Places of Rebirth, 2009
Tate Triennial: Altermodern, Tate Britain, London, UK

Places of Rebirth is inspired from Navin Rawanchaikul’s first visit to Pakistan, the birthplace of his ancestors. It deals with the artist’s background as a son of the Hindu-Punjabi Diaspora and his cross-border, cross-cultural negotiations. Painted in the style of a typical Indian movie poster, it blends generational images of Navin’s family and relatives with people he encountered in Pakistan, alongside historical images from the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan when his family migrated to Thailand. These portraits of a community’s passing through time and place are bridged through the imaginary journey of a local Thai taxi (Tuk Tuk) transporting Navin and his Japanese family across the famous Wagah border of India and Pakistan. Spiced with a humorous critique of India and Pakistan’s relationship, the narrative presents a re-reading of personal history while raising questions of nation and identity in today’s world.


Curated by leading critical theorist and curator Nicolas Bourriaud, Places of Rebirth is first shown at Altermodern, the fourth Tate Triennial at Tate Britain. In addition, Hong Rub Khaek video and the artist’s letter to daughter, From Pak-kun to Mari were also included in this exhibition.


Tate Triennial: Altermodern
Tate Britain, London
February 3 - April 26, 2009


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