In Conversation: Rirkrit Tiravanija with Laura Hoptman, The Drawing Center’s Executive Director

In this talk, The Drawing Center’s Executive Director, and artist Rirkrit Tiravanija discuss physical healing through artmaking. Speaking about the philosophical influence of his mentor and teacher—Thai contemporary artist Montien Boonma—on the development of his own work and life, Tiravanija will speak about Boonma’s belief in the transformative and restorative powers of art.

Through experimentation with ephemeral healing materials—such as ash, herbs, and clay—and ancient artisanal techniques, like lost-wax casting and natural pigmentation, Boonma developed a rich visual vocabulary centered on the healing tenets and meditative practices of Buddhism. “I want the space inside the Buddha image to be a place of refuge for mindfulness of viewers who wish to be in condition of calmness and contentment,” he wrote. Boonma believed that art was a solution for many of the problems of modernity, and designed his architectural installations as places of sanctuary and reflection; to help console those in need of relief from the grief and suffering of everyday life.

This talk was recorded on Wednesday, April 27, 2020.