KAWITA Vatanajyankur

Big Fish, Small Pond


 'Big Fish in a Small Pond' is different than any other work I have done because it is more about the conditions at the bottom of the income pyramid - the largest but poorest socio-economic group. It is a symbolic work, representing labour in the Thai fishing industry as a modern form of slavery. My body is transformed into a living victim- a fish, forced, hooked and being pulled in.  

We purchase packages of food and cans of fish assuming that they are produced by machines in the factory - because of the colourful and bright advertising on the cover. Yet, we never realize, or just ignore the fact of what happens behind the scenes, in the middle of the sea somewhere.

 However, instead of using deep-sea fish in the work, I used the Ruby Fish - a genetically modified fish. This was to make comment on modern consumerism. How colour, taste and size are designed and created by big and powerful companies in Thailand to attract consumers like us. Are we, in the end, also victims of today’s consumer culture? 

 (Kawita Vatanajyankur in conversation with Josephine Skinner)