Derived from a Roman word, Genii Loci refers to the protective spirit of a place and the name of an exhibition by Rush Pleansuk, an artist who translates and transforms the Asian tradition and Thai belief that spirits are believed to be protectors of the living into contemporary creation. The construction and identification of a certain object as a place where the ‘spirit’ resides is deeply rooted within the culture and has been passed on to the present time through Pleansuk’s intricately interwoven art of furniture design where the abstract is made tangible.
Pleansuk began the creation process for this collection by searching for objects and materials that had been imprinted with memories, a task in which he draws upon all his artistic assets to make the spirit of the object tangible. Bits and pieces of objects and memories are arranged together as art objects capable of communicating and articulating stories of the past. The results of Pleansuk’s artistic interpretations offer a unique response reflective of the sense of the raw materials.
The content of Genii Loci, which raises issues involving the ‘circle of life,’ is divided into three main sections. ‘Body’ depicts the temporariness of the human body through the use of concrete and wooden fragments of old houses. Smoked Rosewood is used to interpret ‘Sense,’ symbolizing the ultimate truth of life similar to a joss stick burning from wood into smoke, floating, lingering and fading away while the texture of the wooden house is no different from the physicality of the human body, deteriorating over time. ‘Memory’ is the last part, consisting of Memory No.1, Memory No.2 and Memory No.3, a collection where old furniture is used as the foundation for different compositions to be built upon, taking the ‘House of Spirit’ to its physical and spiritual completion. Family stories passed on from generation to generation, received and retold and mementos of memories such as photographs and personal belongings of ancestors may be placed inside as a means of bringing the past closer and allowing for memories to become accessible once again.
People in modern day society have seemingly abandoned their roots completely and lie asleep under the illusionary dream of materialism; perhaps this silent conversation initiated by the “Genii Loci” might succeed in rebuilding the bond that, at one time, bridged what seem today distant gaps and linked individuals and their ancestors together across time.
Article by : Sudaporn Jiranukornsakul