Chumpon Apisuk

(Born 1948, lives and Works in Thailand)

Vethi Samai (Modern Time Forum), video documentation of performance, Koh Sak, Thailand, 1985.

Chupon Apisuk is a celebrated performance artist and a social and political activist.  Apisuk is the director of Asiatopia, the annual international performance art festival in Bangkok founded in 1998, and the originator of Concrete House, an organization for the promotion of performance art in Thailand. Apisuk’s engagement in social and political issues, particularly for AIDS awareness and Human Rights, takes place in participation with the EMPOWER Foundation. Established by his partner Chantawipa Apisuk, EMPOWER advocates for sex workers in Thailand.

Vethis Samai documents the performances and activities organized by Apisuk in 1985 under the auspices of Bhirasri Institute of Modern Arts, the first private art institute in Bangkok.  For the event, Apisuk invited a range of young students and performance artists to create work on the island Koh Sak on the eastern seaboard. Broad in scope, the resulting works included happenings and improvisational works that incorporated found objects and natural materials collected on the beach. Some were aesthetically motivated works, while others referenced environmental and economic issues. The young artists were recent graduates from U.S. art schools and enthusiastic students from local universities. This collective project, preserved here on video, marked an important time for new art movements in Thailand.

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