Endless Memory ─Torlarp Larpjaroensook
05 Aug 2023-17 Sep 2023

08.05 Sat 
16:00  Preview
18:00 Opening Party


08.19 Sat 
15:00 Lecture 
Guo Jau-Lan 


Exhibition essay/ DR.Sébastien Tayac
(Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Chiang Mai University)

Since childhood, Torlarp Larpjaroensook has created toys from his imagination using whatever he could find. Now, he continues this habit as an artist,incorporating old, damaged, and unusable objects into functional artworks, such as mixed-media paintings in which one can turn on a motorbike’s headlight with the original key or can listen to music on a speaker by plugging in an iPod. In the same vein, in 2009, Torlarp first shaped Besto out of an insignificant everyday object — a light switch — and created a character notable for his naïve expression, formed with a long nose, small eyes, and beardless face. Along with his wife, Veena, and their son, Besto serves as a kind of autobiography for Torlarp, following the ins and outs of the artist's life, while simultaneously acting as an icon of a world in which boundaries are fast dissolving. 

Though Besto has been a prominent feature of Torlarp's career, one must look beyond this character to appreciate the diversity of his artistic production, as is illustrated by the works exhibited at Chini Gallery. Torlarp has long pondered the idea that, though an artist must draw from their feelings and thoughts, they must also speak to their surrounding culture and general knowledge. Thus, his past artworks exhibited in Bangkok, Singapore and Taiwan comprised objects ubiquitous throughout Asian countries that reflect Chinese, Indian, Thai, Malay, and Peranakan cultures and explore issues of ethnicity, migration, and social hierarchy. While some of these everyday objects are items used for ritual or ceremonial purposes, the majority fall into the category of containers — principally those used to carry or consume food or water.

Seemingly insignificant in appearance, these found objects with their industrial decorations, such as flowers, are charged with meaning as they tell the past, present, and future stories of those who owned and used them. Torlarp highlights the particularities of the cultures found in these objects and reminds us of the syncretic nature of our societies by using visual cues to create a multitude of new cultural artifacts. These inserted objects recall the experience of migrants and natives alike as they undergo changes to merge and integrate in a new context. In another instance, Torlarp’s found objects take the form of a ship — half boat, half spacecraft — which hints of the artist’s childhood on a houseboat in Ayutthaya. Of significant symbolic importance, the river offered Torlarp much more than the normal concrete road, the comings and goings of the waterway fueling his imagination. 

Positioned at the crossroads of different historical periods and cultures, Torlarp's works draw us into his imagination, into a waking dream where lights of different colors sparkle like real stars. Ultimately, these artworks put us in the position of the first conqueror of the seas or the first astronaut — they offer us a view of a new world.