This Friday 16th November, indieBerlin is hosting its first indieBerlin immersion event, creating a space for music, poetry and visual arts. Showing their work will be two visual art contributors, Sarnt Utamachote from Thailand and Lumikko from Poland, who gave us an exclusive interview and discussion about their art, background and thought processes.
Sarnt Utamachote sees the movie as a form of individual ‘experiential’ perception – creating his own scripts, directing and editing different short films and music videos, including a fashion film “It doesn’t suit me”, which got selected into the Canadian Fashion Film Festival 2018 and the Miami Fashion Film Festival 2018. Sarnt regularly participates in different fields of video-related media.
Lumikko is a visual artist from Wroclaw in Poland, often capturing very raw and stunning footage, along with poetry and poignant thoughts on life. She has also created music videos like for Min T’s track Down/On, and does photography, illustration, and animation.
indieBerlin: Why do you think it’s important to mix art forms?
SARNT: We have reached the age where everything ‘dissolves’ into the air, thus enables them to merge with others, to always be in a constant process of reinventing. That’s a beautiful creative process that we need to embrace. It opens possibilities to ‘dialogues’ not just between art pieces/artists, but with consumers/residents in each medium (like, how often would reggae-music nerd to have dialogues with French-school philosophical film director? – comparing to the past). This flux state of arts comes with the price, I guess.
LUMIKKO: It can introduce new perspectives into what you’re already doing. My study programme is interdisciplinary so apart from photography and video, I get to do stuff like printmaking and sewing together my own book – it gives me an insight to a world I never knew before but has existed all along. It’s really helpful when you feel like everything’s already been done before. Mixing art forms is also important because nobody is just one thing, so as much as it can be calming to be restricted to one craft, it can also be freeing and exciting to open yourself to the little spaces in-between.
indieBerlin: What does immersion mean to you?
SARNT: From my instinct, it doesn’t mean just to immerse into one ‘another’ thing, it also suggests humbleness. Everybody who wants to immerse into something must commit a certain act of respect and openness; open oneself up and let it consume and bring one to a particular journey.
LUMIKKO: Immersion makes me think of pleasure. Of a space inviting and welcoming you completely. Of becoming one with the experience, the environment.
Everybody who wants to immerse into something must commit a certain act of respect and openness; open oneself up and let it consume and bring one to a particular journey.
indieBerlin: Tell us something about yourself that you always wanted to say but no one has ever asked you yet.
SARNT: To the fact of being ‘Thai’ or ‘Asian’. I strongly believe that my cultural backgrounds (I was born and living in Bangkok more than half of my life, in mixed culture context) influenced me a lot, on how I interpret the world or how I expect. But in the end, I am the one who senses the world and decides to interpret it, based on my consciousness. I think it’s almost irrelevant if I should be called ‘Thai’ filmmaker, or even when someone introduces me to others “oh say hi to Sarnt, he is Thai”. As much as that statement provides a certain context for readers/observers about me, I still question it a lot.
indieBerlin: Who is another poet/spoken word artist you listen to or read religiously?
LUMIKKO: First person that comes to mind is Savannah Brown (and especially her poem “Couldn’t care more” – it’s on YouTube!). Other than that, I find a lot of poetry in songs (Oshun, J.Cole etc). I remember really liking Londrelle as well, who creates something between a song, spoken word and a mantra.
indieBerlin: Do you prefer the quiet solitude of writing or the loud bustle of spoken word on stage?
SARNT: I think it’s completely different mediums. Writing / Reading and Performing / Listening is so different. I don’t prefer one over another, but I find it interesting how there are writers who refuse to perform their writings and let others do it for them, and writers who insist to do by themselves; how they interpret their words and melodies, how much do they perform. From the author-less text, it becomes actor-based text. This shift changes the entire thing.
LUMIKKO: Well, I do think there sure is solitude in writing but it isn’t quiet for me – at least not inside! But if I were to choose, I’d say I like the moment when I first finish writing something and read it out loud to myself – something in between performing and creating.
Immersion makes me think of pleasure. Of a space inviting and welcoming you completely.
indieBerlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
LUMIKKO: Self-reflection and awareness. So.. life, nature. I like to think we’re all the same consciousness but put through a different vessel (human body, animal body, a plant and so on) to experience the world and it’s so wonderful to share your unique experience with others (yet the same)!
SARNT: I right now tend to distance myself a lot, or at least, be conscious about how I consume ‘arts’. We tend to idolize or use ‘other big things’ to elaborate our artistic identity, like “I was inspired a lot by Godard or Tarkovsky”. No, I love them with all my heart, yet I find accidents on the streets, the way people act (cook, walk, talk) etc, these in minute details much more inspiring. Recently I went to East Europe, can’t understand the language, and came back with thousand more ideas, even more than finishing some great literature novels. As much as I love reading, observing / sensing is my main source.
indieBerlin: How has Berlin inspired your work?
LUMIKKO: Ohhh, Berlin was transformational for me. If you’re into tarot lingo – my first 8 months there was a big tower moment (basically, a breakthrough). Berlin made me explore a lot about heartbreak and having a love for multiple people. So, Berlin made my love poems go poly for a while, haha.
But in the end, I am the one who senses the world and decides to interpret it, based on my consciousness.
SARNT: Not in a direct way. Berlin gave me platforms, opportunities and chances to develop / re-discover myself and my aesthetic / my callings. So I’m glad that I moved here. But the city itself, so far as I concerned, never really said to me “Ok here is material for your works”. It’s more the people, the activities, which are pretty much universal, not only in Berlin, that interest me. And I am trying very hard to be conscious that I’m not just a Berliner. I am Sarnt. And I am more much complex than that.