Taiki Sakpisit, Dark Was The Night / video still
Taiki Sakpisit: Dark Was The Night
May 9 – Jul 6, 2024
SAC Gallery
Bangkok, Thailand

Taiki Sakpisit (b.1975) presents Dark Was the Night for his third solo exhibition at SAC Gallery, drawn from Blind Willie Johnson’s blues song of the same title. Inspired by this melancholic lament, Sakpisit delves deeply into cosmic themes, planetary cycles, painful memories and traumas. The exhibition blurs the line between wakefulness and dreams, prompting reflections on the enduring bonds of shattered relationships. These reflections stir memories and persistent dreams from a recessed past that continue to resurface.

In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager Golden Record, which carried the sounds that they considered to be the most beautiful and diverse ever created on earth, such as the sound of people kissing; heartbeats; greetings in 50 languages, as well as culturally significant music, including Blind Willie Johnson’s Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (recorded in 1927). The effort was conducted to serve as an interstellar communication as well as an outreach from humanity to any extraterrestrial civilization.

Sound can connect us. Sonic waves have long been used by humans and animals to create images, as in ultrasound; as well as sensing nearby enemies, obstacles, friends, or family through echoes as used by bats and dolphins. Sakpisit carefully explores this theme throughout the exhibition by drawing inspirations from the Voyager Golden Record and various other sounds and music.

A two-channel video installation titled, Dark Was the Night (2024), closely examines the psyche and emotional state of a woman who is separated from her loved one. Though unable to physically reconnect with her kins, she can sense the connections through the metaphorical echoes, like the way a pregnant mother can connect with her child through the thump of heartbeats. By referencing a wide range of visual, musical and cultural sources, Sakpisit also presents etching prints and photographs inspired by celestial themes, orbital motions, and the October 6, 1976 Thammasat University massacre, bridging the realms between the wake and the dream state.

The gravitational pull and the rotating force extend beyond the physical sense, and perhaps may allude to the familial bond that will always pull towards each other; or memories and haunting dreams from distant past that keep returning. Complimentary to the prints is an orbiting sculpture, spinning around like a satellite – always watching, always surveilling us. Is it wise to chase after the light – the dream beyond our world – or are we allured to something harmful like a moth to a flame?

Like the Voyager Golden Record, Sakpisit’s works offer a way to create new connections and to revisit old ones. Can we find our ideals, our light, in the deep, dark space? At once lyrical and ambiguous, Sakpisit’s exhibition sings a lullaby to transport us to a state of hypnagogia – the consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. SAC Gallery invites our audience to navigate around the gallery, exploring the visions, sounds, and echoes of their memories, traversing between earth and space; dreams and realities; our own selves and those that we long for or have forgotten.

Taiki Sakpisit: Dark Was The Night
May 9 – Jul 6, 2024
SAC Gallery
Bangkok, Thailand

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