/ soundy I / trance

TRANCE exhibition (2014)

By Arnont Nongyao and Piyarat Piyapongwiwat

Curated by Lyla Phimanrat

Gallery VER

Exhibition period: 14 November – 26 December 2014

Venue: Yet Space,Bangkok




Trance refers to a temporary mental condition in which someone is not fully conscious of or not in control of himself or herself, or a state in which someone is concentrating on something so intensely that the person does not notice what is happening around him or her. Also, trance refers to a type of electronic dance music that developed in the 1990s.

To fall into the trance state could be a result of many factors, for example, being hypnotized, brainwashed by a propaganda scheme, being aroused by some form of psychological input, drug-abuse, practicing necromancy, a form of practice of communicating to the spirit or supernatural being, occurrence of mass hysteria and listening to trance music which is able to lead listeners into trance-like condition or fall into a half-conscious or absentminded state. Listening to a so-called propaganda song over and over again is unavoidable nowadays, especially for people who consume mass media like television and radio. We inevitably consume this trance like loop of the returning happiness campaign repeatedly. Whatever your political ideology, we all know the tune and can sing along to this “happy” tune and has probably dazed us into a trance like state.

Arnont Nongyao and Piyarat Piyapongwiwat’s work in TRANCE exhibition is originally based on the artists’ personal interests in music, law of vibration, and linguistic theory. It could be a coincidence that the concept of this work is somehow in parallel with the current national situation, or it could be that the subject has somehow existed long into Thai history, but passed us unnoticed. Arnont and Piyarat have carefully selected propaganda songs from a range of nations, languages, cultures for this series of work. Although the selected songs cover a wide range of historical backgrounds and periods of time, they all share mutual points and have tremendous impact on the word’s history including the praise of heroic actions (be they genuine of fictitious), inciting the killing among people of the same nation, lead the masses towards genocide and into wars.