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October 2022
Korakrit Arunanondchai, Subject of Solo Exhibition Songs for living / Songs for dying at Art Sonje Center, Seoul
Korakrit Arunanondchai, the renowned Thai contemporary artist who works between Bangkok and New York, is the subject of the solo exhibition Songs for dying / Songs for living at Art Sonje Center, Seoul. Marking the artist’s first solo showcase in Korea, the show introduces Songs for dying (2021), his video installation that received much critical acclaim upon its introduction in the 13th Gwangju Biennale, along with the sequel titled Songs for living (2021), recontextualizing both works in a theatrical context.

Arunanondchai, who works across a diverse range of mediums such as painting, video, and performance, is known for his practice that interweaves personal narratives and historical constructs. In Songs for dying, the artist’s personal experience pertaining to the loss of his grandfather is juxtaposed with historical episodes such as the Jeju April 3 incident¹ and the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Thailand. Using rich visual references that allude to animist rituals, the artist links together different events that are seemingly irrelevant to one another, connecting personal narratives and historical incidents in a spiritual dimension. This is the artist’s deliberate attempt to reflect on the world outside of a Western ontological framework, which is closely connected to his interest in ghosts and spirituality, founded upon his Buddhist beliefs.

Screened minutes after Songs for dying is Songs for living, the former’s sequel created in collaboration with the New York-based environment designer and cinematographer Alex Gvojic. As in his previous work, Songs for living introduces various animist symbols—ghosts, shamans, and a sea turtle—all of which function as mediums that link the material world with the spiritual, as well as the realm that cannot be explained by modern science. Songs for dying / Songs for living, which explores the concept of time beyond human life by referencing various cultural and religious narratives, runs through October 30, 2022.
¹ The Jeju April 3 Incident (also known as the Jeju Uprising) refers to one of the biggest peacetime killing of civilians in modern Korean history, which broke out when Jeju islanders held a protest against the U.S. Army Military Government. The uprising was supppressed with years of violence, resulting in the deaths of approximately 30,000 civilians.
Source: “Jeju April 3 Incident Victims to Receive Record State Compensation.” Yonhap News Agency, 27 Oct. 2021,


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