River Kwai: This Memorial Service was Held in the Memory of the Deceased , 2022
Supasuthivech’s progressive new work, River Kwai: This Memorial Service was Held in the Memory of the Deceased, is rooted in socio-historical research and explores the memory of geography and the memorialization of histories.
The artist takes as a microcosm for this tension a location on the Mae Klong River—now known internationally as the River Kwai—where the now-defunct Burma Railway crosses into Thailand. He uses this site's history as the inspiration and framework for this work to explore how a remote geographical area in the western Thai province of Kanchanaburi has been divorced from its environs, its people, and reality. Instead, it serves the forces of popular and official interest: Representing no longer a community but a spectacle.
River Kwai: This Memorial Service was Held in the Memory of the Deceased features three parts—a single-channel animated video of a light-sound show from the municipal festival in Kanchanaburi, an installation of the geographical context with multi-language voiceovers, and an offering bouquet sculpture—the immersive installation, on its surface, is a tribute to the deceased; however, at its core, it questions the infallibility of official narratives of history, and the artist presents his compatriots with a clear commentary on Thailand today.