art video, blurs the line between the genre of art installation and dance performance.

Also on Friday, Hiroaki Umeda will present “Duo”, showing how sound design, media and dancing can mingle into an intense contemporary performance.

                The Head of the Filmmuseum Muenchen (Collections), Stefan Droessler, will give lecture “Kafka Goes to the Movies” on Saturday, talking about Kafka’s world and reality through excerpts of rare selected reconditioned silent films, with excerpts of his diaries, pictures from the places he lived in and cinemas he visited and clips of the movies he saw in the beginning of the 20th century. The lecture will be conducted in English.

                Find out more at www.UnfoldingKafkaFestival.com or Facebook.com/events/1494761490559783/.