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Artists as Writers: Tiravanija, Rirkrit

Artist Biography

(Image from "DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY" © Art Basel 2015)


Graduate of OCAD University

Areas of Expertise
Artist (preferred), installation artist, performance artist, conceptual artist, relational art / relational aesthetics


Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work defies media-based description, as his practice combines traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. Winner of the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Guggenheim Museum, his exhibition there consisted of a pirate radio (with instructions on how to make one for yourself). Tiravanija was also awarded the Benesse by the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Japan and the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Lucelia Artist Award.

He had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum Bojmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam that then was presented in Paris and London. Tiravanija is a founding member and curator of Utopia Station, a collective project of artists, art historians, and curators. Tiravanija is also president of an educational-ecological project known as The Land Foundation, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is part of a collective alternative space located in Bangkok, where he maintains his primary residence and studio.

Edited biography © Getty ULAN

Gallery Representation
Gavin Brown's enterprise

Online Resources

Writing by Rirkit Tiravanija

Please note that not all works are available through the OCADU library. To acquire one of these works through Interlibrary Loan or other means, please contact the library for assistance.

Rirkit Tiravanija: Cookbooks

Rirkrit Tiravanija's Soccer Half-Time Cookery-Book. Nürnberg: Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2006. Read at OCADU Library.

Just Smile and Don't Talk. Bangkok: River Books ; London: Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 2010. Read at OCADU Library.

Rirkit Tiravanija: Writing about his own art

"Forget About the Ball and Get On with the Game: From a Truncated Correspondence." Parkett January (1995).
Excerpts from correspondence between Rirkrit Tiravanija and Liam Gillick

"Rirkrit Tiravanija." Contemporary Sculpture: Projects in Munster 1997, edited by Klaus Bubmann, Kasper Konig, Florian Matzner. Stuttgart: Verlag Gerd Hatje, 1997.
Tiravanija writes a fictional letter and then explains his work, "Untitled, 1997 (The Zoo Society)."

"No Ghosts in the Wall." Participation (2006): p. 149-153. Documents of Contemporary Art, London, Whitechapel Gallery & Massachusetts, MIT Press.

"What is a Station?" with Molly Nesbit & Hans-Ulrich Obrist (p. 128) in The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork: On Borders and Fragments, edited by Anke Finger and Danielle Follett. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Rirkit Tiravanija: Writing about art

"Stroll" Viennese Story. Wien: Wiener Secession, 1993.

"Real Time Travel." Artforum 34.10 (Summer 1996): p. 78.  Available from OCADU Library.
Tiravanija interviews Peter Fischli and David Weiss and writes the article

Catalogue essay  on Thai artist Krisanamis in Nach-Bild [After Image]. Basel, Switzerland: Kunsthalle Basel, 1999.

Postscript for Tobias Rehberger: Private Matters exhibition. Tobias Rehberger: Private matters. Zurich: JRP Ringier ; London: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2004.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Primitive. New York: New Museum, 2011. Catalogue essay "Ghosts in the Projector" by Tiravanija

Simon Leung. New York: CUE Art Foundation, 2011.
Written statement by Tiravanija for an exhibition he curated.

"You haven't taught until you see the light bulb in their eyes light up." Art Review (2003).
Artists' comments focusing on careers as teachers and the approaches they employ with their students

"In Another Country: Yoko Ono in Conversation with Rirkrit Tiravanija." Artforum 47.10 (Summer 2009): p. 280-3. Available from OCADU Library.
Tiravanija interviews Yoko Ono and writes the article.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Primitive. New York: New Museum, 2011.

"Pierre Huyghe." Interview 41.1 (February 2011): p. 46. Read online at Interview.

Rirkit Tiravanija: Interviews

"10x10: der besten zehn Ausstellungen - der letzten zehn Jahre [10x10: the 10 best exhibitions - the last 10 years]."
Texte zur Kunst 10.40 (Dec. 2000): p. 26-39.
Tiravanija has small contribution (as a transcribed interview) of his opinion of outstanding exhibitions in Europe and the U.S.A. during the 1990s.

"You haven't taught until you see the light bulb in their eyes light up." Art Review (2003).
Artists' comments focusing on careers as teachers and the approaches they employ with their students.

"Providing Free Food." In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art by Linda Weintraub. New York: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 2003

Hans Ulrich Obrist: Interviews. The Conversation Series. 2010. Read at OCADU Library.

Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004.
Tiravanija talks about The Land Foundation project.

“An Interview with Rirkrit Tiravanija.” Asian Art Newspaper April (2005): p. 6-7.

"Remote Possibility: A Roundtable Discussion on Land Art's Changing Terrain." Artforum 43 (2005): p. 288-296, 366.
Tiravanija is one of moderators in discussion on issues relating to practice of land art

"Interview." Art India 13.3/4 (Sep 2008): p. 29-31.  Available from OCADU Library.
Jordan Troeller interviews Tiravanija, who speaks about his work

On Curating: Interviews with Ten International Curators. Edited by Carolee Thea and Thomas Micchelli. New York: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 2009.

Rirkrit Tiravanija. by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Köln: Walther Konig ; New York: [distribution] outside Europe D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 2010.

It Has Only Just Begun. by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Joseph Grigely, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. New York: Printed Matter Inc., 2010. Read at OCADU Library.
Includes transcription of keynote address given by Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Joseph Grigely and Rirkrit Tiravanija at the 2008 New York Contemporary Artists' Book Conference; includes Tiravanija talking about artists' books.