When I moved to Asia in late 2005 I was struck by dance between old and new ways. I was especially intrigued by the old folk tales of "Hungry Ghosts" - the spirits of greedy humans, who in the afterlife are forced to walk the earth with tiny mouths and huge empty stomachs - forever unable to satisfy their desires. I saw the flowering of a thousand skyscrapers across city skylines as the new Hungry Ghosts, manufacturing endless desire which can never be fulfilled.

I have also composed a series of musical works, exploring the themes of the Hungry Ghost myth, as part of the gallery installation. The work takes traditional Malay, Chinese, Thai and Indian melodies, and combines them with powerful modern rhythms.

The dance between the present and the ancient is the subject of the Hungry Ghost series.


In Islamic tradition, the Persian Carpet represents the image of paradise itself. The making of a carpet is viewed as an act of love for God, a spiritual undertaking. The carpet is a metaphor for God's creation, demonstrating the relationship between the physical realm and spiritual life.

I saw patterns similar to those of Persian carpets in the textures of New York City. A divine work crafted by the labors of millions of workers from every corner of the world, ever growing in its complexity and beauty. Chaotic and terrifying, or exquisite and inspiring, depending on the observer's point of view.


Growing up in London I hated clouds. The grey sheets that descended upon us from October till May, and sometimes from May until October as well, cast everything I saw into a dull grainy facsimile of life.

During my first rainy season living in Bangkok I was fascinated by the difference from the sky of my youth. Blues, browns, purples and yellows burst forth forever in flux, dancing.

The photos from "Monsoon Season" were taken from my appartment in Bangkok during the rainy season s of 2005/6.

David Barratt