June 15, 2021 - November 15, 2021
Rochester Contemporary Art Center is proud to announce our latest public art installation and to invite the public to experience BREATHE by Ong Siraphisut. This monumental artwork functions as large-scale, text based mural and also reflects the image of the surrounding environment; grass, trees, the church, the street, pedestrians, traffic, and skies. These dual functions blend the background and the viewer into a field of mirrored geometry while also chanting the hidden mantra - “breathe”.
"For me, BREATHE semantically and personally connects many of the most important issues of the time; a pandemic that stole the breath of so many, global warming and air quality, and the racial justice movement, while also pointing to the meaning of life and hope for the future. Inspired by the Buddhist temple’s mirror mosaic in Thailand where I was born, and my experience as a young monk, BREATHE reflects the recent past, the present, and the near future. Through its geometric semi-abstract design, BREATHE invites the public to pause. I hope people will find their own interpretation of what it means to be alive...to breathe in this moment." –O.S.
About the Artist
Ong Siraphisut (b. 1979), also know as Pisithpong Siraphisut (พสิ ฐิ พงศ์ สริ ะพศิ ทุ ธ)ิ is a multidisciplinary artist who works with a range of media. In 2006, He founded ComPeung, the first independent artist residency program in Thailand. Since then he has worked with hundreds of artists from a vast variety of disciplines, ages, genders, backgrounds, and from every continent. These artists stayed and worked with him at ComPeung for a few days to over a few months. Some had come back several times, or every year for 10 years. Siraphisut loves to explore the world widely and wildly. Over the past 20 years, he traveled to over 20 countries in Asia, North America, and South America. These experiences have expanded and shaped his art practice to explore the way we think, live, and relate to each other as human beings. Recently, after more than a decade of running the residency program in Thailand and supporting other artists, Siraphisut felt he needed to create more art himself. Once his son was born in 2019, Siraphisut and his family decided to immigrate to Upstate New York, USA to raise their new family and begin his new chapter in art. Ong's work was prominently featured in the exhibition Last Year on Earth at RoCo.
Public Art at RoCo
In partnership with Christ Church and other friends, RoCo’s public art program enlivens the East Avenue neighborhood with temporary, site-specific public sculptures and special projects. Support provided by The New York State Council on the Arts, Farash Foundation, The Rochester Area Community Foundation, and The Gouvernet Arts Fund and Members of RoCo!