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Body Universe
Group Exhibition HOP Hub of Photography, Bangkok, Thailand
Date: 12.09, 2021 - 01.30, 2022

Artists: Robert ZHAO Renhui 赵仁辉 | 

Curated by Nim Niyomsin and Ekkarat Punyatara

9 December 2021 – 30 January 2022
3rd floor, MUNx2, Seacon Square, Srinakarin

Our life is as big as what we want it to be. Things are as important as how we perceive them. This exhibition is about assumption and perspective. It points to how we see ourselves, the world, and our place in the universe. It is also trying to explore the role of photography and its cross-disciplinary functions.

Subjects of this exhibition range from the minuscule of small living insects to the vast unimaginable area of deep interstellar space. Simple elements are presented from an unusual viewpoint. Scale and proportion are distorted. Enormity and minute are placed alongside each other. Things that first seem far apart are all interconnected. Everything is the product of this universe.

Astronomers look back, literally, into the Nebula to understand star formation, the foundation of all the elements and life in the universe. The age of the universe is close to 14 billion years, but homo sapiens only emerged in the last 300,000. Since then, all matters and observations have been given meaning as understood and perceived by us. Objects have been given insights and abstract concepts, with layers of understanding and complexity as can only be recognized by a human being.

For example, light, which gives us the ability to appreciate color, also gives us photography and a means to record and preserve nature. The soil in our land has been used to grow crops and produce basic utensils, while at the same time, its possession can lead to class division and struggle. The human body and its decoration are not just biological but also gives traces of cultural and socio-political meaning.

This exhibition is a collaboration with photographers from various fields, including professional artists, a ceramist, a medical technician, science photographers, an astronomer, and documenters. All present different approaches and interests. Equipment and techniques used vary from analogue to digital, light source to electron particles, and latest technology customization to ready-made. Some photographers here do not consider themselves artists. However, with such passion, art is just another man-made definition based on culture and context, open to different perspectives and interpretations. What these people have in common is their devotion to present the world they all have experienced, understood, and been fascinated by.

In Body Universe, everything is about perception and perspective. For us, life and our surroundings can be something precious, given the slim chance of life occurring at all. But it can also be something meaningless. We only exist for a brief moment in this universe, yet sometimes feel at the center of it all, absorbed in our private concerns. But in the end, it all comes down to the freedom of our outlook, perception, and interpretation. This is what will guide our understanding, our life, its direction, and destination.

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