In Floodplain (126), I investigated the paleo-flooding of Wiang Kum Kam in the Chao Phraya River Basin in Northern Thailand. I am interested in the diverse human activities that have existed on floodplains since antiquity. Made of bricks with the very silt and sediment, mud and earth of the floodplain below, this archeological site offers a deeper sense of time, of the dynamic cycles of river systems, and of the movement of civilizations. The brick itself is as much a temporal object as it is a spatial one, suspending the alluvial material that took thousands of years to break down, only to become subsumed once again by the river. I exhume these histories as a way of reconstructing the fleeting passages of natural phenomena and the built environment, with the dynamic anthropogenic changes of the Mekong River Delta today.
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Montana Torrey received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Headlands Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Catwalk Institute, and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, among others. She has exhibited in the US and abroad, including Mississippi: An Anthropocene River, Anthropocene Curriculum; the Center for Art and Culture in France; D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival; Paul Robeson Galleries; Doris Ulmann Gallery; SG Gallery in Venice, Italy; and Trükimuuseum in Tartu Estonia. Torrey is currently a lecturer at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand; she has also taught at Lane College, Moore College of Art and Design, and UNC Chapel Hill. She has been the recipient of many grants and awards, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Residency Grant, Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant, the North Carolina Arts Council Individual Artist Grant and Residency Grant, Skowhegan Fellowship Grant, and a teaching fellowship from the Samuel Kress Foundation..