Surasi Kusolwong

(Thailand) b.1965

Lives and works in Bangkok

Surasi Kusolwong’s performative installations focus on consumerism and deal with the global economy and material values, employing a method that breaks with traditional art forms, in which human behavior is stimulated within the context of a specific situation or moment.

In his large‐scale installation Golden Ghost, Kusolwong invites visitors to hunt through a huge industrial waste landscape of threads for pieces of art designed and made by himself, real gold necklaces with golden ghost symbols. If visitors are lucky enough to find one, they can take the hidden treasure home. As he once said, "It gives new sense and meaning to the phrase 'missing' or 'disappearing' work of art. It is the absence that makes the work complete at the 'hands' of the audience." Through his participatory and interactive work, Kusolwong integrates the traditional craft of goldsmithing with modern narrative, historical socio‐politics and current economics and ecology. He transforms the exhibition space into a place for experiencing, revoking and reconsidering such issues of human civilization.

Overlapping in the vast installation is another relative constellation work of Kusolwong’s: a stone borrowed from the Golden Waterfall in Jinguashi, exhibited on a blue cushion. The artist has cast the stone in bronze with real gold mixed in the composition, and for the duration of the exhibition he has placed the duplicate stone at the waterfall where he found the original. Kusolwong relates socio‐geography with gold as the center of concentric circles. The value and beauty of gold has made it so desirable that it can affect politics and economics. Wars have been fought over access to gold. Cities and towns have sprung up and died out as gold was discovered and then mined out. With his gold and stone piece, Kusolwong is calling value and history into question, reversing value systems and the hierarchy of art and the art market.

Kusolwong’s solo exhibitions include: the Institute of Visual Arts (INOVA), Milwaukee, USA; Arte all’Arte (Arte Continua project), Casole d’Elsa, Italy; Fri-Art Centre D’Art Contemporain Kunsthalle, Fribourg, Switzerland; and Art & Public Gallery, Geneva. Group exhibitions include PS1 Contemporary Art Center, NY; Hayward Gallery, London; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Academia de Francia/Villa Médicis, Rome; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Busan Museum of Art, Busan, Korea; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; and Edsvik Art Gallery, Stockholm. Kusolwong was also chosen for an ArtPace residency by Jérôme Sans, Independent Curator and Co-Director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France.

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