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HomePage Artists

b. 1975, Thailand

Arin Rungjang Biography

Arin Rungjang is a Thai contemporary artist known for his videos and installations that probe into the lesser-known aspects of Thai and global society in history and the present. Personal narratives often form the core of his artworks, exploring topics such as migration, violence, and the juncture of different cultures, as filtered through memory.

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A recurring anecdote in Arin's work concerns his father, Prayong Rungjang, who was attacked by a group of Neo Nazis while travelling in Germany in 1977. Prayong died the same year from the internal injuries and cancer, leaving Arin's mother, Russamee, to raise their two children. The video From My Mother's Memory (2009) shows a view of the Bangkok city from the top floor of the Dusit Thani—the place where Russamee used to work, and where she would go to grieve her husband's death. Another video installation, Russamee Rungjang "Mother" (2015) explores more of her memories, revealing not only the artist's family history but also the lasting legacy of past political and discriminatory beliefs.

From the exploration of his father's tragic death, Arin has expanded his practice to examine the lives of contemporary migrant workers and diasporic communities. In the video Unequal Exchange, No Exchange Can Be Unequal (2011)—presented at the Singapore Biennale in 2011—for example, the artist chats with Thai migrant workers at the Golden Mile Complex—a Thai enclave in Singapore—and the people living in the workers' home villages back in Thailand. He also worked with migrant workers of various ethnicities, showing their portraits in the silent film Prayong (Aglaia odorata): Dedicated to my Father (2019).

Other works by Arin engage with cross-cultural encounters in history and their continuing influence on the present. Golden Teardrop (2013)—created for the Thai Pavilion in the 55th Venice Biennale—is a sculptural installation consisting of 6,000 suspended brass teardrops that are supported by a wooden frame to make an intricate geometric configuration. The work refers to thong yod: a Thai dessert made with egg yolk and cream. In the video that accompanied the installation, the artist traces the origin of thong yod, in which Maria Guyomar de Pinha—who was of Portuguese, Japanese, and Bengali descent—introduced a recipe that Thai people adopted to the Siamese court in the 17th century.

Born in Bangkok, Arin graduated with a BFA in Graphic Arts from the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, in 2002. His most recent solo exhibitions include They Beat Your Father at ShanghART Singapore (2019); Bengawan Solo, Portikus, Frankfurt (2018); and 246247596248914102516... And then there were none, Gallery VER, Bangkok (2017); amongst others. Selected group exhibitions include the 12th Shanghai Biennale (2018); If These Stones Could Sing, Kadist, San Francisco (2018); JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017; and documenta 14, Kassel (2017).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Arin Rungjang Featured Artworks

They Beat Your Father by Arin Rungjang contemporary artwork
Arin RungjangThey Beat Your Father, 2019Sound installation | Handwritten text printed on diasec
ShanghART Enquire about this work
Shooting an Elephant and The Leader by Arin Rungjang contemporary artwork
Arin RungjangShooting an Elephant and The Leader, 2018Video Installation| 10-channel animation with audio
ShanghART Enquire about this work

Arin Rungjang Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Arin Rungjang, They Beat Your Father 他们殴打你的父亲 at ShanghART, Singapore
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3 August–30 November 2019 Arin Rungjang They Beat Your Father 他们殴打你的父亲 ShanghART, Singapore

Arin Rungjang In Ocula Magazine

Arin Rungjang Connects Diasporic Narratives at ShanghART, Singapore Ocula Insight Arin Rungjang Connects Diasporic Narratives at ShanghART, Singapore Sherry Paik, Singapore

Arin Rungjang was born in Bangkok in 1975, a time of political turmoil in Thailand. Two years prior, student demonstrations led to the fall of military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn, who returned from exile in 1976. That year, students gathered at Thammasat University to protest and the military opened fire; 46 died, 167 were wounded, and over...

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Arin Rungjang In Related Press

'Bengawan Solo': Thai artist Arin Rungjang on ‘small’ histories at Portikus, Frankfurt Related Press 'Bengawan Solo': Thai artist Arin Rungjang on ‘small’ histories at Portikus, Frankfurt 28 July 2018, Art Radar

When Arin Rungjang speaks about history, he does so through a practiced language of rumour and hearsay: it is neither fact nor fiction, neither valourised nor uncontested. The result is a collective shifting truth, not unique, but delivered through shards, each incomplete, the whole contingent upon the representational, linguistic, cultural and...

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Jakarta Biennale: A new understanding of contemporary Indonesian art Related Press Jakarta Biennale: A new understanding of contemporary Indonesian art 2 November 2017, The Jakarta Post

This year's Jakarta Biennale will diverge from many of the curatorial practices of its predecessors. The Jakarta Biennale, which is set to open on Saturday at Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem in South Jakarta, will this year adopt Jiwa as its artistic concept. Jiwa is a concept that is almost impossible to translate into English, but for this...

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8 artists at documenta 14 'Learning from Athens' Related Press 8 artists at documenta 14 'Learning from Athens' 8 May 2017, Art Radar Journal

Since its inception in 1955, documenta has sought to make a statement about the status of art – its relevance to global politics and its current direction. Two editions have achieved this: the 5th edition, curated by the Swiss Harald Szeemann in 1972, which marked the conceptual art turn; and the 11th edition, curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2002,...

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Presentation by Arin Rungjang Related Press Presentation by Arin Rungjang 19 October 2012, Asia Art Archive

Jane DeBevoise (JD): First of all, I just want to thank everybody for coming tonight and to have the opportunity to introduce June Yap who will in turn introduce Arin Rungjang. June Yap is also probably well known to many of you but for those who don't know her, June is an independent curator based in Singapore who has recently had the...

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Arin Rungjang In Video & Audio

Interview with Arin Rungjang Related Video & Audio Interview with Arin Rungjang 23 March 2018, ArtAsiaPacific

How do we narrate histories? For Thai artist Arin Rungjang, who was born in Bangkok in 1975—a period of protracted turmoil, resulting in military rule being imposed after a coup in 1976—the accessing and examination of collective and personal memory is the driving force of his practice. In this interview, ArtAsiaPacific discusses his...

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