Buffalo Field 2018, Bangkok

Our first meeting at Nan Long area at the Khwaeng Wat Sommanat, the community’s local temple; Ploy Yamtree (middle of circle) Co-curator of Buffalo Field Event, talking to community leader, P Daeng who has provided us with materials, resource and volunteers for our performance and installation ideas

Our first meeting at Nan Long area at the Khwaeng Wat Sommanat, the community’s local temple; Ploy Yamtree (middle of circle) Co-curator of Buffalo Field Event, talking to community leader, P Daeng who has provided us with materials, resource and volunteers for our performance and installation ideas

 

It begins with the passion to offer…

P Daeng gave an emotional speech about how important it was to draw care and attention to the state of the community through art. Difficult access to permission and grants to improve their living conditions, and the potential of disruption when construction plans for the underground substation begin, all add to the frustration of the community. She hopes that if international artists care enough to bring their work to the Nan Loeng (or Nan Lerng) community it will kickstart an empowering process for the locals. This is certainly one of the hopes of Ploy Yamtree, the senior architect of Openspace, who is a co-initiator alongside Mike Hornblow in realising the ‘performing arts for social-impact’ event Buffalo Field 2018.

This initial gathering made me think of doing a walking ritual that was about the community symbolically claiming the grounds in which the walk took place. I remember when Honi Ryan shared her work and publication, We Walk Lahore - what an amazingly ambitious project that was and how poignant the participatory walk was, especially for the women. This was going to be a humble 15-20 minute session, with the guidance of a small child and/or an older person local to the area…

I wanted the walk to be at once a physical, mental and an emotional health statement, as well as a social commentary left behind by the trail of yellow flowers that were bought from the Pak Khlong Talat (riverside flower market) that appears to be form part of the temple ‘industry’.

The humble streets and homes of a community should be accorded the same respect as a place of devotion and meditation.