SOI is a collective group of artists, designers and architects from Bangkok and Tokyo. The aim of SOI is to create and moderate multidisciplinary projects that connect creator and public audience from different disciplines. SOI uses an unofficial or informal manner as a bridging strategy with the aim of "connecting" rather than "directing", as well as slow and long-term establishment rather than immediate solutions. This relates to the meaning of "SOI": that is "little street" or "alley" in Thai. "I" also connote to "secondary" rather than "main". The nature of SOI is one that supports a subconsciously expanded network of the city rather than urban planning and directed development; but at the same time it fills the gap of urbanscape that is missing from development.
SOI was established in 2003 by the Japanese architect, Jiro Endo. It started within the framework of music exchange between Thais and Japanese called the SOI Music Festival. In the early years Jiro, in collaboration with Wit Pimkanchanapong, an artist/designer with an architectural background, used music as a collaborative platform for other artists/designers/creators. In 2005 "art" was emphasised in SOI as a platform for music as well as music for art. This was done under the name of "SOI Project" a special project for Yokohama Triennial International Contemporary Art Exhibition. SOI Project invited Thai visual artists to collaborate with musicians and exhibit the work for the three months exhibition. In the middle of the exhibition SOI Project re-installed the works for the music performance stage-set for a two-day music festival. In 2006, without the music elements the SOI project was expanded to include a platform for the Contemporary Thai Artists’ Exhibition as part of the Thai Festival in France, "Tout à fait Thaï".
For Sharjah Biennial 2007, an uncanny context for Japanese/Thai culture, SOI needed to be redefined. Perhaps something even more simple and visible can connect public interest.
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 8.