I came to Chiang Mai in 2007 to take part in the Land Foundation’s One Year Project II residency program. I left Chiang Mai in 2009 to pursue graduate school in San Francisco – an amazing place that has become increasingly expensive, White, segregated and conservative. This past year, my living situation has become particularly unstable as I’m unable to secure affordable housing.
Enter ComPeung – priced out of San Francisco for lack of economic clout only to return to Thailand via my economic clout. A 20 hour plane ride and the whole of my reality is suddenly reversed – I’m another person here, someone with relative wealth, visibility, cultural significance. Escapism, rejuvenation, exploitation, enjoyment, fetishization, appreciation, ego, humility – there’s a lot of motives behind why I might return.
I’d like to analyze and interrogate this other person, probe their motives, intentions, their sense of ethics and accountability. I’d like to use this time and space for self reflection, to rejuvenate myself and my creative practice. This will entail a fair amount of contemplation, research, conversation, meal making, bike riding, fishing and alcohol consumption. If there is a compelling synthesis of ideas and a form is developed, it’s possible that an artwork will emerge from it all.
Alex Wang is a visual artist, curator, and educator based in San Francisco. Since 2010, he has been involved with Kearny Street Workshop, the oldest Asian American multidisciplinary arts organization in the United States, and currently serves on the board of directors. Alex works at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and San Francisco Arts Commission as a preparator, teaches art for the Richmond Art Center and Mandarin Institute, and develops programming for the University of Delaware’s Arts Bridging Culture series. Alex holds an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts.