Lecture, Conversation

29 May 2007

RIR in Public: Sopawan Boonnimitra

Research-in-Residence Presentation by Artist Sopawan Boonnimitrain Conversation with Art Theorist Sarat Maharaj,Tuesday 29 May 2007 at 20.00 hrs.

Utrecht—Sopawan Boonnimitra, artist and guest of the Research-in-Residence program (RIR), presents her research and work in progress on the construction of immigrant identity in the Netherlands.Following the presentation, art theorist and art historian Sarat Maharaj engages in conversation with the artist and audience.

Boonnimitra, a guest of the RIR since the beginning of April, has used the residency period to extend her ongoing artistic research on the social meaning of contemporary migration and the shifting notion of “home” in the Dutch context.

Building upon her research project Leave to Remain, which considers how the distinct boundaries of the notion of “home” have been dismantled by the contemporary condition of mobility and migration as well as the presence of the body of the ‘other,’ Boonnimitra explores the particular psychological and social condition of immigrants and refugees in the Netherlands. In this presentation, the artist introduces and reflects on the current stage of her research, screens a few fragments from the unedited video-documents as well as her previous video-works, and discusses her plan for further development of the project, which will ultimately take the form of a complex installation including video, photography, and text.

Sopawan Boonnimitra recently completed her PHD in Artistic Research at Goldsmith College, London, MalmöArt Academy, Malmö, and Lund University, Lund with a thesis entitled, “Lak-ka-pid-lak-ka-perd: Contemporary Urban Conditions with Special Reference to Thai Homosexuality.” She is also a regular lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. For further information on her previous research and art projects, see www.leavetoremain.com. Boonnimitra lives and works in Bangkok.

Sarat Maharaj is an eminent art theorist and art historian whose research covers issues of cultural translation and globalization. As a professor at Goldsmiths College, London, MalmöArt Academy, Malmö, and Lund University, Lund, hehas been engaged in critical dialogue with Boonnimitra during the development of her PhD thesis, and joins the presentation to share critical feedback on Boonnimitra’s current research. Maharaj is currently based in London.


The Research-in-Residence program (RIR) provides international artists, researchers, writers, curators, and critics with an opportunity to spend a period of time living and working in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands in order to develop their artistic or theoretical work.

Residencies are of different durations and vary according to the needs of the residents as well as the agreements and commitments with or towards the cooperating organizations. Two Utrecht-based art organizations are responsible for the RIR program: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and SWK, Foundation for Working Spaces for Artists.

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