Monday, September 07, 2009


(The information below is from an e-mail I received.)


Although they enjoyed the casual dialog of two friends occupying a shared Bangkok studio, in September 2006, Varsha Nair and Jerome Ming found their separate art practices animated by an unsettling set of unspoken conversations. Jerome began to affix large drawings of tanks and colored panels to the workspace walls, while Varsha’s own sketches became transfixed with images of contorted puppets twisting in space. Both artists would later transform their respective works on paper into animations whose weightless movements and quiet adjustments would together resonate with the sobering gravity of the world just beyond the studio.

Three years later, much has changed, but hardly the “quick fixes” that anyone had anticipated. Indeed, mechanical puppetry and shifting colored sequences still intrude into the artists’ individual practices, as if the makeshift patchwork of images first stretched across their former studio’s walls had actually laid bare a far greater set of common concerns that would continue to preoccupy the two. In November 2008, while at a residency in Thailand’s Sisaket province, an unbridgeable distance from downtown Bangkok, Varsha filmed the unquiet lullaby of an Isan child swinging rhythmically from the threads of a hammock, falling in place. In early 2009, now working from Yaounde, Cameroon, Jerome created a methodical animation of red gears pivoting in circular motion, turning and returning to a theme he had explored in a similar work twenty years earlier, albeit by means of vastly different video technology. The two artists’ off-kilter perceptions of the common world they inhabited in 2006 have indeed not “fixed” and righted themselves, but have rather become a fixation of both artists’ work, resurfacing in their respective practices today, in September 2009.

The mute, involuntary motion of puppets and pinions, fixed in the pendular movements of loose arms, or in the clockwise rotation of regular spokes, yields a soothing, hypnotic effect. While humans must rest between pirouettes, the upward force that animates puppets is stronger than the gravity that drives them to a common ground. Puppets maintain their own centers of gravity, and do not require any sensitivity on the part of their operator, although he might dance along with them at times. The gyration of gears also seems to move in a delicate, masterful balance that cautions against any interference, remaining oriented towards the wheels’ own internal, circular courses.

“September Quick Fix,” a dual show by Varsha Nair and Jerome Ming, offers a common ground for a shift in orientation through a series of spontaneous renovations, incomplete outlines, and joint rethinkings. Each day, beginning on September 1st and leading up to an opening performance (an ongoing collaboration between Varsha Nair and Lena Eriksson) on September 19th, the artists will offer a “quick fix” of the day: Varsha by working in the gallery space, Jerome making his own adjustments by proxy from Cameroon. On the three floors of Conference of Birds, the two will give space to a dialog which has only intensified over the past three years by conversations that have become even more fixated and polarized since the artists first began working in proximity of each other starting a year earlier, in 2005.

September Quick-fix
Varsha Nair and Jerome Ming
LOOC: Line Out Of Control, a performance by Varsha Nair and Lena Eriksson (guest artist)

Conference of Birds
131/18 Thanon Pan
Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok
Phone: 0874956953
Gallery Hours: 12pm-8pm

19.09.09 at 6 pm (Performance begins at 6.30 pm)

Exhibition on till:


Jerome Ming
Jerome Ming recently completed 'River States' a two-year photographic project on the Mekong River for the Institut de Recherche sur l'Asie du Sud-Est Contemporaine (IRASEC). The first installment of exhibitions was shown in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) in 2009. A second exhibition on the same theme is currently being shown at the Musee de la Marine de Loire in France.

For the past 15 years Ming was based in South East Asia and China where he initially worked as a photojournalist and later refocused to concentrate on his art practice as well as long-term photo-documentary projects.

Ming studied Fine Art in Nottingham in England, and completed his postgraduate studies in Photojournalism at The London Institute. Ming works independently and currently lives in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Varsha Nair
Varsha Nair has exhibited her solo and collaborative works internationally and in Thailand, where she has lived since 1995. Her selected shows include Still Moving Image, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, 2008; Proper Place, (collaboration with Jerome Ming) Ryllega Gallery, Hanoi, 2007, Art as Environment: Cultural Actions on Tropic of Cancer 2007, Taiwan; Exquisite Crisis & Encounters, New York, 2007 (in collaboration with Terry Berkowitz and Karla Sachse); Sub-Contingent: The Indian Subcontinent in Contemporary Art, Fondazion Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2006; EMAP - media in ‘f’, 5th EWHA Media Art Presentation, Seoul, Korea, 2005; In-between places, Si-Am Art Space, Bangkok, 2005; Video as Urban Condition, Austrian Culture Forum, London, 2004; From My Fingers – Living in the Age of Technology, Kaohsiung Museum of Art, Taiwan, 2003; With(in), Art In General, New York, 2002; Home/Dom, Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, 2002; Free Parking, Art Center, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 2002 (collaboration with Savinee Buranasilapin)

She presented performances at Performance Saga, Basel, in collaboration with Lena Eriksson (2009); at Khoj Live, New Delhi (2008); Tate Modern, London, in collaboration with Tejal Shah (2006); On the Move, Hong Kong (2008); National Review of Live Art, Glasgow in 2006 and 2004; and at National Review of Live Art Midland, Perth, 2005

Nair is editorial board member of the web art journal Ctrl+P and co organizer of Womanifesto in Thailand.

Born in Kampala, Uganda, she studied at Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayaji Rao University, Baroda, India.

Lena Eriksson
Lena Erikkson (born 1971, Switzerland) studied Visual Arts at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Sierre.

Calling her practice ‘polymorphic’, which includes developing works in close collaboration, she works with drawing, video, installation, performance and concepts. From 2004 - 2009 she established and managed “Lodypop” – an independent art space in Basel.

She presented ‘LOOC’ with Varsha Nair, Performance Saga Festival, Basel (2009); ‘Fortunetelling’ with Chris Regn and Tina Z'Rotz, Kunsthaus, Langethal (2009); ‘The Tourist’, Cartoon Museum, Basel (2009); ‘Flowerpower’, Asiatopia, Bangkok (2008); ‘I am the Original’, Lothringer 13, Munich (2007); ‘No Projection’ with Andrea Saemann, Kunsthof, Zürich (2005); ‘All is full of love’, Frankfurt (2005); (2004) ‘I am crazy for being so lonely’, PlugIn, Basel 2004); ‘Singing’ with Hagar Schmidhalter, Andrea Saemann and Chen Tan, 3rd Performance Festival, Xian (2002).

Eriksson lives in Basel, Switzerland.

LOOC: Line Out Of Control
‘LOOC: Line Out Of Control’ is about imaginary and real borders, crossing/not crossing boundaries, communication/lack of it, about our different perspectives of the same or similar situations.

Varsha Nair (Bangkok) and Lena Eriksson (Basel) sit at either ends of the space drawing on a roll of paper that connects them with pens that are connected by a string, whilst 2 sound boxes provide a beat.

They first presented the work in April 09 as part of the Performance Saga festival, in the passenger waiting room located between the Swiss and French sides of the main railway station in Basel.

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