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b. 1971, Thailand

Navin Rawanchaikul Biography

Navin Rawanchaikul was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 1971. As a child of parents of the Indian diaspora who migrated to Thailand during Partition, his ancestry lies in the Hindi-Punjabi communities of present-day Pakistan. After receiving his BFA from Chiang Mai University in 1993, Rawanchaikul founded the Chiang Mai–based Navin Production Co., Ltd., in 1994. Much of Rawanchaikul’s own work is produced under the name of this company, which also functions as an artists’ collective. Working in various mediums including sculpture, painting, performance, photography, and film, Rawanchaikul began his practice with community-driven projects aimed at integrating art into everyday contexts.

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In Navin Gallery Bangkok (1995–98), Rawanchaikul questions modern methods of art making and exhibiting by converting an ordinary taxi into a mobile gallery featuring rotating exhibitions. The project was later executed in a number of international cities, including Sydney, London, Bonn, and New York, successfully attracting new audiences with the help of its unconventional format. Rawanchaikul’s practice often relies on collaboration, as in the tongue-in-cheek Navin Party (2006), which involved a touring multimedia exhibition featuring a Bollywood-style music video, a billboard advertisement, and a series of propaganda posters, all aimed at connecting people with the first name Navin. The multipart work comments on what the artist frames as the transitory nature of the modern world—revealed through the global occurrence of the Sanskrit-based name—as well as referencing the way in which artists can find their ethnic origins exploited for commercial gain. By involving the participation of real or imagined communities, Rawanchaikul’s practice transcends site-specificity to negotiate between local communities and globalization.

In 2010, Rawanchaikul was awarded the national Silapathorn citation from the Thai Ministry of Culture in the field of visual arts. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (1997); MoMA P.S.1 in collaboration with Public Art Fund, New York (2001); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002); Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok (2007); Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong (2008); Ullens Center For Contemporary Art, Beijing (2009); and Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore (2011). He represented Thailand at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Rawanchaikul has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Transitions/Tensions: Contemporary Art in Asia, Asia Society, New York (1996); Cities on the Move, in collaboration with Rirkrit Tiravanija, seven international venues (1997–99); ZeitWenden, Kunst Museum, Bonn (1999); Berlin Biennial (2001); Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai Art Museum (2002); Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2004); Liverpool Biennial (2004); Prospect 1, New Orleans (2008); Altermodern, Tate Triennial, London (2009); Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two Decades of Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, 1991–2010, Singapore Art Museum (2011); and Entanglement: The Ambivalence of Identity, Institute of International Visual Arts, London (2011). Rawanchaikul lives and works in Chiang Mai and Fukuoka, Japan.

Source: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Navin Rawanchaikul Featured Artworks

Taximan by Navin Rawanchaikul contemporary artwork
Navin RawanchaikulTaximan, 2000 (2009)Mixed media
200 x 120 x 35 cm
Yavuz Gallery Contact Gallery
There is no voice (3) by Navin Rawanchaikul contemporary artwork
Navin RawanchaikulThere is no voice (3), 1995Glass bottles, photographs, wood
220 x 95 x 95 cm
Yavuz Gallery Contact Gallery

Navin Rawanchaikul Represented By

Yavuz Gallery contemporary art gallery in Singapore Yavuz Gallery Singapore, Sydney

Navin Rawanchaikul In Ocula Magazine

S. Alice Mong Ocula Conversation S. Alice Mong

S. Alice Mong became the Executive Director of Asia Society Hong Kong Center in 2012. Prior to joining the Asia Society, Ms Mong worked for almost a decade in New York, where as Director of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) she was responsible for transforming MOCA from a New York Chinatown institution to a leading national museum. Ms Mong...

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Richard Armstrong Ocula Conversation Richard Armstrong By Anna Dickie, Hong Kong

Our definition of “world” has so far been largely Europe and America. That is changing even today as we go to the Middle East.

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June Yap Ocula Conversation June Yap

Launched in April 2012, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative charts contemporary art in South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia is the Initiative’s inaugural exhibition. Initially shown in New York, (22 February–22 May 2013), the...

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Navin Rawanchaikul In Related Press

8 highlights from the 8th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Related Press 8 highlights from the 8th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art 25 November 2015, Art Radar

On display from 21 November 2015 to 10 April 2016 at Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), this year’s Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art has a special focus on the role of performance with live performances, video, kinetic art, figurative painting and sculpture. Many of the artworks explore...

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Largest number of Australian artists selected for APT8 Related Press Largest number of Australian artists selected for APT8 9 June 2015, Visual Arts Hub

The Asia Pacific Triennial has become a defining exhibition within the international biennale arena. It will, again, be presented by the Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) this November, with 83 artists selected from 32 countries for this its eighth edition. While biennales love to roll out “numbers and...

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A life in art Related Press A life in art 18 May 2015, Bangkok Post

Navin Rawanchaikul is his own muse. Over the past two decades as an artist under his studio Navin Production, he had looked outward towards his community, his city, only to turn inward towards his family, towards his personal history. "Dearest Mom," he wrote in September 2014. "I have been thinking of an exhibition at the O.K....

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Go East- The Gene and Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection Related Press Go East- The Gene and Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection 15 May 2015, Art Guide Australia

Go west, young man. So the saying goes. And for more than a century, Australian artists and collectors did just that. They looked towards the great art centres of Paris, London, New York, Rome and Berlin for inspiration. But in the 1980s something changed. We began to come to terms with our physical location in Asia and started to swivel our gaze...

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