Letters to Chantri #1—The lady at the door/The gift that keeps on giving marks Thailand-born, New York-based artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s first solo show in Los Angeles and his first major institutional commission. This ambitious, newly-commissioned, large-scale work featuring performance artist boychild is the first part of a new long-term project by the artist envisioned as an ongoing series of shows— each conceived as a biographical vignette of a character that will form part of a broader cinematic narrative and ensemble in the artist’s future feature film. The exhibition at The Mistake Room, which merges the artist’s performance practice with his studio investigations in an exhibition context, is structured as a performative experience guided by two alternating actresses that the artist has collaborated with specifically for this presentation. Consolidating new paintings, sculptures, and videos into an immersive experiential installation, Arunanondchai blurs the boundary between ritual and guided exhibition tour; marking a drastic new approach to the presentation of his work. In this first vignette, Arunanondchai introduces the archetype of the young artist through the strategies and tactics mobilized in recent years by Eastern religions in their effort to deepen their relationship with a growing demographic of Thai youth. Heritage and tradition collapse into a world of anxiety, immediacy, deregulation, and detachment; a world where myths of innovation and notions of “the new” have become ideals of progress, and history is often only referenced as a passing side note. A video that mimics a late-night personal endorsement ad for an undefined product introduces the experience that is then followed by a timed group visit to an adjacent large-scale gathering site reminiscent of both a Buddhist temple and a futuristic luxury retail store where belonging is priced via a line of body cleansing products. As religion and consumption intertwine, historical processes are unpacked and exposed; rendering visible the transformation of spiritual faith into lifestyle brand that is occurring today in Thailand and beyond.

Korakrit Arunanondchai (feat. boychild): Letters to Chantri #1—The lady at the door/The gift that keeps on giving is another collaboration between Korakrit Arunanondchai and performance artist boychild; his brother Korapat Arunanondchai; producer Rory Mulhere; director of photography AJGvojic; composer Harry Bornstein; and Zanzie.

Crew & Post Production Team: Christian Amada, Taran Allen, Jared Conde, and Jeff Tomcho. 

Cast: boychild, Cherisse Gray, Grecia Santiesteban, Jamie Y. Shi, Liz Medina, Alexander Addington-White, Daniela Anastassiou, Meredith Argenzio, Korapat Arunanondchai, Genevieve Belleveau, David Bluer, Wilson Chang, Yue Du, Dana Eitches, Lauren Elder, Kelly Gazlay, Tara Grayson, Jesse Hoffman, Brian Khek, Katrina Lencek-Inagaki, Rachel Lord, Justin McCoy, Alli Miller, Alexandra Nazari, Diana Nguyen, Khoi Nguyen, Quam Odunsi, Natasha Roozrokh, Mark Ruksook, Michelle Schultz, Eden Solas, Aurora Tang, Sarah Velasco, Elaine Wang, Jee-Shaun Wang, Mansa S. Williamson, Ching Wong, Vanessa Zendejas, and Jessica Ziskind. 

The exhibition is organized by The Mistake Room and curated by Cesar Garcia, TMR Director and Chief Curator.



Korakrit Arunanondchai (b. 1986, Thailand) earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and his MFA from Columbia University, New York, in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include Korakrit Arunanondchai, MoMA PS1, Long Island City (2014); Painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names 2 (Phase I) (with Korapat Arunanondchai), Bill Brady KC Gallery, Kansas City (2013); Muen Kuey (It’s always the same), C L E A R I N G, Brussels (2013); and Painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names, C L E A R I N G, New York (2013) amongst others. Arunanondchai has participated in major group exhibitions at the Sculpture Center and the Fisher Landau Center amongst others. He lives and works in New York and Bangkok.

Support for the exhibition is provided by T38 Studio, New York/Tijuana; C L E A R I N G, New York/Brussels; and Carlos/Ishikawa, London.

Additional support is provided by Jennifer Gross and David Koenig, Glenn Kaino, Jeff Ellermeyer, Mas Malo Restaurant, Andrea Zittel and High Desert Test Sites (HDTS), and Mieke Marple and Davida Nemeroff.

In-kind support provided by Capture This NYC, Milk Studios, Jose Cuervo, and Tecate.

Photo Credit: Josh White/JW Pictures and Peter Kirby. Copyright 2014. The Mistake Room Inc.