With the collaboration of Live Biennale and Institutions by Artists, Gallery Gachet welcomed internationally renowned performance artist, Chumpon Apisuk and acclaimed activist and social worker, Chantawipa (Noi) Apisuk to participate in a panel day at Gallery Gachet.
As part of their fight to draw attention to immigration issues, The Apisuks’s “Kumjing dolls” have been travelling the globe and intervening in different cities to incite social change and civil unrest. This artist’s tour builds on Gachet’s continuing efforts to create international alliances through their DTES International Artists Exchange, as with the 2011 residency with puppeteer and Thai artist, Vasan Sitthiket.
During their week in Vancouver, the Apisuks headlined the Power to the People Panel: Art Against Oppression, at Gallery Gachet (Oct 7th), and spoke at the Institutions by Artists conference (Oct 12th – 14th); while spending other time immersed in the cultural, political and economic life of Vancouver communities.
Chumpon Apisuk, is founder of Concrete House, an art and community space and the only performance art venue in Thailand, and is widely known for his activism on HIV/AIDS, human rights, and democracy issues. Founder and director of Asiatopia, an International Performance Art Festival in Thailand, he was nominated as coordinator of Silabha, a cultural program of the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in 2004. Since 1996, he has performed in Germany, England, Quebec, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, and the USA.
Noi Apisuk, is the founder of the Empower Foundation (Education Means Protection of Women Engaged in Re-creation) in Bangkok, a grassroots advocacy organization focused on the rights of women working in the entertainment and sex worker industries. EMPOWER provides workers with education and support as they strive to develop a community of fellow workers focused on building a voice for sex workers. Empower received the 2006 “Human Rights Award” from the Thai Commission on Human Rights and the United Nation’s “Red Ribbon Award 2008”, for incredible HIV/AIDS and community rights work. Noi herself has received numerous honors in recognition of her work, including the “It Works” award from the Norwegian government in 1990, a 1997 Harvard Law School scholarship for International Human Rights training and the “Outstanding Social Worker” awardin 2000 from the Thai government. www.empowerfoundation.org.