Tintin Cooper

Tintin Cooper is an artist who works between Berlin and Bangkok. As someone who physically bridges these two locations, we thought she would be the perfect person to start this series off. 
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Tintin’s practice spans image and video appropriations, light works, painting on ceramic tiles and sculpture and she has shown her work at Tate Britain, Transmediale Festival, Sydney Biennial, Bangkok Biennial and Carnegie Museum and has works in the Staedel Museum Frankfurt and Soho House collections.

Can you recall a specific moment, event or encounter in your early life where you came to the realization that this is what you wanted to do?

We have a few painters, writers and filmmakers in my family so it was really just a given for me from a young age that I would do something similar. Nobody was really interested in business or making huge amounts of money, and I guess that trickled over to me (although I do wish someone had warned me about the instability part!)

Growing up I was also in the national swimming team and several other sports, but I think I was too relaxed to do it as a proper profession. Interestingly, sports do come up as a topic in my work a lot!

What does Thailand today mean to you?

Thailand is quite a complex country that is much more than its global image of beach, sex, pad thai and smiling people.  I think it's quite sad when foreigners who have never lived in Thailand or speak the language tell me that "everyone is a prostitute" or something along those lines, because there is so much going on in Thailand. 

Bangkok alone has a huge and rich variety in its different areas, from the super modern downtown areas with high-rises and sprawling concrete highways to old school flower markets, to Yaowarat (Chinatown) or traditional areas near the grand palace which my mother says haven't changed since she was a young girl.  Visually it is extremely rich, there's always something happening around every corner and explosions of color, light and noise. One of my favorite times of year is when hundreds of boats go up and down the Chao Phraya river, and each boat creates its own unique moving installation of neon lights. I once saw one full of hundreds of huge moving hammers- because why not?!

The Northeast, North and South also have their own very unique cultures and specialties- the northeast has great country music and singers who go on stage and ad lib hilarious lyrics (usually related to love/romance). Also there are quite complex politics and power struggles in the country, with policemen, government, army, and royalty all involved in some way or another. So the issue of power has been a persistent one in my work because this becomes ingrained in you when you are growing up.

For more, you can visit Tintin’s website here or follow her on IG here.