Taweesak Molsawat


sterling silver and found Scrabble tiles
16 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 1/4 inches

Thai artist Taweesak Molsawat’s necklace is made out of repurposed Scrabble letter tiles. The front of the work spells out ‘WE ARE ON THE HUNT’ for a word score of 26; on the back, the letters ‘W H Y’ are inscribed into the silver frames that hold the Scrabble pieces in place, and a ‘Q’ appears as a pendant, with the huge single letter score of 10. It’s a lovely pun, since answering the question – always hard to do – sets you up to win the game. Is That Right? No.2 is part of a series of works made in 2004 with the war in Iraq firmly in mind. The title is a moral question, complicated by the reference to Scrabble, a word game with no defined or predetermined outcomes. Scrabble is notorious for the pitched battles that break out between players over the legality of words, just as war triggers fierce legal, political and social struggles. Molsawat is asking what kind of questions can be raised by something that adorns the wearer’s body, and the wearer decides on the legitimacy of his conclusions in the decision to put this work around their neck. Taweesak Molsawat is an independent artist, designer, researcher and creative consultant based in Thailand. He graduated with an MFA from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and he has taught jewelry and metalsmithing in schools in the United States and Thailand. His work has been exhibited internationally, and was featured in the 2012 traveling exhibition Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewelry at the Design Museum in London, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.