“SUM NUH NAH or the Nightmare of the Haunted Buddha”
by Jacob Williams
Curated by Sebastien Agneessens
Febuary 4th to April 2nd, 2006
Diesel Denim Gallery – 68 Greene Street, NY
Opening Reception – Feburary 23rd, 7 to 9 pm
“My encounter with Jacob Williams takes us back to last fall. He had recently come back from a one-year trip working as an English teacher in Thailand, and was just ready to share his new series of artworks about his experience there. Being deeply interested in globalization and acculturation, this process by which foreign cultures influence local cultures, I became quickly fascinated by the furious amalgams and fluorescent rage screaming out of his paintings.
His vision of Thailand is rather close to a post-tsunami one, as he pertinently catches drifting elements borrowed from Eastern traditions, Thai epic illustrations, Japanese B-series, and Western heroic motifs. The violence of his work naturally contrasts with our idyllic idea of South East Asia, and more particularly with the peaceful energy inherent to Buddhism, the religion Williams was looking to embrace when he first landed in Phuket.
You may understand from “SUM NUH NAH or the nightmare of the haunted Buddha” that Jacob Williams has not exactly followed the path of the enlightened, but has chosen instead to delve into tensions between cultures, sexes and economics.
We conceived this exhibition as a horror movie set abstraction, with its panorama of floating figures dancing like spirits over our heads. This installation marks Jacob Williams’ first solo exhibition in New York City.”
Sebastien Agneessens, Curator
(Formavision – http://www.formavision.info)
The Diesel Denim Galleries are concept stores positioned between retail spaces and art galleries. Located in New York, Tokyo and Osaka, they aim at linking Diesel to the world of contemporary art through bimonthly art installations and limited edition products and prints.