Taiki Sakpisit
A Ripe Volcano

A Ripe Volcano, a collaboration with Yasuhiro Morinaga, revisits two sites of violence and aggression in Thailand’s recent past: The Rattanakosin Hotel, the site where the military troops captured and tortured the civilians, students and protestors who were hiding inside the hotel during the Black May of 1992; and Ratchadamnoen Stadium, a Roman amphitheater-style Muay Thai boxing arena, which was built in 1941-45 during the Second World War and since then has become the theatrical labyrinth for more acculturated and commercially “acceptable” displays of bloodshed. The work builds around the recollections of human experiences that took place within these spaces and shifts through the mental space distilled from the possessed memory of wounded time. Within the medium of the multi-channel video/ sound installation, Sakpisit and Morinaga create dreamlike variations sprawling through darkened room where the haunting images and ambient sounds float through the space, creating an exquisitely hypnotizing experience. A Ripe Volcano is an allegorical revelation where Bangkok becomes a site of mental eruption and the emotionally devastated land during the heights of terrors, primal fears, trauma, and the darkness of time. Through a rich use of saturated color and diffuse light, the film evocatively recalls the histories of the various figures – soldiers, protestors, boxers, and spectators – whose traumatic experiences still haunt the empty rooms they once occupied. The remains of these intense experiences and traces of memories are rendered here through a kind of imaginative cinematic re-embodiment, the physical and psychological pain and suffering transformed into the dreamlike landscape of images. A Ripe Volcano, by extension, both pays tribute to these embodied histories while also creating a new space for healing through artistic expression and creative connection with audiences.

Taiki Sakpisit is a filmmaker and media-based artist whose work explores depictions of violence and unease that emerged from the political upheaval in Thailand from the late 1980s to the present day. A deftly skilled editor, his work frequently incorporates sophisticated use of montage and soundscape to produce experiences that are both sensually resonate and narratively disjointed as part of a larger strategy to disorient audiences and engage them in heightened modes of viewership. Sakpisit has screened his films extensively in venues throughout Southeast Asian and has been included in festivals at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gio Verona Video Festival, and the Birbeck Institute for the Moving Image, London.