Join artist Mit Jai Inn as he discusses his artistic practice and his current Ikon exhibition with curator, artist and writer Jennie Guy. Ikon’s show is Mit’s first major solo exhibition in Europe.
Mit Jai Inn was born in Chiang Mai (1960) and raised in an indigenous Yong family and Lanna weaving village in northern Thailand. Aged nine, Mit became a novice monk at Djittabhawan Buddhist College, Pattaya, living there 1970-1976. His artistic training began in 1983 at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, whose neo-traditionalist curriculum he rebelled against. Leaving for Europe in 1986, he joined the Master’s programme at University of Applied Arts Vienna, met the acclaimed Austrian artist Franz West and worked as his studio assistant. Returning to Thailand in 1992, Mit and other artists co-founded the Chiang Mai Social Installation (CMSI), a festival of ephemeral installations and performance art in public spaces and temples that ran until 1998. In 1995, in parallel with CMSI, Mit launched the Week of Cooperative Suffering to focus on public-engagement activities. Over the past two decades, Mit’s work has been shown in artist initiatives, museums, galleries and mega-exhibitions, including Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2007); Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2011); Singapore Art Museum (2014); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Museum MACAN, Jakarta (2019); and the 18th and 21st editions of Biennale of Sydney (2012 and 2018). In 2015, Mit founded Cartel Artspace in Bangkok for artists and curators to reflect on the historical and current context of Thailand and Southeast Asia. His work is represented by Silverlens gallery, Manila and TKG+, Taipei. Mit lives and works in Chiang Mai.
Jennie Guy is a curator, artist and writer based in Dublin. She holds a BA in English literature and history and an MA in visual arts practices. Guy’s practice explores new contexts for artistic production and experimentation, rooted in the potential of collaborative enquiry. She is founder and director of Art School, an experimental framework exploring strategies for placing artists within sites of education, and editor of Curriculum: Contemporary Art Goes to School, a new volume of essays published by Intellect Books in 2020. Alongside her work with art and education, Guy curates and consults on a range of public art commissions, including works by Niamh McCann, Ruth Lyons, Adam Gibney and David Beattie. As curator in residence at Rua Red, she presented the two-person exhibition Field Recording with Mit Jai Inn and Sven Anderson (2018) and the group exhibition It’s Very New School (2017). Other projects include I Sing the Body Electric (2018), an education programme presented by EVA International and Artists’ Exercises (2016), an online platform for distributing artists’ educational strategies with contributions from artists worldwide. Through her artistic practice, Guy has realised films, performances, installations and texts including Hackers (2017), Hop Step Back Side Front (2017), Before the Flood (2015), How to See Clearly from a Distance (2014), Reading Ensemble III (2012), Life is Beautiful (2012), Selected Crônicas (2011) and Melancholy Park (2010). In conjunction with her independent practice, she is manager of programme and operations at Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin.