“Who but the farmer knows…?”


HD video 4’ 25”, part of a mixed media installation

Sharing the Future, CMU Gallery, Chiang Mai University

My interest in Thai rice (jasmine rice) arose out of a simple desire to present a work made using materials sourced from Thailand. Coming upon a packet of Jasmine rice, the main export variety, while still in Japan, it struck me that Chiang Mai and Nakanojo shared a common connection as rice-producing regions, while rice could also be understood as a material that connects rural areas to cities, and the present to the past through a long agricultural tradition.

Rice farmers in Thailand have toiled the land for countless generations, facing various hardships throughout history, yet it is only their recent plight, caused by volatile market values and the complex entanglement of schemes introduced by the government, which has brought particular media attention. Through interviews with local rice farmers in Chiang Mai, I was given a glimpse of the difficulties facing rice growers today. The resulting work was an expression of respect to the rice farmers I met, and a meditation on the beauty of what is yielded through their labor.