Jakkai Siributr’s work addresses historical and contemporary urgencies in South-East Asia. In Thailand, young men are required to enlist in the army if they have not received territorial defence training in high school. This means most army conscripts are from low-income families who could not afford their sons’ higher education. When soldiers are sent to the deep south of Thailand, a site of active conflict, these vulnerable young people know they cannot depend upon government support if something happens to them. According to the artist, ‘the only thing they can rely on is supernatural powers from various talismans’.

In Blind Faith, Siributr embellishes Thai military uniforms with amulets of bullet shells, glass beads and images of Buddha. The typical masculinity of soldiers’ uniforms is tempered by the talismanic, which speaks to the human desire for safety, and the intimate ways we seek this in our clothes.