Artist Dhanut Tungsuwan questions modern internet mentality

The latest solo exhibition of budding Thai artist Dhanut Tungsuwan explores the idea of uncertain future.

Did Neil Armstrong really landed on the moon? In the future, there will be something like the Space Travel Organisation in Thailand? If AI rule the world, what should we, humans, do?

These are some of the questions posted in Dhanut Tungsuwan’s “Corruption” exhibition, now on view at Case Space Revolution, which is also the third solo exhibition of the London graduate. Today we sit and talk with the artist.

How this exhibition has developed from the past one?
“This exhibition has more narratives. For the previous one, there is just one main topic that covered all the works. This time, each painting has its own narrative. It is more like a tale.”

You said that this exhibition was inspired by the vdos and social media. Can you tell us more?
“It think it’s more about the internet in general. What interests me is how we get, receive and use the information nowadays. I am one of those who was born in the pre-internet era. Right now we have loads of information in one click. How we remember and talk to each other are not the same anymore. There was a time when I was really into Romanticism, like the power of nature. I saw life as mountains that we had to conquer to reach the top and see beautiful views. Right now, it’s not like that anymore because we have Google. I know it’s not the same, but it’s getting closer.”

This exhibition is about the duality between the real world and the digital world, and the blurred line between them. We don’t know anymore what is real or not. In terms of art, there are no boundaries anymore as well. In the age of copy and paste and screenshots, what is the difference between the real and the reproduced one? What’s the value of art?

There are so many feelings in this series. Why is that?
“I like Sci-Fi stuff and I would like to do this as a big book with short stories. Each story doesn’t have to relate to the rest. For example, ‘Feed My Dog’ is about some time in the future. A man left his dog in a ski cabin and let the AI feed him. The AI eventually killed the dog because it had already calculated that the dog had cancer and could survive for only two years. The intention is the same but the executions are different. This was one of the topics about the future that we are facing.”

What do you think about AI?
If something happens like in Terminator, I think I will be on the AI side, seriously. I think it’s the only way that humans can reach other universes, and the only way that we can pass on our legacies. I love humans and I love my life, but in reality, we are too attached to our humanhood. We think we are the best creature existed, which might be not true. Our brains are also computers that work on binary mode. They are just in the forms of the biological ones. We believe that we act rationally, but 80% of our actions are done by primitive instincts. So robots might drive us forward. The irony is although I’m not anti-robot, this series came out as something quite anti-AI, which is good. It’s a counter-argument in a way, keeping the works balanced.

The duty as an artist?
“I have two answers for this. One is that artists have to create works that are like conversations everyone can join. It is a way to express yourself in a subtle way, without limits or consideration. Secondly, artists have to know themselves. They need to know what they are doing and the reason they are doing it for. In the digital world, people stop thinking. Something is good or not depends on the number of likes. I want to encourage people to think more. I might not be a deep thinker or philosopher, but at least I know what I am doing and why I love something. Thinking will push us further.”

Corruption by Dhanut Tungsuwan is on view until 4 July 2019 at Case Space Revolution.

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