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Nathan Beard: White Gilt: Cool Change Contemporary

There is already something ironic in writing about this show from my perspective, my own ‘guilt’ is implicit (and no doubt explicit) in every word that I put down. I am no expert on Thai culture, the allusions and references that Beard makes in this body of work. I did not even know of the Wai before I saw this show. As such this text is undoubtedly riddled with error. I decided to charge forth because a) I am a fool, and b) like everything actually good in Perth, it deserves more attention than it gets. This isn’t to suggest that the work is directly antagonistic to the viewer, the ‘gilt/guilt’ is not necessarily to do with how white any member of the audience is, but perhaps almost specifically to do with cultural knowledge, and a sense that one does not belong. In reading the catalogue, I consider it may be similar to a sense of the discomfort Beard himself feels, being part of a Thai diaspora, returning to Thailand and enacting cultural forms he typically would not. The only thing…

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