Critics’ Picks

View of “There Are More Monsoon Songs Everywhere,” 2018.

View of “There Are More Monsoon Songs Everywhere,” 2018.


Dusadee Huntrakul

100 Tonson Gallery
100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan
June 22–September 23, 2018

Art’s potential to turn banishment into belonging—cultural and personal—haunts “There Are More Monsoon Songs Elsewhere,” Dusadee Huntrakul’s exhibition of intricate drawings, ceramic sculptures, and found photographs. The show shares its title with a set of hyperrealist drawings that depict, against a white background, prehistoric Ban Chiang bracelets chanced upon by an American student in Thailand in 1966. The jewelry’s accidental discovery, its US-led excavation, and its present home in LACMA’s collection help sketch out themes of displaced civilizations, US cultural imperialism, and migrated aesthetic values. Elsewhere, a septet of monumental fairy-tale scrawls portraying deluges, disembowelments, and the nocturnal sojourning of lost souls proves more elusive.

Yet Dusadee’s ceramic sculptures appear to be the most enigmatic of his recent output. The gesticulating forms manifest a controlled spontaneity that both evidences the artist’s natural understanding of the material and convenes sensitive, shape-shifting presences. The sculpture Tales of the Intestines-Double Siamese Dreams-to Be Continued, 2018, simultaneously evokes the writhing Laocoön, Siamese twins, a Japanese comic-book superhero, and an ancient burial figurine. In every piece here, the artist has woven variously mooded ritualistic singing and dancing gestures, all unidentifiable but strangely universal—a quality that imbues this remarkably harmonic and idiosyncratic show whose playful exuberance is shot through with subdued anxiety and despair. It is by assuming the role of artist-shaman—marrying personal myths, cautionary tales, and the majestic narratives of ancient folklores—that Dusadee delivers his euphoric monsoon song.