Navin Rawanchaikul - Winner of 2000
For Navin Rawanchaikul, a native of Thailand, being an artist no longer means the pursuit of subjective concerns but rather the creation of a situation that is open to communication with the public. His position is conceptual, his language is popular. Using the distinctive imagery of popular culture in Thailand, the artist presents a program that turns a young Thailander’s travels around the world into an event for exhibition visitors to participate in. The result is a complete production line of pictures, posters, T-shirts, furniture, and toys. A sumptuous and imaginative publication traces the stations of his journey; it is both a repository of ideas and a chronicle. Using the means of modern merchandising, Navin Rawanchaikul transforms his journey around the world into a gesamtkunstwerk. His confrontation between East and West yields a project that is marked by openness and continuity. Every single part of the work thus becomes a trademark for the idea of the global dialogue.
In addition to the cash prize, Baloise acquires works by the award winners and donates them to two important European museums. The work of Navin Rawanchaikul was presented to the collection of the S.M.A.K. in Gent, Belgium.