Krit, Boychild and the Mistake Room
As soon as I walk into The Mistake Room, I begin dripping sweat—it’s a hot day in Los Angeles and being in a small, enclosed space, with a ton of equipment running and people milling about, is the recipe for a sauna. When I meet Krit (seemingly unaffected by the heat), I’m immediately drawn to his excitement about what he is working on. Almost acting as the producer, director, artist, and PA of this project, he’s completely immersed in every aspect of making sure everything is running smoothly. He has the nervous, frenetic energy that you would expect of an artist– intense, passionate, and engaged but seemingly ADD, with the impossibility of sitting still. I was able to grab him for a few moments to tell us about his exciting project.
Tell us about this project and your partnership with The Mistake Room.
This space is called The Mistake Room– it’s a non-profit institution. My friend, Oscar Murillo, did the first show and Cesar Garcia, who is the director/curator of this place…wanted the program for the first year to be all international artists. I already had a bigger project in mind—five to seven installations that fit together to form a feature film. The project is called Letters to Chantri. So this is Letters to Chantri #1, so the idea is that each of the videos is going to concentrate on one character. This is the first character, played by Boychild. The piece functions somewhere in between a religious experience and lifestyle branding concept store. Essentially the show is set up like there’s a company that created this product (soap) and they came to me to do a collaboration with them as an artist– this show is the result of this conceptual framework.
Are videos the medium you typically work with?
I output in almost every medium, but I would say that usually what anchors everything is my narrative video.
What about videos are so attractive to you?
I was trained as a painter– but for me, time is really important as a material. There’s time within painting too, but there’s a "video time" that we’ve all seen growing up watching TV shows/movies, and we can understand and process it very naturally. It’s almost like the idea that some people can appreciate certain paintings more because they’ve seen more paintings and they have a foundation to see and understand paintings more immediately. But I feel like video is special, a large group of people have seen some type of moving image and so in some ways we’re trained to naturally accept, understand, and appreciate this medium. Plus there’s something about movie/cinema, it’s a very immediate form—if you wanted to create a world or dislocate people into another place, it’s a very immediate medium. When you sit in a cinema and the movie starts, you’re in it.
Have you found that the reactions to your art are different in the US versus Thailand?
I don’t know yet. I’ve never seriously shown work there. I think it will definitely be a lot more– I don’t want say critical, but definitely more friction with the reality there. Every single thing I make deals with facts, events, or real entities that exist in Thailand. When I’m here, it’s more of a free zone because it doesn’t engage in the localized politics of USA– but I think once I’m there, some contents in my work will certainly bump into other’s opinions more. That’s something that I want to happen– that’s why I make art. More friction allows for more energy, more conversations, more questions to ask. Also, here when you make art– because Western art history is much more built up and people are educated about art, art can exist in the world or discourse of “Art”. Over there, the concept of what art is much more shrinked. It happens in the register of reality not in the context of “Art”. I feel like it’s a more interesting place [Thailand]. Maybe not to make art in, but to show it.
Anything else you’d like to say about this project?
This is the project I’m most excited and happiest working on so far, because it’s the most complete work I feel like I’ve always wanted to make, but felt like I didn’t have enough foundation and support. The only way it’s possible is because of the friends I have. I feel really good about this project– it’s also this really great life experience on how a group can pull things together, so I would like to say thank you to this core group of people that worked on this with me to make it possible:
Photos by Chris Swainston