[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ive in the Moment by Jonas Dept and Oat Montien.
The heartbeat is such a personal phenomenon, the closest person that one will ever be connected to is his/her mother, through the heartbeat when it formed the soundtrack to 9 months in the womb. In Bangkok, over Thai Mother’s Day (August 12th which coincides with Queen Sirikit’s birthday) artists Jonas Dept and Oat Montien created a site specific installation and performance called Live in the Moment inspired by the mother’s heartbeat.
In an intimate set that was created on the luxury fashion floor of Emporium Department store: stacks of canvases, a grand piano and a giant easel of white paper was the stage for the performance to unfold. The artistic duo is made up of Jonas Dept and Oat Montien whom are partners in love, life and work; they often create site-specific artworks together that explore the notion of intimacy. Jonas having trained in his native Belgium at the prestigious Royal Conservatory before moving to Thailand ten years ago and Oat an alumnus of Central St. Martin’s, the duo, for the past years have collaborated on performance pieces in galleries and spaces in Bangkok.
For Live for the Moment, it is the bond between mother and child that is at the core of the work and a child is invited to amplify his/her mother’s heartbeat by placing a stethoscope device on her heart. As the heartbeat is amplified and the beating rhythm of the heart is heard, Jonas starts his musical composition. The music would then guide Oat’s strokes of charcoal on paper from strong bold ones to light delicate ones both artists working in synch with each other, the heartbeat as the background force and the physical relationship between mother and child inspiring their works. There is a sense that the artists were also in tune with their sitters, able to interpret their relationship and bond through body language of mother and child. The three parties were somehow in the moment together, in synchronicity with one another.
The audience was able to watch this performance unfold from the ground floor or the different floors of the store down to the installation thus getting different angles though the music was heard throughout. Guests invited to take part included Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief/mega fashion icon Duang Poshyanonda and her mother, model Cindy Bishop and her daughter, Hip-hop mogul and star Khan Thaitainium, and much in-demand designer Polpat Asavaprapha and his mother.
It was an intervention that became more than just a passing moment; it was a celebration between artists, mother and her child. It was a reminder of how special mums are and the uniqueness of the heartbeat. And for Bangkok, a reminder also that art and experiences can come in a great variety of shapes and forms. Merging science with art and performance, albeit in a department store is a sign also that art and experiences are becoming key to the enjoyment of a city and thanks to artists like Jonas and Oat who gave it their all over an afternoon on Mother’s day to create memories for mothers and their children, reinforcing the bond between those who participated, provoking conversation for those who witnessed it and ultimately for them, understanding better the nature of intimacy between mother and child.
photos via Live in the Moment by Jonas Dept and Oat Montien