Poetry in Public Project
My activities always combine art and activism together. I organize workshops on human rights and activism for community leaders, especially PWHA, artist exchanges, and cultural events. I also create performance art, writing poetry, short fiction, and essays on politics, the arts and society.
Since 1998, I have organised the annual ASIATOPIA Performance Art Festival in Bangkok, which focuses on Asian performance art. In 1999, I organized a poetry reading by performance artists at Concrete House, to commemorate the late poet & painter Tang Chang. I began to experiment performing with text, and found it quite encouraging.
Poetry is the „writing of time“, which expands into another experience of time. Poetry reading is a translation of text into sound, that is, a translation into a different medium. The sound of poetry being read is an expression of performance. I do not intend to translate the language or meaning of poetry, but only present the sounds of natural language and musical literature.
Ten contemporary Thai poets, whom I personally selected and invited, share the same principles in their lives and political ideology. Significantly they are the people of today’s generation. They are respected as young pioneers in Thailand’s literature circle, and represent Thailand today.
I would like to try to express the text in the Thai language. Each poem will lead me with its structure of sounds and rhythm. I will try to describe each poem in written text after the sound of the poem has been expressed. This is to help viewers appreciate the meaning of the re-written, and re-interpreted poetry at that moment, rather than of the original poetry itself.
We all have been conditioned to read words rather than to hear the sounds of the words. We are conditioned to listen to music but not to the sounds of the music. Our ability to see and hear has been conditioned to follow instructions and to limit our communication. I present this process in order to seek an alternative for us to reach each other and to break cultural barriers. At least I try.
Chumpon Apisuk (TH), Poetry in Public Project, Performance am 6.7.2000, Tornitz/Werkleitz