Blind was a story of my experience of studying art at The Faculty of Fine Arts in Chiang Mai University. As a student, the main sense that we are taught to appreciate art with is sight. I wanted to create a work that appealed to other senses and might be appreciated in a different way.
I interviewed students from Chiang Mai School of the Blind about what ‘beauty’ was to them. The resulting work featured highly smooth surfaces placed next to highly textured surfaces. I also paired different textures with different smells created from mixtures of different herbs in an attempt to create a rich environment to be experienced through touch and smell rather than through sight.
Viewers were given blindfolds to wear during their ‘viewing’ of the work. Only after they had thus experienced the work, were they permitted to ‘see’ it.
Blind was presented for my final project in Sculpture Department. The board of teachers came to view the work which was installed independently in the dark attic room of the sculpture building. When I suggested to wear the provided blindfold to experience the work, they resisted.
The board criticized the ‘look’ of the sculpture, visual aesthetic, craftsmanship, and the labor process of creating the sculptures. I failed the subject, which indirectly forced me to resign from the department in order to continue my study in Fine Arts.
However, the installation was open to be experienced by the public, where it received favorable feedback and appreciation.
Materials: plaster, bamboo, wire, wax, vegetable oil, ink, incense, spices, sand, fabric
Venue: Sculpture Building, Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, Thailand