Spotlight on Taweesak Molsawat

As the only non-American artist in this exhibition, Taweesak Molsawat brings the perspective of a Thai artist into this show. Pieces executed while he was teaching in the U.S. are exhibited in the Politically Speaking jewelry show.

This is what he had to say:

This body of work titled Signs of Life was created between 2005 and 2006, when I was an Assistant Professor in Jewelry/Metalwork at San Diego State University in San Diego. This creative work was funded through Faculty Development Program Award by San Diego State University at that time.

This work focuses on the questions, reflections and searching for the answers to lives in the event of war on Iraq that profoundly affected our way of living regarding the social, cultural, political, economical, and personal issues to reveal our humanity in today society. In this work, the roles of the American government regarding foreign  policies which resulted in the collapse of American’s and Iraqi’s family and community structures, economic and natural resource exploitations, the abuses of power, and the lost of cultural identity and life,  were the focus point of this body of work specially the work titled Tank Route.

Sign of life: Tank Route, 2005, was intended to whisper very loud to the viewer without moving lips through visual metaphor of recognizable street signs, images and texts regarding the results from political decision to go to war by the President of United States at that time as a commander in chief.  The brutal results of war were unimaginable for both ends; therefore many questions had narratively and poetically posted through this creative work.

It was my intention that this work is to be a catalyst for the promotion of questions, provoking interpretations and new ways for audiences to engage and interact with jewelry. I used this work as an open-ended language with the realization of the deconstruction/reconstruction theory in a paradoxical world of objects both realized and unrealized. This contradictory relationship, exposed by the fusion of fragmented and altered recognizable sign, image and text, created a conceptual narrative and empty space to permit fresh interpretations for viewers regarding the issue of war and hopefully how we would be able to live together with peace and happiness.

In my creative work and academic research, a role of artist/researcher has become multifaceted as a social and cultural activist as well as critic, sociologist and citizen designer. This new role has developed into a critical force to critically and creatively examined and shaped both culture and society for a healthy social and cultural sustainability for diverse cultures and societies today.”

Another of Molsawat’s pieces on display is Is that right?, a silver neckpiece which quotes President Bush on his reasons for invading Iraq. The neckpiece states:

“…to make sure you understand the context in which I was making decisions. He had used weapons. He had manufactured weapons. He had funded suicide bombers into Israel. He had terrorist connections. In other words, all of those ingredients said to me: Threat.”

– President George Bush, 2004

Photos by Madison Metro