Golden Ghost

I’m not sure I entirely understand the following text, could be due to the English translation or perhaps I’m not thinking about it enough. However, this is part of an art installation at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre where I whiled away a few hours today. I was very impressed by all the work on display, but this in particular caught my attention. I basically think it is about searching for friendship and life, even if you have to go through 2 tons of threads, regardless of whether or not you find it. But make of it what you will. It touched me, and I spent quite a while amid the cotton, and not for the prospect of gold. People changed there… time stopped… we were all allies in our search, and friendly conversation bounced around.

(O My Friend, There Are a Lot of Friends) 2011 – Surasi Kusolwong

One evening in June in Bangkok.

Baby Gold and Ghost meet by chance and talk to each other…

Baby Gold: You think we can really escape from the pain?

Ghost: Absolutely not. But we can learn from it…

BG: How?!?

G: To understand it’s nature. As you know there are many levels of pain; sickness, illness, or suffering, both physical and mental. You may confront or experience them yourself or learn from the people around you that you love. The most important thing is that you have to hold on to your ‘awareness’, then you will understand this kind of life in process.

BG: Please continue!

G: Pain is an important part of the whole ‘Circle of Life’ that is complete with birth, ageing, and dying together… So, you have to look with your eyes and find the beauty with your mind. As Ajahn Chah once said ‘When you want to enter the Dharma, you go in through recognising the fact of Dukkha‘.

BG: That’s beautiful! But it’s very complex and very difficult! And why do you hide me and all my friends in this huge landscape of two tons of threadwaste?

G: Because there will be a lot of friends looking for you! You are one of the true value of things in ‘real’ material and also immaterial at the same time; desire and spiritual, disappointment and happiness, action and thought… This will remind people when they dig and find or not find you.

BG: Got it! But what happens if people cannot find me?

G: No problem. But i’m sure they will find you someday because of this situation to find or not to find is also the nature of the piece condition. Otherwise if not, it’s a mystic that logic cannot reach… but people know that you are still somewhere. The idea of hiding you guys in the exhibition space is imaginable and it exists in the minds of many people anyway afterwards…

BG: And what about the shape? Why you make me in shape of heart-rate graph?

G: Because I want to make you as a sign of life that existing energy today of ‘present time’ in which art exists. To say more clearly, pain is between life and death. You really don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I mean, even in the next minute.

BG: By the way is Golden Ghost a good ghost?

G: Yes, we are! Every good spirit becomes a good ghost.

BG: Yeah, that’s really cool!!!

BG: Can I ask you the last question?

G: Sure, go ahead!

BG: Our conversation is a form of art?

G: Oh yes! This conversation is art.

BG: And when people read our conversation?

G: Then, they’re reading a work of art.

A man pulling up threads

The necklace designs

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