Chanon Kenji Praepipatmongkol (Thailand) is an art historian based in Southeast Asia. His work positions questions of comparison and scale as crucial for thinking a radically decentered history of contemporary art. In his current research and writing, he asks: How do artworks, especially those created by “cosmopolitan” artists, establish a sense of context and lineage to ground interpretation? On what grounds—geographic, social, formal, or other—do we relate accounts of “distant” and uneven artistic developments? In what ways do we calibrate the terms through which art historical narratives from the “periphery” are deemed specific, typical, or universal?
As a Brooks International Fellow at Delfina Foundation and Tate Britain, Kenji will explore the international and intermedial history of kinetic art in 1960s Britain, centering upon the works of David Medalla. While in residence, he will also give talks for the Contemporary Arts Research Seminar at SOAS and for the Association for Art History Conference at the Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London.
Kenji is currently a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art at the University of Michigan, with a dissertation that advances a comparative history of postwar abstract painting across Hispano-Filipino and Sino-Thai diasporic corridors. He occasionally contributes to Artforum and was a finalist for the 2017 Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Award for Art Criticism. An alumnus of the Center for Curatorial Leadership, he has worked on various curatorial and educational projects at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Hood Museum of Art, Jim Thompson Art Center, and Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre.