Online Original Content: Arspiration
“The Flyby of Comets”
Shooting stars or Comets, we are the same but different.
July 20, 2019
“Travelling along the curve of this planet, some people are like shooting stars and others are like comets. People make a wish when they see a shooting star, a meteoroid on fire flying through space; but they wouldn’t do the same if they saw that same meteoroid on the ground.”
This Arspiration article would like to bring you to Brooklyn, one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in New York City, USA, where you can find artsy and ‘hipster’ places everywhere you look.
Walking from the public park, Maria Hernandez, to the intersection of Irving Avenue and Suydam Street, in two minutes we see a brick building that looks like an empty warehouse. Walk up to the 4th floor however, and you will find yourself in an art space appropriately named , “4th Floor Studios” – a no longer brand new, but still fresh, independent art space.
A subjective interpretation of American culture by an outsider is what inspired “The Flyby of Comets” – a new-media art exhibition organised by international artists who hail from different parts of Thailand but live in LA and NYC. The show at the “4th Floor Studios” was exhibited from June 31 to July 1, 2019.
Even though this particular show has ended, the project being undertaken by this group of young Thai artists has not. The project has in fact been designed as a two-city exhibition which is now being developed for relocation to Los Angeles in 2020. It’s not often that we see Thai artists who live in different places coming together to create an ongoing exhibition so we are excited to hear from the organizers behind this project who all happen to be alumni of Silpakorn University: Sutthamon Worapong, Thepnara Kongsawang and Tuangkamol Thongborisute.
. . .
Arspiration: Can you tell us how the exhibition came about?
Tuangkamol: We (Sutthamon, Thepnara, and Tuangkamol) have exhibited works together before in Thailand but the idea to have this exhibition came up when Thepnara and I got back in touch with each other through social media. We were talking about developing a community for Thai artists in the US, especially those who work in New-Media Art, to connect and support each other. Later, this idea developed into an art show for which we welcomed international Asian artists to take part.
Arspiration: Could you please tell us more about “The Flyby of Comets”?
Tuangkamol: The Flyby of Comets is a new-media art exhibition that includes video art and performance art as well as music and installation art from international creative professions who live in the US and come from various professional backgrounds. The show exhibits works that talk about their lives, both professional and personal, here in the states. It does not grapple with any particular political issue or agenda but considers the adventurous, hectic and ridiculous elements of “fitting-in” or “catching-up” to the speed and culture of life in the USA.
In this first episode of the show here in Brooklyn, we have seven participating artists: Tuangkamol Thongborisute, Thepnara Kongsawang, Sutthamon Wworapong, Dahn Gim, Siriphong Tipayakesorn, Samith Taengon and Ackrawin Rungruangviechakul.
Arspiration: So “The Flyby of Comets” is not totally over, what is the next episode then?
Tuangkamol: Yes! After this exhibition in Brooklyn at the 4th Floor Studios, we are planning to develop the show for Los Angeles in 2020. We see this art exhibition as a TV series where the narrative continues and develops through each episode. For more details you can follow Tuang Studio’s Facebook fan page and The Flyby of Comets Facebook’s event page.
. . .
After talking with the organizers, we had a chance to talk with two of the artists in this exhibition about their experience in the US. They are Samith Taengon (Peun), a 3D artist, and Siriphong Tipayakesorn (Preto), a Motion Graphic Designer.
Arspiration: Can you introduce yourself to our reader? What kind of work do you do?
Samith: Hello! I’m Samith Taengon. I’m a 3D and Motion Graphic Producer. I work in the advertising industry for marketing teams in various companies. I mostly do 3D modeling and visual effects for video animation for social media and movies. One of the Thai films I have worked on is Ong Bak 2. I have experience working in the US as a freelancer so I have been working with many different companies here.
Siriphong: Hi! I’m Preto, Siriphong Tipayakesorn, a visual artist and motion graphic designer. I’m also an animator and I work in both artistic and commercial fields like TV broadcasting, digital advertising and social media content. In terms of my visual art practice, I create live, visual performances, aka VJing, and projection mapping. I perform in clubs, music festivals and museums, such as NY Historical Society Museum, The Natural Museum, Martin Garrix (2015), Ted Talk (2015), and Brooklyn Public Library. I also have a group called “Electrobacillus VJ” and we have worked for Maya Music Festival 2015–2016, Heineken Space Jams, Smirnoff Be There and SangSom Event. I have been pursuing this career since 2009.
Arspiration: So where did you graduate from and how did you get your first job? Maybe, we can start with Samith?
Samith: I graduated from the Faculty of Art and Design, Rangsit University, majoring in computer art with a 3D animation focus. My first job was with Zurreal Studios. I got this job right after my degree because the company came to my thesis presentation and they offered me the position.
Siriphong: I graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, majoring in design and multimedia animation. I started working while I was still in the university doing photography and video editing. The day after I graduated I went to work for the art festival in Chiang Mai and Bangkok for three months. I got the job through Jeab Gridthiya (Gridthiya Gaweewong, a renowned curator and art mentor in Thailand). After that I landed the position of Junior Film Director at an international design firm called “Architect” in Chiang Mai.
. . .
Arspiration: So can you talk about how you came to the US and what you have learnt and experienced since?
Samith: I decided to come here because my uncle lives here and my mom wanted me to visit him. At first, I just shared my portfolio with every company I could find and when they called me in, I was not hesitant at all to go for any interview. I have worked as a freelancer since then. The differences between working with companies is that the responsibility is very clear between each team member of the project, it is as though we are in a team at the office even though I work remotely. On the other hand, working alone for a project requires more self-management and it’s less clear where your responsibilities begin and end.
I have accepted all the jobs and requests from my clients and used them to learn and challenge myself. I have matured and have been growing my professional connections so that I can keep doing what I’m doing now.
Currently, I’m working as a full-time 3D model designer at Simplimotion Inc., who work with many major tech companies.
Siriphong: For me, my story started after I reached the senior level in an advertising company and did a lot of video ads and TV programs. I wanted to work with people who were smart and forward-thinking and I wanted to challenge myself and watch English TV series without subtitles so I resigned from Grammy and came to New York.
I got my first job in the US after I helped my friends’ boss do some motion graphic work for New York Fashion Week in 2013. They were designing clothing for Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift which I didn’t understand at the time because my English was not very good. MTV also wanted to interview me about my designs, but I had to turn this down because I was not confident about my language skills.
I moved to the US to study English and while I was a student I applied for a visual graphic internship at Glowing Pictures. The company then sent me to be an assistant VJ at EDC NY for the 2013 and 2014 events.
After that, work kept coming in until a director asked me to work for museums and other commercial projects.
Arspiration: Do you have any advice or experience to share for those who want to work in this field?
Samith: In terms of technical skills, I think all young people probably already have a firm grounding in the skills they would need, so I don’t have to advise anything other than to remind them to keep learning. There will always be new programs and tools for us to use and learn. If there is an opportunity to study new technologies, you definitely have to do it, and when you work as a freelancer, you need to know about professional norms and ethics. Good communication and sensible rates are also very important and are linked to how clients will see you, your reputation and reliability.
Siriphong: Yes, I agree. I would add something about experimentation. Do not worry about doing something new and failing because we can always use failures as a lesson and learn from them to develop something bigger and better in the future. You should study both online and offline works, commercial pieces and art from across the spectrum, because this creative path (motion graphics) needs knowledge and inspiration from a wide variety of visual and audio outputs.
Even hard core conceptual art could bring some important new element to your commercial piece so I’d say it’s important not to close your mind. Often luxury brands don’t want something run of the mill to shove a product in their customers’ faces, but something with a deeper concept which serious thought has gone into.
Arspiration: We think that nowadays that many young people believe the only way to develop their career is to live and work abroad, what do you think of that?
Samith: Personally, I think you have to follow your own path because there’s always new opportunities to see art and update the trends. If you have a chance you just have to grab it.
Siriphong: I’d say it isn’t necessary because technology is making the world smaller. We have so much media that helps us to learn and update our skills. You just need to focus on the right things. Although it is true that the art and design world in the US is bigger and easier to dive into, this is not mandatory. It’s all up to you!
Arspiration: Okay. Then can you talk more about your art piece in the exhibition “The Flyby of Comets” and, what we will see in the next exhibition once you show it again in LA?
Samith: I created three short 3D animations called “Oddly Satisfying.” It talks about a personal financial situation which most people can probably relate to. For the next show, I’m still developing this animation series and it will show more of the narrative and my perspective on the cost of living here as an international resident.
Siriphong: My work, “The Energy of Survival Since 2012,” talks about my adjustment to life here after I moved to New York in 2012. I found myself figuring out ways to live without losing my identity to the new culture. I had a great time here, so I made this piece and hope that audiences will insert their own interpretations and imagination into it. The visual graphic has some empty space to allow my audience to question what else it could contain, which I have questioned myself everyday since I arrived. For the exhibition in LA, I have a plan to create a projection mapping piece that surrounds the audiences so they can immerse themselves into the visuals.
. . .
Arspiration: Thank you for all these good stories and thoughts you have shared to us and our readers. Lastly, I would like to ask where can we see more of your work and follow your talent?
Samith: I have a webpage at http://www.behance.net/gunboy27 and I am always open to comments and new followers.
Sitiphong: My portfolio can be found at www.zummztudio.com and you can also follow me on IG @PretoHF, and @ZummZtudio. Thank you!
. . .
We hope that these shared experiences from these two professionals and the art pieces from “The Flyby of Comets” will be the food for thought for our readers, especially the new graduate digital designers and artists.
And don’t worry about the update for the next episode of “The Flyby of Comets” art exhibition. Arspiration will update you, our dear readers, ASAP when the news has been annouced!!!
To all the meteoroids out there, we wish you all safe landings on your dream.