“There are approximately 10,268 7-Eleven stores in Thailand with an average of 11.8 million daily visitors (2019). 7-Eleven stores operate 24 hours per day and have become a common sight within the urban landscape.” — Miti Ruangkritya
The juxtaposition of the tranquil, properly composed photographs of the stores at twilight with the messy, newspaper-y images of those stores in their helplessness forms the conceptual backbone of Ruangkritya’s new show titled A CONVENIENT SUNSET | A CONVENIENT HOLDUP. At once precise and dreamy, placid and absurd, inviting and eerie, it teases our expectations, provokes interpretation, and above all hints at the inevitability of chaos even in the environment as controlled and manufactured as those brightly-lit stores frequented by almost every Thai every day.
The sketchy, short-lived online images intended for fast news in the HOLDUP part of A CONVENIENT SUNSET | A CONVENIENT HOLDUP highlight that haunting quality in Ruangkritya’s work. In these pictures, we witness the lurking force symbolized by small-time crooks and lo-tech thieves, their faces hidden under masks or hoods: They are the invisible people squeezed dry by the economic hierarchy, pervasive inequality and corporate dominance, and thus Miti’s photographs of Thailand’s favorite convenience store chain suggest all the unspoken inconveniences concealed beneath the bright neon glare.
Part of a press release written by Kong Rithdee for A Convenient Sunset | A Convenient Holdup exhibition in 2019 at Bangkok CityCity Gallery, Thailand.
Miti Ruangkritya (1981) is based in Thailand. His work focuses on an issue or a topic surrounding his life. In particular, the city often surfaces as a dominant subject – from its environments and people and to its transformation and growth.
In 2016 he was selected as one of the finalists of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize and was again nominated in 2020.
Exhibition in 2019 includes a solo exhibition, A Convenient Sunset | A Convenient Holdup (Bangkok CityCity, Thailand). Group exhibitions include Temporal Topography: MAIIAM’s New Acquisitions; from 2010 to Present (Maiiam Museum, Chiangmai, Thailand), Long March Project: The Deficit Faction (Long March Space, Beijing, China), GAP: A distinct to reality, (DECK, Singapore) and Electrical Moods, (Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Germany).
He has produced 20 publications since 2011 including 4 books in 2019 through self publishing or co-producing with gallery and publisher such as Bangkok CityCity (Thailand) and Onestar press (France).
His work and publication are collected by Singapore Art Museum, Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum (Thailand), The Backers Foundation (Japan) and Library at Tate (UK), Tai Kwun (Hong Kong), Metropolitan Museum of Art (US) and Centre for Artists’ Publications at Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Germany)