In DÉJÀ VU: Your Past is My Future, new context for imagination is introduced through Guatama Buddha’s Dhamma preaching journeys, challenging an apparent Eastern and Western cultural division. A prior presentation of the series was exhibited at Fondazion Made in Cloister, Naples, Italy in October 2019. It referenced Buddha’s spiritual journeys and relics that oscillated between factual and imaginative accounts of historical and archaeological information.
The title Déjà Vu is derived from Utarit’s reminiscence and recollection of the past. Utarit often catches glimpses of such vague images steeped in memory or the subconscious when he stumbles upon ideas and stories that profoundly parallels his current interest. Strong sensations as such often manifest itself into potential raw materials and develops further into Utarit’s work process.
In his Naples exhibition, Utarit was profoundly struck with inspiration to portray Buddha’s journeys and relics vis-à-vis an impressive Greco-Roman marble sculpture from Museum Archaelogico. The sculpture enabled an assumption of Buddha’s visit in days of yore. A combination of techniques was employed to reconcile the abstract notions of ‘time’ and ‘space’, and anchoring it between Buddha’s footprint (utilizing ancient Neapolitan-style mosaic technique) and Buddha’s quotation (via the vernacular of graffiti and Thai lacquer work aesthetics). The exhibition is considered Utarit’s attempt at amalgamating Eastern and Western narratives and circumventing linear histories of grand civilizations and dogmatic religious beliefs.
Déjà Vu is an expansion of Utarit’s ideas and work processes from his Naples exhibition. By Utarit’s further understanding and sophistication of the series, new presentation methods and techniques were developed, widening its geographical and archaeological range. The series therefore discovers itself within a variety of linguistics and etymology including Latin, Brahmi, and Pali-Sanskrit – a classical and liturgical language of the Theravada Buddhist canon and indigenous to Southeast Asia. Through his imagination, Utarit demonstrates the illusory line between the narratives of East and West, and reveals how fluid history can be via flows, fluctuations, assimilations and transformations in tandem with social forces and prerequisites for life.
Natee Utarit – DÉJÀ VU: Your Past is My Future