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Korakrit Arunanondchai’s (Thailand/US) works bring together video, sculptures, and paintings with a form of storytelling that moves between reality and fiction. In Songs for living, a companion piece with his earlier film Songs for dying, the ghosts of our ancestors reconnect with life, in a desire to heal following personal loss and ecological upheaval. Through these works, Korakrit unfolds thoughts on the origin of the world, and its cycles of life and death, growth and decomposition.

Made in collaboration with cinematographer Alex Gvojic (US), Songs for living is a collage of visual languages and musical styles weaving together stories of grief, transformation, and spiritual power. Filmed mid-pandemic, mostly in a relatively abandoned New York, this abstract montage explores possible ways to move forward in the face of loss and grief: both personal and global.

Filled with rituals and scenes of consumption, the film’s style references science fiction and horror (The Crow, The Hunger Games) as well as the Buddhist mythological bird-man Garuda that is part of the national symbols of Thailand. Songs for living's rapid flow of images mirrors our sense of being overwhelmed by life's events. It seeks out the strength in feelings of collectivity, offering a twisted, fantastical hope for a different kind of future.

Download the transcript below.

Single-channel video with sound (21 mins), installation environment

Co-commissioned by the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst & Kunstverein Hamburg, and supported by FACT with funds from Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.

Koh Tao
Camera Operator: Andres Gutierrez Fiskeseth, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Cyrus James Khan
Talent: child-Warin, ghosts-Senay Zahir, Asia, Taw, Joy, Sha Prad
Production Manager: Turan Zahir, Pookie Supaya, Sirada Chaumthong
Location Supported by: New Heaven Diving School

New York
Movement Direction: Monica Mirabile
Performers: Jack Meriwether, Joy Norton, Kate Williams, Maxi Canion, Amanda Wallace, Ellery Burton, Sadie Carnot, Margot Roo Ells, Erika McCarthy,James Adelman, Bryant Kennedy

Tai-Chi Dancers:
Albert Chan, Yee Lai Gong, Irene H Lee, Jie Ming Dong, Sun Choi Tsang, Yun Ho Poon, Kam Lei,Zenia de la Cruz, Richard Chin, Wai Wah Ho,Margaret Yuen, Sue Seto

Unicycle Delivery Riders:
Melanie Flores, Sofya Yuditskaya,Timothy Villaluz, Veronica H Generoso

Rory Mulhere– Producer & Camera B
Cherisse Gray– Producer & Art Department
Michael Potvin– Lighting
Todd Faulkner– Location Manager
Zanze Addington-White Production
Alden Louke– Production Assistant & Art Department
Alison Peery-Production Assistant & Art Department
Emma McMillian– Production Assistant & Art Department
Meghan Smith– Production Assistant & Art Department
Violet Flux– Production Assistant
Elias Riviera– Production Assistant
Arba Hall– Location Manager
Dylan Golden

Color & Post Production:
Storyteller: Zsela
Composition and Mixing: Aaron David Ross
Score-Aaron David Ross
“Coral like bone” originally composed by Mikey Hart and Zsela
Drums- Brian Chippendale
Writing Diane Severin Nguye