Meet the experts: Navin Rawanchaikul

Leading artist tells us about his work

Interview
The artist

Navin Rawanchaikul
Yavuz Fine Art

Your work has included the production of comics, art installations, film and even painted cars. What are you planning to exhibit here in Dubai?
The project is called Postcards from Dubai and it includes a series of paintings and a video, based on my experience of visiting Dubai for the first time. I was amazed that this was such a fast-growing city that is also preserving its heritage. I was interested in Dubai’s cityscape, with new buildings like the Burj Khalifa beside old, historical sites like the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House and Dubai Museum, and the relationship between the old and new. While Dubai is a global city, this project aims to focus on the South Asian community, who make up the majority of people here in Dubai. My ancestors were Indian immigrants to Chiang Mai from the Punjab region, which is now in Pakistan, so because of my background I felt a personal connection with this community. A lot of the Indian and Pakistani migrants have been in Dubai for a very long time and I wanted to show the changes in Dubai from their stories and experiences.

What is the most exciting medium for your art right now?
I am interested in any medium but the key is how to connect art with people who are in a particular place and time. I have tried to search for the connection between contemporary art and community engagement, or what I call ‘community portraits’, while also trying to open up the art to a broader audience.

Are you planning a collaboration?
You could say that this project for Art Dubai is a collaboration with the people of Dubai. I went to the different marketplaces to interview the Indians and Pakistanis who work there. I wanted to capture their voices and stories, and the interviews developed into this project.
Head to Contemporary booth A 32.

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