In partnership with Traidhos Three Generation and MadiFESTO Digital and Media Arts Festival in Chiang Mai, Surface Arts was able to provide it’s first international artist residency to Blu Simon Wasem from Brazil.
Blu is a nomadic multimedia artist who has dedicated himself to improvisation and experimental music with a special focus on South East Asia. To reflect his own journeys he creates adventurous and unpredictable soundscapes which abduct the audience.
Blu started his residency with a performance at the opening event of MadiFESTO at Chiang Mai University Art Centre.
MadiFESTO was a vibrant mix of digital, media and performance art, another artist invited to perform by Surface Arts was Boonsong Rodthab.
BLU then resided at PREM International School to deliver a series of workshops to a selection of Grade 10 and all of Grade 4 students. They created their own sounds via actions as simple as dropping pebbles in water, or tapping sticks on bamboo and recorded these sounds. Blu used the student responses and collective sound recordings to create an electronic pastiche of rhythms and musical layers.
The BLUIFESTO event provided a platform for Blu to showcase his work including new compositions and performance pieces created during the residency. This took place at Sangdee Gallery, Chiang Mai and was an experimental media arts celebration including a collaboration between electronic musicians Space360 and Munin as well as video and interactive pieces from Hayley Wood, Paisarn Um-Pim and Jamie Thomas of Switch Dialogue.
Blu said of his experience:
“My approach was really practical, I tried my best to help the students open their ears to listening (inside of the music room, listening to their colleges, and also outdoors, practicing recordings) but I also tried my best to listen to them; their preferences and natural musicality. It was a wonderful experience and they are lovely kids.”
The final composition is now part of his performance portfolio and will be performed again to new audiences in galleries and at arts events in Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Blu Simon Wasem http://blusimonwasem.wordpress.com/about/
Traidhos Three Generation http://www.threegeneration.org/
Sangdee Gallery http://www.sangdee.org/
Jamie Thomas www.switchdialogue.co.uk/jthomas