KAWITA VATANAJYANKUR

In her performative works, Kawita Vatanajyankur transforms her body into a site upon which issues of labour, feminism, oppression and consumerism are thoroughly interrogated and challenged. Vatanajyankur undertakes various repetitive and strenuous tasks, turning herself into mechanical tools and domestic objects as she pushes her body to its limits as a testament to human capabilities and female resilience. Drawing from a globalized and digitally networked visual language of consumption and instant gratification, her videos bears semblance to bold and colourful commercial advertisements, only breaking away from their similarities within her constantly recurring moments of physical and emotional discomfort; the result is a bodywork that is as strikingly compelling as it is uncomfortable to witness. Vatanajyankur performs a series of physical experiments that playfully, and sometimes painfully, test the limits of her own body, and challenge the viewer to keep looking well beyond their comfort zone, while wilfully exploiting the global visual language of instant gratification in acid pop colours.

Protagonist of the contemporary Asian, Australian and American art scene, Kawita investigates throughout her video-performances the vulnerable female condition, provoking questions surrounding the place of cultural identity, feminism, women’s work, consumerism and lived experiences – classified through a lens of hyper-coloured realism and the intensity of physical versus material composition. Her work offers a vignette into the physicality and vulnerability of the feminine body, and the activities in which female bodies are engaged in almost impossible balancing acts, while captivating and luminous colors characterize an aesthetic research that draws on the visual language of the network, a sarcastic allusion to consumerism that claims to give instant gratification.

Kawita has achieved significant recognition since graduating from RMIT University (BA, Fine Art) in 2011. In 2015 she was a Finalist in the Jaguar Asia Pacific Tech Art Prize and curated into the prestigious Thailand Eye exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London. In 2017, her work has been curated into ‘Islands in the Stream’ exhibition by Alamak!project in collaboration with Concilio Europeo dell’Arte alongside the 57th Biennale di Venezia; into Asia Triennale of Performing Arts at the Melbourne Arts Centre, as well as ‘Negotiating the Future’ curated exhibition of the Asian Art Biennial Taiwan. In 2018, she showed her works as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. Vatanajyankur has exhibited widely across Australia, as well as Asia, USA and Europe. Vatanajyankur’s work is held the National Collection of Thailand and in Museum collections including Singapore Art Museum, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (Dunedin Art Museum), Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum, as well as university collections and private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and America.