Normally if we try to think of starting ideas for an artwork, we may find some. But regarding this work’s beginning ideas, which I tried to rethink as ambiguous, there is no specific sign in my memory for how it began. I used writing to analyse ambiguity to pin down some meaning for the project, but the words I wrote just put a hard point and hard edge to the content, which is not what the project is.
I guess the beginning of an idea of this project could happen through very natural thinking, which would generate the result itself with no realization of the person who thought/did it. No realization of that moment, what source, what components, or how its subject happened; the appearance of ‘Necessity’s Rhythm’.
What I can now say is that in some way this work is a result of my having 62 years of life, with mixed aspects, one with small short instances of satisfaction, and the other one with restraint. There are other ones: as a very young girl who didn’t know the word death, but experienced the being of one woman in a quite distorted way under some specific culture that suppresses and supports; as a female artist with limitation and generosity; as a writer with her nostalgia and a dead hope in reality, which became novel; as a long time dogs’ caretaker; and especially as an un-avoiding contemporary consumer in and among the world’s disaster with the eyes of tragedy.
Some have said that the project is an activity, some that it is real writing in the world space, which is not a novel, and one said that it’s more like research with words. But I know that without being those persons that I have belonged to, the idea of ‘put her to sleep to save us and our value’ would not have come to me.
‘Jao-Jorn’ stray dogs’ stories
Jao-Jorn Care Donations (exchange with/on condition of Araya’s life exchange)
There was an abandoned house on a small piece of land in the village. The wooden house that’s near a big tree and a stream is always in the darkness, where the sun doesn’t brightly shine. One old dog lived there with the story of the house. A scene of leaving mother with baby, a last scene, which was not the last for me, but is so in the story; a man hanging himself from a beam; a white fat dog with short legs sitting nearby his body. The last scene for me would always be of an old dog in an abandoned house alone in the dusk. I was there at such a time to feed him.
One evening the old dog cried, which was the reason he died in my air-conditioned car, after I made a joke that this could be his first time sitting a luxurious place like this. He put his head on my thigh with his deep last breath. We expect in our adulthood that we can learn to be stronger. At that time I was over 40. A gardener who came to work for me every day didn’t understand why I cried one week long over the death of one stray dog. I couldn’t understand myself either. During writing I guess it’s because of the story, his story.
Some excerpts from Treachery of the moon
Some excerpts from pray bless us with rice and curry Our great moon 1
Some excerpts from Afterwards regret rises In our memory even for bygone Hardships
Some excerpts from pray bless us with rice and curry Our great moon 2
Jao-nua 1996-2009 Jao-nua was the most disciplined one of the Jao-Jorn group. Moving from townhouse to the countryside she enjoyed hunting chicken, ducks, lizards and snakes. One time that she escaped through small a hole in a very long fence, she kill twenty chickens and ducks, bit a cow’s leg, and injured one fighting cock belonging to a retired soldier. After that she sat near a river bench in the evening, realizing how freedom was after being four years in a townhouse. She died from a cobra bite.
Nam-tal loved eating and sleeping. She was once an actor in Araya’s video. Her role was only to sit and eat in front of Thai television soap operas. She died four days before Araya and Prince Jood came back from an exhibition in Germany in 2012.
Lew was a real protector of the house. He protected even a plastic bag and old brush. He was found in the middle of a street during the building of Jao Jorn Care House, which confirmed that Lew was a founder. He was put to sleep in 2005, after trying but failing to reach Araya’s hug when she once came back from a long journey.
Cha-moi came to the house in an evening with a robe wrapped around her body. Two men in an old truck said “A director of a school asked them to kill her because she bit a schoolboy’s hand, who had tried to touch her babies”. Cha-moi was an unassuming lady. She realized that arrogant Namtal didn’t like her very much, and that caused her to have to spend her time in a divided area in a back yard. She succumbed to cancer and was put to sleep in 2006.
Maa-see was pregnant when she was poured with hot water and chopped at while trying to find food in a market. She hid herself and two puppies in a hole in a big garden. She was called ‘A New Year Present’ as she came to Jao Jorn House during New Year holiday when all clinics were closed. She became Jao-nua’s close hunting partner, which once brought a strange scene of two dogs carrying a long snake. Ma-see was at the snake’s tail, while Jao-nua held the snake’s head in her mouth. The long dead body was put on the front wide balcony, waiting for Araya to come home in the evening after having worked a long the day. The two girls thought it was a wonderful gift for her.
Tua-lek is the only one of Jao Jorn founder members who is still alive at the time these tales are told in September 2019. Even though she is very old, she is still a good girl who has never ever made any trouble while being in a big group. Now, because of old age, she looks like a slow moving robot with thin hair and distorted legs. Her voice changes to a strange voice, which is similar to the gecko’s voice.
Ma-grud drags her two back legs, after trying to run freely with a stray dogs’ group in a village. Kids ran after her to see her strange body, which looked like a big brown-golden leech on the rough street’s surface. She hid herself in a big sewer under the road. When it rained heavily, it was hard for Ma-grud to climb out of the flooded sewer. Mag-rud lost some fingers of her back legs. She was put to sleep one night, because of an overload of sick and old dogs in the house. This was after her only one wonderful dance with Araya. Only one quiet moment after her nightmare accident that had damaged her body.
Kai-dow was a mother of two daughters. Three hid themselves under a big pile of wood. All family members were doped to be unconscious for sterilization, and moved to Jao Jorn House. They feared humans all through their life. Kai-dow suffered from cancer and was put to sleep.
Mok-sa-was was the loved daughter of Kai-dow and her father ‘Sua’. She never let any person touch her body. For this reason it was difficult to give her vaccines. She died in a bad condition.
Sua-noi hid herself all the time. She was frightened of everything. She eventually died from the shock of an attack from her mother, Kai-dow. A veterinarian said Sua-noi had a heart attack.
Sua was a gentleman, who really loved dance. The way he danced was like a horse stalking, slightly moving to left and then right. He had a balance in his mind that made him a charming and calm middle-aged man. One day he couldn’t move anymore. He lay in his own shit during the night, so a veterinarian put him to sleep.
Lonk means loss. She was a stray dog who ran after an old ex-prisoner, who didn’t know where to go after receiving freedom. The two lives often went for walks along a small street in the evening. A veterinarian said he saw a used condom in Lonk’s shit in her cage after her sterilization. Villagers in the area where Lonk lived said she was really aggressive. Someone hit her, some shot her. She hid herself in every possible place around the jail’s area.
Mom-mam was bitten by many young and stronger dogs from one family and even by a dog she took care when it was a puppy. She was in a frightening situation day and night. She traveled 1000 kilometers from the East without peeing, just because she had never been in a car in her life. Her happy duty in the new kitchen was to lick plates before the dishes were washed. She was put to sleep when she couldn’t eat and move anymore.
Mee screamed gladly and loudly when she first met Araya. She had been left in an old building with thick bushes around. This could be the reason that she is a snake hunter. Without hunting Mee is a calm and peaceful lady. Her hair is thick, as though she came from Europe. This caused her some trouble in the Thai summers.
Nua-noi is a younger sister who was a sweet baby. During growing up she became an aggressive game-player and a beginner of group fighting in many cases. This makes her like a politician, who has Toon, her elder sister, as her backup.
Toon looks similar to Namtal. She is also an aggressive one who prefers more direct fighting than her younger sister. Because of Toon, Araya drove urgently to the hospital many times. A few months after Toon and Nua-noi came to Jao Jorn House, her mother died from being shut in a closed car and forgotten by her owner, along with a male dog. Toon really loves her sister.
Sib-see didn’t look like dog when Araya first saw him one evening during her evening walk through three villages. He couldn’t stand normally because of lack of food and water. From a distance Araya thought it was a little sick barking deer in twilight. Even Sib-see is a strong handsome man, and acts like a kind brother of Toon. All dogs in Jao Jorn House are afraid of Sib-see except Toon, who is often passifying him, to tell us that above the sky, is still another sky.
Sorn-luk was one young crippled guy with the dead owner of Pui’s three children. He was the one who survived from the disintegration of the family of one sick human and four dogs. He came to the house with deep gangrene and worms. One early morning he sat still in the kitchen with a swollen but not wounded mouth. No one knew his secret; he still ate, but hardly moved. Next day in the late afternoon his dead body, with a violet tongue, was found in the back courtyard. A few days later some smell of dead was from one hole in the same area. It could be a cobra that had died after fighting against Sorn-luk.
Pui is a daughter of Tal, who died after being hit by the car of an aggressive man. Put had four kids with names 1, 2, 3, 4. It was sad that Araya couldn’t have them all. The other three kids of Pui lived with one villager, who died before his dogs. Some of Pui’s kids disappeared after being frightened by the sound of fireworks in a Thai festival.
Bubu escaped from a breeding animals house with one black Labrador, who was her closed friend. Both found a wondering crippled monk, who chooe to live in front of crematorium stone in a forest. Three lives survived from making merit of old villagers near the forest. The black Labrador was poisoned, while a monk put Bubu in his….? The black Labrador was poisoned and died, while a monk put Bubu in his wheelchair, walked from the village to the city.
Tao was alone on the middle of the super-highway. He couldn’t tell anything: biography, name, or parents’ address. Tao in Thai means gray, after his hair colour. He died because of Nua-noi’s policy to have a group conflict against a new small member, who had to stay separately. In that moment all members use their group instinct, jumping on a poor victim, which might just as well have been a rabbit at this time.
Ngab or Prince Jood Under a big rain tree were two puppies tied near the super-highway footpath. It was late afternoon with traffic jams and Ngab was on his small legs by several cars. His sister died in the rain near his body. One year later Ngab changed his position to be The Prince Jood (diarrhea) and traveled to Documenta 13 in Kassel. On first meeting Araya after having been one month in an art project he screamed damnation for using him in her project. A few years after that Araya realized his error in the way he screamed, now expressing his excitement at Araya’s arrival home.
Ram-bo was the most handsome man in the university campus, with different names given to him at each place he visited. As he got old he gradually became blind, which made his story more exciting. One man was bitten from Ram-bo and received nine wounds. He wrote a letter to the university president with Ram-bo’s photo to complain, without knowing that Ram-bo couldn’t see him when he came close. One rainy day the wet Ram-bo walked into a small counter of the cafeteria, puttin his body into the coffee shop cabinet. He had a happy blind time in Jao-Jorn House.
Dum-noi and Araya first met at one isolated corner of a street. After trying to find her for a few days Araya knew that Dam-noi was alone in a soldier’s camp forest. One afternoon a little Dam-noi joyfully played by blowing a big plastic bag alone under a big tree. She had Jimmy as her boyfriend. Since then she lived in the soldier’s big stable with her boyfriend until he died, after which she came to Jao Jorn House.
Koon-Chang came to the house because Araya missed Bubu. He is not a real French Bull-dog because his mother escaped for a while through the fence of her owner’s house. He has short legs and is happy to bark at small birds and snakes in the garden.
See-da came from one human broken family. A woman had a secret love and her man was a drunkard. They all separately abandoned their townhouse. See-da was left tied to a table leg in the darkness. The neighborhood put dog food and water for her through a narrow opening of the townhouse for around three months.
Ting was abandoned as she and her sister were put in a plastic bag in front of a village temple. Her sister’s name, TOD, mixed with her name TING, Tod-Ting, means abandoned. Ting is very excited during feeding, like all dogs that in the temple are always hungry.
Nu-dee was very sick with kidney illness. She only stayed a short time in the house. Mostly she stayed in a clinic. Her body was buried in the front garden along with Sua and Ram-bo.
Yon is also from the city. He is mentally ill because of his inferior position in the group, but he is a man in Thai culture. This means that he cannot eat. Now he is the only guy in the big back garden among too many ladies. He can normally eat and sleep.
Lam is Yon’s sister. She was found on a street around 2 o’clock. That caused gossip among the other dogs that are in a higher position. She came to the house because one of her legs doesn’t move any more. And has also felt in a very lowly position for most of her life.
Pla-kem came a bit late to the house with kidney problem and weak four legs, which are difficult to help her to walk up and down the house. As she came from the university campus she might have a degree, associate professorship or doctorate.
Roob-lor was under Ram-bo’s power for quite a long time, until Ram-bo was old and too sick to suppress him any more. It is easy for Roop-lor to find love from male humans. He might know the reason himself.
Puey was very slim before. Because she was a stray people would feed her any kind of food, so she become too fat and began to have kidney problem.
Nuad was a lovely one belonging to the owner of a cafeteria before he was abandoned. He has his own character, where he controls himself from becoming too close to others. It could be lack of confidence, or pretending not to be interested in what happens around him.
Ta-ta was left from a beagle-breeding stud because she had cancer. Even though she looks like a girl, she had enough bad experience from human beings.
Kwan was from a street restaurant, which moved away from a district in front of Kwan, leaving her sitting and not understanding why she was alone. From her tragedy she became a friend of Araya at their meeting place: a street footpath. Because of delicious food one day, Kwan jumped in the car. That was the first day she came to the house.
La-mai came with a lie that had been told about her. A young guy and his lover easily bought La-mai and then quickly found it hard felt to have a non-stop playing dog in their house. The guy built a poor story that La-mai was found in a dangerous tunnel of a big road in a traffic jam. La-mai has a good mind, and Koon-chang chose her to be his sister.
Ga-rong, means very thin. He lived with his sister in bushes. His sister ate all the food that someone fed them, with only a little left for him. When his sister got another home Ka-rong came to the house. The garden where they had lived changed to being the land of one big company.
Pan-da‘s dying condition showed the last beautiful moment. His sick damaged body changed its mood from pain to calm. The last movement said that death is not an end, but a readiness for some new state. His head moved above, to the top and into an airy space. His blind dirty eyes opened like bright stars. His drooped tail moved to a vertical position like the sword of a knight. And his last breath showed the willingness of the next chapter of the sufficiency.