Ma-lai: Mentally secured, 2014-15. Toile, 15 elements, dimensions variable.

Pinaree Sanpitak: The Body is the Code

In Theravada Buddhism—the prevailing religion of Thailand—the color white has a very specific meaning. Representative of the principles of purity, it is considered the color of knowledge and longevity. Pinaree Sanpitak’s 2014–15 installation Ma-lai: mentally secured, at Tyler Rollins in New York, was almost overwhelmingly white— lit in a way that cast no shadows, which allowed the density, layering, and sharp focus of its whiteness to generate a distinctly uncanny atmosphere. The 15-part, fabric installation, extending over two adjacent walls and hung in sections from ceiling to floor, recontextualized the traditional Thai floral wreath, or phuang malai. These col¬orful garlands are ubiquitous in Thailand, used in weddings, funerals, and religious ceremonies, where they serve as important tokens of respect, honor, and unity. …see the entire article in the print version of July/August’s Sculpture magazine.