Art sits in the beating heart of Bangkok and pumps life and new perspectives into what would otherwise be a very dull sight. Whoever seeks to stifle Bangkok’s artistic side should simply not be allowed out, agreed? With that said, there are a lot of exhibitions happening right now in Bangkok and it’s not just because of the Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) that will grace the city until February; people are also just putting on exhibitions because of their love for art. Thus, there’s one thing that’s certain: Bangkokians won’t be starved of exhibitions throughout the year 2019. And with a new year come fresh perspective, and there’s no better place to get one than through the perusal of art in all the forms it comes, from photography and murals to paintings and live screenings. We’ve put together a list of 10 must-see exhibitions in Bangkok this January. Let’s see if you can visit them all before the month’s end!
Hero and featured image: Felipe Pantone
Bangkok’s Ideaopolis, AKA Siam Center brings “SIAM CENTER PRESENTS FELIPE PANTONE W3-DIMENSIONAL & CURRENT WORK Exhibition”, the first time in which street artist Felipe Patone brings all four of his original works from 2018 straight from the Felipe Pantone Studio to Bangkok. On top of that, the artist has designed his very own exhibition venue, having transformed Atrium 1 on Siam Center’s G Floor into “W3-DIMENSIONAL Park” so that viewers can immerse themselves within the confines of his ingenious space.
In his very first solo exhibition, Thai painter artist Chatchai Puipia presents new works after a long hiatus after staging his own funeral and subsequent withdrawal from the art world in 2010. Presented by Nova Contemporary, Vetal Suite is the culmination of Chatchai’s deep and long investigation into love, life and art and his further examination of the intricate relationships between them. Having risen from the dead, Chatchai has turned the gallery into an “aquarium for his consciousness”. From his mind, he conjured up the Vetal, a shadow of himself cast by a reflection in the mirror and a self mediated through many filters: a man half-Vietnamese, half-Thai, part human, part ghost. Vetal welcomes you to his suite.
In a world filled with endless war, where children die daily through no fault of their own but because of the human need to possess, exploit and destroy, 2 artists come together to share their perspective on the plight. In a world where war seemingly knows no end, the artists seek to use their art to promote a world that will one day know peace. And it is not just the distant world out there that is at war, but the world within the borders of our very own country, under the rule of powers that argue ‘mai pen rai khon Thai sabaidee!’… when really, are they?
Artists are strange and interesting creatures and Claude Monet was no exception. Behind the colourful canvases we know was a man who suffered deeply from feelings of depression, loneliness and at some points, suicide. Nonetheless his art flourished, as did his beautiful Giverny garden which he tended to daily in France. Discover the intriguing world of one of the most famous impressionist artists through an immersion in over a hundred of Monet’s paintings filmed in high definition, directed by Phil Grabsky, with the voice of Henry Goodman.
In the eyes of Andrew Stanbridge, a Portland, Oregon based photographer who focuses on capturing global humanitarian, conflict and environmental stories, the media has quite often misrepresented the Rohingya, in effect dehumanizing them by showing images of thousands packed into boats or detention camps. He made a point of setting out to capture individual and personal photographs of many Rohingya refugees in their detention camps whereby viewers could connect with them by looking straight into their eyes. His aim is to allow the Rohingya to reclaim their identities as individuals by the world’s standards, not just faceless refugees. Find out whether or not he was successful.
Two artists from Berlin converge to make magical masterpieces. Niels, the collage artist creates a new world where logic and its opposites are mixed and strange characters often find themselves in bizarre situations. Marga, the photographer, shoots portraits of strangers in the real world and its many temporary studios, going by the belief that every human is a piece of art. During this surreal exhibition, Marga will make portraits of people visiting YELO House, which will also form part of the exhibition.
In this solo art exhibition by Raweepon Pradit, witness the bond that the southern people of Thailand have for their traditions which are seen most during their communal interactions and participation annually at the Chak Phra festival in reverence of Buddhist traditions. Through his captivating aesthetic, featuring the kinds of patterns often used to decorate boats, the community’s traditions are portrayed in the most vivid of ways. Hosted by YuYuan Art & Antique and LHONG 1919.
Have you still not experienced the Bangkok Art Biennale that started in October 2018? Well, in case you’ve been a bit busy, here’s a great way for you to experience ‘Beyond Bliss’. Moleskin invites Bangkokians to go on an art-filled mission to collect as many stamps and selfies at the Biennale’s 20 locations. To those who collect and snap them all, you’ll not only be enriched with new experiences but you’ll also be entitled to a Moleskin Notebook to call your own. And to those who don’t make it to every location, well, you’ll still be able to say you experienced the BAB in some shape or form.
YenakArt Villa has put together a contemporary exhibition in conjunction with the Bangkok Biennale. The gallery will display 5 artworks by Japanese painter and sculptor Soichiro Shumizu, including 4 wooden engravings and a stunning piece of metal which is 2.5m x 3.5m. The garden of the villa plays host to some monumental sculptures by famous jewellery artist Matthew Campbell Laurenza and the whole area will be enhanced by conceptual lightning artist Matteo Messervy.
River City Bangkok, the city’s treasured hub for art and antiquities, collaborates with the National Palace Musuem (Gu Gong) in an exhibition that presents a groundbreaking collection of priceless Chinese Qing-Dynasty paintings and artifacts. This first of its kind exhibition will showcase valuable ancient art pieces in a new light through the medium of modern multimedia technology, with digital works inspired by hand-scrolls created during the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, all under the theme ‘Up the river during Quinming’.