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At the Dawn of the 21st Century: A View-Thought « The Red Window »

At the Dawn of the 21st Century: A View-Thought « The Red Window »

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At the Dawn of the 21st Century: A View-Thought « The Red Window » (The Critical Time of the World Civilization) An Installation Art Project.

This study is to investigate the possibilities of developing a cross-culturally common conceptual visual language. In particular, this study evaluates whether it is possible to develop Collaborative New Art that will depict simultaneously both the Contemporary Art and the Modern Technological Civilization in which we live today. It is a general belief especially in the art community that contemporary art and modern art can enhance the distribution of diverse information, foster a profound universality in the human nature, and thus promote cross-cultural collaborations in all walks of lives. However, such a belief has also been questioned due to the overt differences of arts in structures, styles and philosophies perceived by different viewers. In this study, a set of contemporary arts will be evaluated. The comparative results will used to discuss four important issues: What are the salient sensations and reactions of the general public to the contemporary and modern artwork? To what extent the contemporary conceptual art could disclose the new trend of social value changes. Whether the contemporary art and modern art theory and practice would address and help to solve today’s social problems within each society. Whether the contemporary art and modern art has a role in harmonizing people with different geopolitical backgrounds and value systems. Finally, several implications will be discussed on the linkage issue between verbal and nor-verbal expressions of thoughts and feelings.

1. Introduction


I graduated from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University in 1996. Since graduation, I have been working as a media artist with Cyber Lab at the Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University. I work in the realm of contemporary art and am interested in revealing the unexplored facets of experience. In 1998, I secured funding and traveled as a visiting artist/researcher to several countries such as: Canada, the United States of America, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Japan. I have already made some contribution to the development of the media arts through my artistic and research practice, and related international activity at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), ImaginAsia Project, Smithsonian Institution (The Freer Gallery of Art and The Arthur M.Sackler Gallery, United State of America), ZKM Project, (Institute for Visual Media, Germany), Designskolen; Biennial Theatre Festival -Sight ‘n Vision, Nordic Theatre Union (Denmark), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum; Collaboration Art Network In-Between; Waseda University; Kobe University of Design (Japan), Central European University (Hungary), International Cultural Centre Jeunesses Musicales Croatia Groznjan (Croatia), The TOU SCENE Contemporary Centre of Art; The Nordland Kunst 0g Filmskole; The Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre; The Kunstakademiet Trondheim (Norway), Luleå Winter Biennial; The Beeoff/Splintermind; The Ricklundgården and The Royal University College of Fine Arts (Sweden), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, The Pro Artibus Foundation and Art Centre Saksala ArtRadius (Finland), Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea and Drodesera>Centrale fies (Italy), MAAP-Multimedia Art Asia Pacific, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Rimbun Dahan and ABN AMRO-Malihom (Malaysia), Designing Your Future, Berlinale Talent Campus 2005, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Germany) and Biennale Bibliotheca Alexandrina 2005, Arts Center, Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt); Gyeonggido Museum of Art, Danwon Arts Museum and Arko Museum (Korea). I am directing my energies towards the exploration of the phenomenon of cross-interdisciplinary of art and culture, and searching for answers that can help reverse the subordination and objective materialism, which are prevalent in today’s society. What are the thoughts, doubts, fears, uncertainties, and reflections that we have and experience as we head towards the new material and immaterial territories, which we are to inhabit in the future? In a world increasingly becoming chaotic and inhumane, I found that all around us are racial and tribal wars, artificially constructed boundaries, confusion, and conflicts. How should we interpret these “Signs of Times” in their context? In what way are contemporary media arts responsible for a transformation of society? The concept of the art project “At the Dawn of the 21st Century: A View-Thought ‘The Red Window’” (“The Critical Time of the World Civilization”) originated in the digital experiments with the photomontage materials. Later, I added some architectural elements, electronic light controls, sound effects, so that this project evolved into a three-dimensional work. I combined all these elements and blended them in the abstract world of my imagination, in order to create in reality an artistic and public space lived through time. Since 1996, this project has been accepted to several exhibitions: “Tomorrow Where Shall We Live?” (curated by Toyo Ito and supported by the Japan Foundation, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, 1996); “Utopia 1997” (curated by Apinan Poshyananda, the Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, 1997); “OPEN’ 999,” 2nd International Exhibition of Sculpture and Installations in Lido, Venice/“II Esposizione Internazionale di Sculture e Installazioni Lido di Venezia” (curated by Paolo de Grandis and Pierre Restary, organized by the Arte Communications and supported by the Assessor of Culture of Venice, Italy, 1999); “Siggraph 2000” (curated by Diane Gromala, Art Galleries, Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center, New Orleans, USA, 2000); Palace of Light, Art and Culture in the Public Space (curated and organized by Davis O. Nejo, Cross Cultural Communication, supported by European Union and Wien Kulture, Vienna, Austria, 2003); “Luleå Winter Biennial 2004” (curated and organized by KILen-The artist group in Luleå, supported by The European Union Structure fund Goal 1, Luleå municipality, Luleå Employment office-Culture and Media, County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, Norrbotten County Council, The Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs and The Swedish Institute, Luleå, Sweden, 2004); The Installation series of “Untitled 2007” (curate and organize by Uchida Hiroshi, support by The Japan Foundation, 2007); Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams), (curated and organize by Eunjung Son and Sohee Kim /Curator, Alternative Space LOOP, Somee Kim/Program manager, MIZY Center, PROJECT STANDING BY OOO. season4, XI Gallery, Seoul, Korea, August 2008); Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams), (curated and organize by Cheong Jong Hyo, Choi A Reum, KIAF Operation Committees and Galleries Associate of Korea, The Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams), Korea International Art Fair 2008, Seoul, Korea, September 2008). It was mentioned by Diane Gromala (Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA), Steven Dietz (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA), Andrew Glassner (Microsolf Research), Thecla Schiphorst (Technical University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada), Marla Schweppe (Rochester Institute of Technology, USA), Seth Thompson (New York, USA), Jill Chopyak Hogan (The Institute for Community Research, Connecticut, USA), John Emigh, Katherine Chavez, Ken Prestininzi (Brown University, Rhode Island USA), Kenneth Cushner (Kent State University, Ohio, USA) and Klaus Jonas (University of Zurich, Switzerland).

2. Method

The project’s emphasis is on the two interwoven processes. The first step was to search for new expressive possibilities afforded by the contemporary visual language, as related to the cutting edge of “The Critical Time of the World Civilization.” I have explored the mental processes and various paradigms in order to represent the contemporary civilization clearly, without biases — the action that always constitutes specific challenges for contemporary art, modern art and/or media arts. I had experimented with real-practice problems and analyzed the way in which they affect the internal sense until I was able to come up with the design solution. The results of the first step will have to be tested and the various findings project will have to be integrated. The conclusion will be drawn when research work associated with the New Art project will have been accomplished and the final ways of art will have been established.

3. Results and Discussions

From the 17th century onward, the advancement of new technologies has had a tremendous impact on every human being in the world. At the same time, the scientific developments have provoked numerous ethical and moral issues. High-end technology is often times goes against the faith and religious believes in heaven (just one but vivid example: through the scientific experiments humans managed to produce new life by cloning, in the course of which new cells are being created by means of bioengineering). In my view, the effort to invent new goods following the demand and basic human needs means simply to satisfy the desire and passion of the basic individual living. The varieties of happiness look as Virtual Reality that refer to the fifth internal senses’ content only a section short-temporary or extremely mobilize new-science technology to seek benefit of all directions. Nobody even thinks of a future if they know that they can gain immediate benefits from the fusion of sub-particles and atoms. In a search for new territories, they are ready to go to the outermost galaxies of the solar system, for their desire does not know an end. Some people strive to set up and expand their administrative power while hunting for the new colonies that would reinforce their status as masters in the world. (Looking at the weak subordinate is an act of supremacy.) With the progress of technology, our morality is vanishing. Lack of morality becomes an insanity of the many; including separating a rack of mobility among the gain and the loss, a superior and inferior of an extremely discrimination. Aesthetical feeling, memory, optimism and common sense — all these are being distorted and destroyed because of a profound change in the human behavior in the last century. Our society is producing nothing in peace. The virgin world was painfully trapped and damaged by illusionist tricks. This current situation cannot be neglected or left without rethinking, and this becomes the central focus as well as the cutting edge of “The Critical Time of the World Civilization.”

4. Conclusions

Our world is full of uncertainties and ambiguities. The society views its surroundings in a purely scientific way. In my opinion, civilization with its science is unable to provide valid answers or satisfactory explanations. Frequently, knowledge comes with the power whose impact reaches far beyond the individual’s intuition and intellect. Scientific achievements have challenged moral codes and ethics as well as faith and religion. Science and technology can bring a threat and do harm to the humanity. The reverse side of utopia is pessimism. A human quest to conquer distant galaxies and an endless search for new colonies reflect the longing for power, aggrandizement, and control. The imbalance of power between those who control and those who are controlled has led to a general disorder and the dilemmas. In the era of mass confusion and distorted values, aesthetics and common sense are greatly subverted. In the early 21st century, we are facing the crisis of the world civilization.


The original concept/ideas “At the Dawn of the 21st Century: A View-Thought ‘The Red Window’” (“The Critical Time of the World Civilization”) expanded into a three-dimensional work, which contains the architectural structure, electronic lighting control, and sound effects thus creating a living spatial–temporary environment.

[Figure 1][Figure 2][Figure 3][Figure 4][Figure 5]


1. Toyo Ito, Tomorrow Where Shall We Live?, Japan Foundation, ISBN 974-89801-4-6, November 1996 (Catalogue)

2. Apinan Poshyananda, Utopia 1997, Art Centre, Chulalongkorn University, June 1997 (Catalogue)

3. Paolo De Grandis and Pierre Restary, OPEN’999, The Arte Communications, Venice, Italy, September, 1999 (Catalogue)

4. Diane Gromala, Siggraph 2000, Art Galleries, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A, July 2000 (Catalogue)

5. Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, A Lecture by Sarawut Chutiwongpeti on His Work and Media Art in Thailand, Fukuoka, Japan, March 2000

6. Kobe University of Design, A Lecture by Sarawut Chutiwongpeti on His Work and Media Art in Thailand, Kobe, Japan, March 2000

7. Seth Thompson, Reflections on Utopia: Sarawut Chutiwongpeti’s Work in Perspective, Wigged Productions, New York, U.S.A, June 2002. (Article)

8. Edwin Ramoran, Revolutions Per Minute, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, U.S.A, August 2002 (Article)

9. Dmitry Vilensky, “Youth, Pop Culture, MTV and Other Phenomena Everybody Loves”, PH2 – New International Illustrated Edition on Contemporary Art, Russian National Center for Contemporary Art, Kaliningrad, Russia, April 2003 (Article)

10. Davis O. Nejo, Palace of Light, Art and Culture in the Public Space, Cross Cultural Communication, Vienna, Austria, April 2003 (Catalogue)

11. Pilar De Burgos; Sara Edström; Jan-Erik Falk; Maria Lundström; Pia Schmaltz; Dan Lestander and Ricky Sandberg, Luleå Winter Biennial , Luleå, Sweden, January 2004 (Catalogue)

12. Lee Yong Tsui, Mutimedia Art Asia Pacific (MAAP) and Southeast Asian Forum, Nanyang Technological University, ISBN 981-05-2187-1, Singapore, October 2004 (CD Catalogue)

13. Valerie C. Doran, Sarawut Chutiwongpeti-Contemporary Asian Artist, Hong Kong Independent Curators Association, Asia Tatler Magazine, Hong Kong, July 2006 (Magazine)

14. Uchida Hiroshi, The Installation series of “Untitled 2007”, The Japan Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand, February 2007 (Catalogue)

15. Francisco Calvo Serraller, María Calleja, Francisco Javier de la Plaza Santiago, Juan González-Posada Martínez, 15. BIENAL DE ESCULTURA DE VALLADOLID, Fundación Municipal de Cultura Valladolid, Spain (Catalogue and Press Release)

16. Gio Aloi, Antennae Manifesto,, New Internet Publication on Art and Nature, United Kingdom, March 2007 (Internet)

17. Andreas Jacobs, Creative Resistance-New Media as Soft Arms Amsterdam , Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2007 (Internet, ISSN 1874-9534, Vollume 14 Issue2 summer 2007)

18. Hong-hee Kim, The Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams >> Tomorrow is Another Days…), Art Now 2007, Gyeonggido Museum of Modern Art, October 2007 (Catalogue)

19. Eunjung Son and Sohee Kim (Curator, Alternative Space LOOP), Somee Kim (Program manager, MIZY Center), PROJECT STANDING BY OOO. season4, XI Gallery, Seoul, Korea, August 2008 (Catalogue and Press Release)

20. Cheong Jong Hyo, Choi A Reum, KIAF Operation Committees and Galleries Associate of Korea, The Installation series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams), Korea International Art Fair 2008, Seoul, Korea, September 2008 (Catalogue and Press Release)


I gratefully acknowledge the generous support of The Ministry of Culture and Tourism Republic of Korea, The Japan Foundation, The Swedish Institute, The Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs, The Prince Claus Fund, The European Union, The Wien Kulture, The Open Society Arts & Culture Network Program, The Cross Cultural Communication, The Luleå municipality,The Luleå Employment office-Culture and Media, The County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, The Norrbotten County Council, The Kolding Kommune, The Gyeonggido Museum of Modern Art, The Danwon Art Museum , The Arko Museum, The Royal University College of Fine Arts, The Banff Centre for the Arts, The International Cultural Centre Jeunesses Musicales Crotia Groznjan, ZKM-Institute for Visual Media Center for Art and Media, The Designskolen, The TOU SCENE Contemporary Centre of Art , The Nordic Theatre Union, The Central European University, The Smithsonian Institution: The Freer Gallery of Art and The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, The Southeast Asian Computer Graphics Society, The Nanyang Technological University, The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Kobe University of Design, The Nagoya Design Center, The Waseda University, The Chulalongkorn University, Alternative Space LOOP, MIZY Center, XI Gallery and Korea International Art Fair 2008.

Résumé (français)

Cette étude vise à explorer les possibilités de développement d’un langage visuel conceptuel interculturel. Elle a en particulier pour objectif de déterminer s’il est possible de développer un nouvel art collaboratif qui représente simultanément l’art contemporain et la civilisation technologique moderne dans laquelle nous vivons. On croit généralement, notamment dans la communauté artistique, que l’art contemporain et l’art moderne peuvent augmenter la diffusion de diverses informations, favoriser une profonde universalité de la nature humaine et ainsi promouvoir des collaborations interculturelles dans tous les domaines. Cette idée a cependant aussi été remise en question en raison des différences de structure, de style et de philosophie manifestes perçues entre les arts par différents spectateurs. Dans cette étude, un ensemble d’œuvres d’art contemporaines va être évalué. Les résultats comparés seront utilisés pour l’étude de quatre questions importantes : Quelles sont les principales sensations et réactions du grand public face à l’œuvre d’art contemporaine ou moderne ? Dans quelle mesure l’art conceptuel contemporain pourrait-il révéler la nouvelle tendance des changements de valeur au sein des sociétés ? La théorie et la pratique de l’art contemporain et de l’art moderne aborderaient-elles et contribueraient-elles à résoudre les problèmes sociaux d’aujourd’hui au sein de chaque société ? L’art contemporain et l’art moderne participent-ils à instaurer une harmonie entre des peuples vivant dans des contextes géopolitiques différents et ayant des systèmes de valeurs différents ? Enfin seront examinées plusieurs implications quant au lien entre les formes d’expression verbales et non verbales des pensées et des sentiments.

Citer cet article

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, « At the Dawn of the 21st Century: A View-Thought « The Red Window » », [Plastik] : Être ici et là : La relativité générale et la physique quantique #01 [en ligne], mis en ligne le 20 juin 2010, consulté le 29 mai 2024. URL : ISSN 2101-0323

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