Shooting Stars/ Sternschnuppe/ ดาวตก (2010)

Video, 9 minutes, 720×480 pixel, 29 frames/sec, color, sound, dimension vary with each installation.

Shooting Stars is a reflection on the nature of media, capable of transforming reality into something different, or even into its own opposite. The media can tell a lie. As was made clear by the massacre in Bangkok in May 2010, those who are in power can control and manipulate images/sound of reality to be what they want to hear, to watch and to read. They can easily close down any other media that does not support their version. In Shooting Stars, moving images of dark street-light scenery along a railway from Chiang Mai to Bangkok could be seen either as shooting stars or a ray of death. It depends how one experience it.

This footage shot while I was traveling in a train to Bangkok a few weeks after the military crack down in there. While I was traveling, the symbolic of traveling from provinces to Bangkok, late night and moving ray of light are haunted me. It referred me to protesters traveled from small provinces to Bangkok to join the protesting. They were shot when it was dark at late night while they were about to sleep on a street.  And the rapid moving street-light scenery linked me to the rays of laser that lead direction of gun barrel and destiny of the deaths.

To distort the frightened images by turning them vertically sweep such emotion away. It could be images of shooting stars at peaceful night. In a similar way, the sound of bullet shells falling after a shooting (without the sound of the shooting itself) can create peaceful and serene emotions instead of the real fear or panic that shooting actually elicits.

Shooting Stars comments on encounters and situations that I rendered into artistic metaphors. Media can easily function as a distortion and present incomplete information about what is actually being seen.

Sutthirat Supaparinya

Review texts:

“In Shooting Stars, point of light flicker on and off while slowly descending like a meteoric swarm”
“By rendering the scenes shot from the train window abstract by turning them vertically, Supaparinya is seeing to pose questions about the information and reality all around us.”

(From a catalog, How Physical; Yebisu International Festival Art& Alternative Visions, Tokyo, 2012)

“Countless glimmering lights stream down the screen, accompanied from time to time by echoing metallic sounds. When viewers learn that this beautiful, enchanting work was inspired by the repeated clashes between protesters and the military in Thailand in 2010, the impression they receive will surely be an entirely different one. In Shooting Stars, Sutthirat Supaparinya demonstrates the characteristic of the medium of film, or how it can transform reality into something entirely different. When we are faced with a beautiful film that is dissociated from reality, we are led to ask ourselves what we truly ought to believe.”

Press release of the Video Arts Program [The 28th Program] at the Hiroshima MOCA, 2012

“a video of bullet cases falling in the dark, radiating light. Off-screen the sharp clear sound of the cases clattering to the floor, like metallic raindrops…The work expresses the feeling of lack of control in the enveloping blackness out the train window between her home city Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Bullets in the darkness.”

“Everything is not alright” at The Big Idea by a New Zealander art critic – Mark Amery. (down lode PDF)

“Trails of flickering light slice through the darkness whose formless expanse heightens the piercing echoing sound of metallic cartridges dropped on hard surface. This minimal yet affecting video is made from footage shot by Som as she was traveling on the night train from the north down to Bangkok just a few weeks after the military’s massacre of protesters in the capital of Thailand. The artist’s solitary cross-country journey echoes the ones made shortly before by hundreds of thousands of anonymous women and men propelled by the desire for change. The wordlessness of the video replaces the hysterical pitch of the dominant media’s demonisation of bodies murdered and flesh torn. Its capturing of light’s ephemeral yet inextinguishable nascence is a fitting tribute to the solidarity of spirit and the desiring bodies of those who had gone before.”

May Adadol Ingawanij for Out Of Frame Film Festival (OFF), Ho Chi Minh City (Down lode text file)

The work has been shown in the following exhibitions and countries:

Hong Kong Arts Centre 4th Annual Collectors’ Contemporary Collaboration (CCC), Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong [20 March 2016 – 10 April 2016]
Asian Film and Video Forum, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary arts (MMCA Film and Video), 9 Sep-31 Oct 2015, Seoul, Korea
Steal This Book, Toi Pōneke Art Center, 30 October – 14 November 2015, Wellington, New Zealand
Anarchy Artist Alliance (AAA), Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan*catalog
-Can You Hear Me?; Video works by six artists from Thailand at Numthong Gallery at Aree, Bangkok, Thailand *catalog
Yebisu International Festival for Arts and Alternative Visions, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan*catalog
The 28th Video Art Programs (A Window to the World), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan
-Can You Hear Me?; Video works by six artists from Thailand at Objecitfs Center for Photography and Film, Singapore
Hypothetical, Medianoche, Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, USA
Disc Is Dead, Disco Is Alive!, WTF, Bangkok, Thailand
Surface Depth, H Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand