Homelink S

Xiuching Tsay

27 April - 26 May 2024

Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view

Description

Well Projects is excited to present ‘Homelink S’, an exhibition of new works by Xiuching Tsay (B. 1993, Chonburi, TH). Comprising a series of interconnected sculptures and paintings, Tsay taps into the relationships specific to Thai culture that shape both a way of living and a way of relating to oneself.

“I step foot in the temple and I want to believe that I am a good person, that I belong here in this little utopia. A flow of serene, virtuous people smile warmly at me as I pass by. Metal railings, lights and trees are covered in colourful threads. Soft tones from a gong float in the air. The ceiling supports a grid of Saisin thread running from the head of the buddha statue to the heads of the worshippers. There are monks chanting in ancient Pali. It is peaceful but my body feels stiff, slowly the stiffness dissipates into stability. I raise my head and look towards a row of machines, new additions to the temple. Screens light up like a casino, to receive your fortune all you have to do is scan a qr code.”

Tsay’s acid bright mixed media works trace a series of patterns reminiscent of a soundwave, or a spiderweb, or a central nervous system, the surfaces of her paintings are sometimes intersected by strange armatures made from mass produced metal extrusion and electrical components, and are interwoven with Saisin threads; a sacred material that represents protection and connection.

Tsays works are made against the backdrop of Modern Theravada Buddhism, a denomination that originated in Sri Lanka and has since mixed with, and homogenised many local animistic practices, becoming enmeshed with the politics and the economy of Thailand. Theravada provides a common moral framework centred around a cycle of rebirth, with each life that you live defining your next life, whilst also producing a kind of inherent paternalism that holds ‘protection’ and ‘control’ in tension with one another.

For Tsay, ‘existential transformation’ across spiritual beliefs, (channelling the spirit from life to life) and across Thailand’s politics (the onboarding of western ideals and a march towards a capitalist notion of progress), can be mapped in the physical threads of Saisin and the vast webs of communications technologies that connect the body to the world and the world to the spirit.