15 Houses at the White Building (2014) By Orawan Arunrak
a series of 15 drawings, pen on paper, postcard size 10x14.7cm
Since I was young, I’ve always loved seeing all the houses in my town or anywhere I walked past. I always imagine what would happen if I were in that house. When I was invited for a residency at the White Building, my dream came true. I could stay there inside this interesting building, and yes, I would like to see how the decoration in people’s house looks, how people are living, and also to have some deep conversations. When I go inside someone’s house, I am not only drawing their house but having a conversation: it’s really intimate and cozy. After that, I brought all 15 of my drawings of houses to show in my studio room inside the White Building, and I invite all the neighbours to visit my house, and yes, they can see my drawings and see inside the houses of their neighbours and each other. And they talk to each other, so it means my work is not only drawing but its also a kind of conversation between the artist, the space, the people, the community.
part of Come In (2014)
at the White Building, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Table borrowed from neighbors, pen on paper and paper notebooks, lotus flowers, vase, fruits, mat, cushions
Orawan Arunrak undertook a residency at the White Building neighbourhood in central Phnom Penh, hosted by artist-run space Sa Sa Art Projects. Orawan’s residency focused on the use of portraiture as a means to understand people. Through drawing her temporary neighbours in their homes at the White Building, she gained a privileged insight into this creative community. Come In was the title given to the work created during this residency, comprising several series of drawings that illustrate the interiors of homes at the White Building, the exterior view of their windows, faces of children in the community, and simple materials by which many residents earn their daily living by selling food on the streets of Phnom Penh. The drawings were arranged in a kind of “Open Studio” installation in the White Building to share with Orawan’s neighbours and new friends. Orawan enjoyed a mutual exchange with the villagers and surrounding community, which can be seen in the drawings.