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Ghost 2565: House

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Baan Trok Tua Ngork, Ghost 2565: Live Without Dead Time exhibition venue. Photo by by UNTPHOTOGRAPHER, 2020.

Ghost 2565: House is situated in Baan Trok Tua Ngork in Bangkok’s Chinatown district. The space of gathering over food, drinks, informal talks, DJ sessions, workshops, and other public programming provides opportunities for people to come together to digest common experiences encountered in and around artworks and performances in the festival. Wendy’s Wok World—an alter-ego, character-driven culinary project— will be in residence at House, offering a glimpse and taste of the performative art of the wok, while informal talks by exhibited artists and Ghost 2565: Anthology writers give insight into their own practices and ideas circulating around Ghost at large. Anthology and publications belonging to artists are also on sale interspersed with events organized by Ghost 2565: Hosts in conjunction with the local community, bridging narratives and providing a platform for conversations.

Wendy’s Wok World

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Photo by Oscar Chik

Wendy’s Wok World—an alter-ego of Sam Lui—is a character-driven culinary project originating from her interest in food as a medium to explore ideas of purity.

Focusing on the wok, a staple in Southern Chinese cooking that prizes precision and the honing of timing, control, and heat, Wendy strives to master her craft as a way to examine the ideological purity embedded within this branch of cooking. For Wendy, the practice of the wok is a symbol of rigidity, rooted in precision and authority. Akin to kung-fu in both its dedication and philosophy, it requires full internalization of its principles. In striving to master its specific techniques, Wendy, her cooking and every movement become the embodiment of these values. Making visible this oft-behind-the-scenes school of cooking and its idealistic philosophy, Wendy gives her audience a chance to greatly consider this mode of being. She regularly hosts private dinners at a traditional soy sauce farm in Hong Kong—the setting a further immersion into the world of tradition and heritage.

For the duration of Ghost 2565, Wendy takes up residency in Baan Trok Tua Ngork within Bangkok’s Chinatown, the world’s largest Chinese diaspora with complex relations of cultural belonging and disavowal, composed of diverse relations of ethnicities from Hakka and Hokkien to Cantonese and Teochew. Cohesive and grand narratives of rags to riches fail to encompass the often-hidden intricacies, glossed over and suppressed by myths of nation building. Wendy uses this opportunity to research the area, discovering how Chinese cooking has morphed and evolved through diasporic connections with other cultures through the lens of the wok. The result is a rotating weekly program of her signature wok dishes and new ones she has acquired through her residency at House.

Wendy’s Wok World residency at Ghost is operated with the support of Na Projects— a project that fuses social change and food to provide vocational support for at-risk youths and urban refugees.