The Decoy of Indra

A collaboration between Bangkok-based artist Prasert Yodkaew and Ho Chi Minh City-based Richard Streitmatter-Tran curated by Charuwan Chanthop for 1Projects at Art Stage Singapore 2017. Created entirely on site over the 4 days of the art fair, visitors were exposed to the hand-on studio environment of the artist where the process of making contrasted to the finished works on display throughout the fair.

The artist's concept borrows from the ancient tale of the deity Indra who according to Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, returns to earth when called upon by humans in need. A focal point of the installation will be the throne of Indra that becomes hot when the God is called upon. The throne has also been the location where people across many cultures have come to speak to their leaders and represents the relation between leader and the led in a direct and visible connection. In contemporary societies, this relation between the people and those in power is often complex and indirect, often leaving people with the feeling of alienation and at a loss for finding a way to communicate their concerns.

In this installation, the throne will be surrounded by an army of encroaching lustful demons (read: issues of the times). According to legend, Indra devised a pavilion to protect his wife and children in the forest surrounded by special Naripon trees that produce fruit shaped as women as decoys for the demons to take. Each of the sculptural elements reflecting the fluidity of the Indian aesthetics as they transformed with contact from the many cultures of Southeast Asia throughout different periods.

While the installation will be uniform in material (unfired clay), the objects and sculptures will also reflect elements span remaining faithful to the historical styles of the periods as well as contemporary techniques and compositions. The walls will be "painted" using water diluted clay as the pigment. From time to time he artists may be found within the installation during the exhibition adjusting and altering the works.

The installation will capture the anxieties of the contemporary age through an aesthetic influence that has existed for several hundreds of years in this region of the many Hindu influenced Buddhist cultures from Thai and Cham, and locations such as Angkor to Borobudur combined with human/animal fragments sculpted with the influence of figurative realism.



Site specific sculptural installation
Unfired stoneware, mixed media
Dimensions variable

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