Wellington's wind electric
to Thai artist

Current WARE (Wellington-Asia Residency Exchange) artist Sutthirat Supaparinya has been braving the elements in Makara (on Wellington’s west coast) for a project exploring the relationship between wind and electricity generation.

Watch a short video of Supaparinya discussing her project on a visit to Makara, Wellington

Supaparinya, who has been living at the historic Bolton Street Cottage in downtown Wellington during her residency, is co-founder and director of artist-run initiative Chiang Mai Art Conversation.

Supaparinya’s project has seen her explore Wellington’s windier spots, filming the wind exerting its energy upon the city, its people and its surrounds.

Although she is not entierly sure what the final work will look like, she says it will be an installation that brings together the video she has recorded with the hum of electricty. 

“I plan to capture electromagnetic sound from many electricity devices from high to low consuming energy to match with the strong and low wind movement images.”

Electricity generation is a theme Supaparinya has investigated in previous works. She had heard about Wellington's windiness before arriving but didn’t think much about it until she discovered the impact wind had on the city.

“I have been interested in energy issue and how we harness it. Living in Wellington, I can feel the energy of the wind in my daily life and I want to use this special opportunity to open up a discussion on energy solution via my visual practice.”

Despite, or because of, the wind, she has enjoyed getting outside and discovering Wellington.

“It's lovely to have a short walk around the city, from the hills to the beaches. Everywhere is walkable. It is a city and park in one place. My happiness of listening and observing bird and cloud can happen so easily.

“The natural environment in New Zealand is so different to where I have ever been and it has really inspired me to think of and create new works. I knew that the WARE program would give me a valuable first experience in New Zealand, and it has.”

Her current project is the second she has worked on since arriving in New Zealand. In November, her exhibition at Wellington's Toi Poneke Gallery, Steal This Book, reimagined the content of a banned book as an art exhibition, and is a response to limitations on freedom of expression in Thailand following the military takeover of 2014.

WARE offers New Zealand artists the chance to work at art spaces in Asia, while also offering Asian artists the chance to work in Wellington. The programme is jointly run by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Wellington City Council ansd is aimed at professional, contemporary arts practitioners of all disciplines.