Bangkok’s cultural scene never fails to impress us with its new talents and thought-provoking arts. The city has become a hot haven for dynamic up-and-coming artists, welcoming innovative ideas and talents with open arms. Dedicated to all these creatives in town, this series explores the journey and the edgy personalities of some of the most notable rising stars in the country. 

This month, we sparked some conversation with the charming, stylish, and passionate Thai artist Kantapon “Gongkan” Metheekul who has made a truly mark for himself on a global map. Curating art came to Gongkan naturally since childhood and he only believed in producing artwork based on his ideas and concepts, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of existing artists.

Remember the sticker bombs of the squeamish notion of Kim and Trump kissing? We always knew that the talented artist was about to shake things up with his fresh, expressive approach towards art. After creating the most recognisable works of characters spawning out of black holes in the big city of dreams, New York, the rising artist returned to Bangkok with his second exhibition “Teleport” that created a storm in Bangkok’s art scene.

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

Through sheer handwork, dedication, and immense struggle, Gongkan has independently created a prolific career for himself. Tapping onto Gongkan’s endeavors and getting to his raw personality, we got candid and unboxed a couple of unknown facts you probably never knew about him. Peek into the extraordinary Gongkan’s life and find out what’s next for him. 

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

Describe yourself in three words.  


Positive. Sensitive. Peaceful.

What do you like about street art? And how did you get into it?  


Before I kicked off my “Teleport” project, I wasn’t really doing art but after this project came into my life, I decided that this artwork shouldn’t just be on the paper or social media. It should be in the real world out there so I decided to submit my artwork to the Street Art in New York City because I wanted my work to go public. I liked that people could see how my character comes out of the black hole in the city.

What’s the story behind your name ‘Gongkan’?  

Actually, my nickname is ‘Gong’ which is very common in Thailand. So, ‘Kan’ comes from my last name. That’s why ‘Gongkan’.

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

How are you spending your time during the partial lockdown? 

It’s a good time to spend with yourself — you can do crafts, work, and what ever you feel like. When I used to go outside, I didn’t really have much time. But, now that I am at home, I have more time to think deeper about concepts and ideas. I think it’s a good time to utilise and to think deeply about your work.

I am into a new concept about social harassment, as I came across many negative comments on social media, and decided to turn this situation around with my artwork. Many of the problems, like bullying in social media, I’ll be using to express in my artwork. Since, we have to stay home for long, I decided to kickstart this new project.

Name the last TV show you binge-watched.  

Itaewon Class. It’s a Korean series.

What is your favourite part about being an artist?  


I always loved painting. When I was a kid I always loved painting more than anything like studying or sports. I’m happy that I get to do what I love doing. 

What is a character you would like to play from a TV show or movie?  

I really love Japanese animations that are more minimal and calm. So probably Doreamon or Pokemon!

If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?  

I actually really like Lisa from Blackpink because she is really talented and she is Thai. Now, I watch a lot of her videos.

Also, I love a lot of Billie Eilish’s songs, especially, I don’t want to be you anymore.

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

Who do you think is the most underrated artist?  

My friend— Niam. He draws a lot of surrealist art and beautifully draws the ocean waves. I believe that his art should be appreciated more. 

Who is your favourite artist?  


I love Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama. I like how they have presented some of their works which were really powerful and a huge success.

If you were not an artist, what would you be?  

A singer. And I would have a band with my friends. I used to sing in high school so we had a band and we even participated in a few competitions.

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

What is an Instagram account you’re obsessed with?  
What are you currently reading?  


I’m currently not reading anything but if I do read, then I usually read about art history.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?  

Black Hole.

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

What is your catch phrase? 

Khon-look-laew! (Translates to ‘got goosebumps’ from Thai)

What’s a wardrobe staple everyone should own? 


A white and black t-shirt. Comfortable cotton pants. I prefer wearing all black, especially long sleeve tops.

Name 3 essential items you like to always carry in your bag. 

A notebook and pencil, my wallet, and my iPhone. And my glasses.

Your favourite spot in Bangkok? And the best thing about this city?  

I love my neighbourhood a lot — Ari. They have a lot of good restaurants, good street food, and a lot of coffeeshops. I’m the kind of person who has to drink coffee first thing in the morning.

The best thing about the city has to be the food. I simply love Thai food. Everything is so reasonably priced here compared to any other city.

Do you have a favourite memory from New York?  

The first time I created a mural art piece in a public space. It was on Second Avenue downtown in Manhattan. It’s my favourite memory.

Do you have any favourites from your own work?  


“No more hate” from my Teleport series. This painting expresses how the notion of hate is transported into love.

Gongkan, Kantapon Metheekul, Thai artists, Teleport, Black Hole art, Gongkan in New York, Teleport series

What’s next for Gongkan?

I am currently working with Troye Sivan. He will be doing a lyrics animation video so I will be doing the lyrics video for him. I’ve also been doing the AR character for him, so you can just open the camera and see my 3D character on the phone. 

Would you like to add anything else? A message for young inspiring artists who want to pursue this as a career? 

Belief in yourself and everything will come to you, even success. You need to keep going.

Alisha Pawa
Writer
Alisha is a passionate dancer and is always creating her own choreographies. She is a fan of rom-com novels, a coffee-drinker who loves tea, and is always on-the-go for her midnight chocolate cravings. She hopes to tick-off her never-ending bucket list one day by hosting her own travel show.