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Weaving Chakma

2023 Thailand Biennale, Chiang Rai

Pablo Bartholomew's ongoing work "Weaving Chakma" (2017-2018) commissioned for the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 is currently shown at the 2023 Thailand Biennale, Chiang Rai 2023 at Chiang Rai International Art Museum (CIAM). The first local curatorial team of Artistic Directors Rirkrit Tiravanija and Gridthiya Gaweewong, with Curators Angkrit Ajchariyasophon and Manuporn Luengaram, will be exploring the theme titled “The Open World”. Inspired by a Buddha statue from 13th century at Pa Sak temple in Chiang Saen, the “Open World” concept embodies wisdom, enlightenment, and the opening up of our perceptions of art and reality, prompting contemplation on envisioning a better future.

Through several bodies of work created with indigenous communities in Noetheast India, Pablo Bartholomew has observed that these communities wear their cultural DNA through their clothing, ornamentation, and marking on their bodies; codes that they keep as a form of self-identity. In this work, Bartholomew traces the links between geographically fractured indigenous community/ethnic minority Chakma in Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.

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