February may be the shortest month of the year, but for 2020 in Bangkok it’s a month packed with interesting art-related exhibitions and events. The biggest celebration of art this month was probably the return of Galleries’ Night 2020, which took place on the evenings of the 14th and 15th. Organised by the Embassy of France in Thailand, this marked the seventh return of the popular event, with over 70 galleries and 250 Thai and international artists taking part. Of course, for those who couldn’t make it to Galleries’ Night, don’t fret — we’ve compiled a list of 10 other worthwhile exhibitions to explore.
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River City Bangkok: Until March 30
In this photo exhibition by photographer Carolina Sandretto – curated by Michela Negrini – the viewer is taken to Cuba, Svalbard, and Antarctica to explore the idea of time and its passing, and what it signifies for the landscape of things that belong to us. We witness time and its passing influence on objects in a visible way. In essence they become part of a lost landscape, traces of who we were and a testimony of our past life; a memory of what we were created by what we left behind. Our collective past reflects on the surface of the landscapes depicted, even in places where these things are still in use.
Kalwit Studio & Gallery: Until February 28
In this exhibition, Thai artist Chisanuphool “Kao” Presanvorakitkool has come up with a thought-provoking display of printmaking in which he delves into the endless battle that pits humans against nature. Using wood engraving techniques he explores elements relating to supernatural powers, mythology and religion to represent the forces of nature. It’s a show that reflects Kao’s view on how God is merely a human invention that evolved from our attempts at understanding the awesome powers of nature.
SO Sofitel: Until March 31
The Park Lobby at SO/ Bangkok hotel will turn into a sleek, art gallery for an exhibition entitled Fly Me to the Moon, from French-born artist Kostar. It’s a collection of pieces featuring urban art and graffiti, and including the infamous space-trotter sculpture named ‘Mister Balloon’. The artistic partnership with Kostar reflects SO/ Bangkok’s hallmark of blending art and hospitality, restyling the hotel interiors with thought-provoking art. As an artist, Kostar experiments with a myriad of surfaces and textures to redefine urban art and graffiti, always adding a fun dose of humor and colour.
MOCA: Until March 25
For the first time in Asia, renowned LA-based photographer Sylvie Blum will have her breathtaking photos showcased. This large-scale exhibition will display 300 images, including 100 original prints from her ‘Naked Beauty Series’, her world famous ‘Big Cat Series’, and her ‘Animal Series’, as well as 200 Polaroid images showing her very own diary over the past 20 years (from 1999 – 2019). Austrian-born, Blum started her career as a model prior to taking the helm as a photographer. During her 16 years in front of the camera she worked with photographers such as Helmut Newton and Jeanloup Sieff. Blum has been described as the Ansel Adams of the female form, creating images that are timeless, iconic, strong, minimalistic and modern.
Joyman Gallery: Until February 29
According to artists Teerapon Sisug, Subannakrit Krikum and Terdtanwa Kanama, ‘Neo-Thaiism’ is a doctrine telling the story of being Thai within a new perspective, which is consistent with the modern era. This group show operates without the old conceptual framework, opening up new perspectives for viewers with symbolic concepts that are ingeniously inserted in what is commonly seen as traditional art. All three artists are part of the new wave of creative talent that is propelling the Thai art scene onto the international stage.
WoofPack Gallery: February 1 – 16
Make a visit to the gallery in the WoofPack building, on Sala Daeng Soi, to catch the mixed-media exhibition based on Tul Waitoonkiat’s new set of 26 poems written under the theme of “X”, which relate to wide range of subjects; from love to depression to politics. Poetry is not just letters or words on the paper. It can be interpreted and modified through visual designs and art objects in order to expand the way to appreciate literature, the way to examine nature of life, and realize that art and the process of making art can be an effective therapy for people’s suffering. This exhibition is also a part of Bangkok Design Week 2020, in which the theme is “Resilience” in the digital era.
Ardel Gallery: February 6 – March 15
The Ardel Gallery of Modern Art proudly presents Sunrises Again, a retrospective showcase of world-renowned Japanese wood engraving artist Keisei Kobayashi, with works dating from 1981 to 2018. Keisei has devoted himself to perfecting one of the most difficult woodcut techniques, making use of transversely cut wooden blocks – which helps in the making of very fine and detailed lines, but requires even more attention to detail than woodcuts made with blocks of lengthwise split wood (the more common form). Regardless of technique, the magnificent colour and black and white prints in this expansive exhibit present the idea of all living things co-existing in a happy and equal environment by placing humans, birds, fish, and other living creatures amongst a backdrop of forest, sky and imaginative paradises.
La Lanta Fine Art: February 14 – April 10
La Lanta gallery is holding a group exhibition entitled Indigo Monsters Return, featuring three international artists: Vipoo Srivilasa (Thai/Australian); Shin Koyama (Japanese); and Pepijn van den Nieuwendijk (Dutch). The original ‘Indigo Monsters’ series began in October 2010 when the three artists first met at the capital city of blue and white porcelain, Jingdezhen, China. Here, they worked collaboratively to celebrate their shared passion for this prized material. By revitalizing the historical ties that connect Holland with both Japan and Thailand, the artists aim to investigate different ways to trade ideas between the three cultures.
Subhashok The Arts Centre: February 15 – March 15
Artist Songwoot Kaewvisit’s creations from this collection were inspired by nostalgia, family memories, and childhood remembrances. As such, Kaewvisit, the wanderer, returns to his hometown once more and retraces the route of his ancestry. “Home” is an important provenance of ancestral identity for all living things, but home is not only defined as a place of shelter but also the story of the livings where they share both joy and sorrow within that particular space. For this Thai artist, whose ancestors were Chinese immigrants settled in the Northeastern part of the Kingdom, home is a symbol of honour that is not meant to declare any social status or wealth, but to honour the human struggle. In this collection the artist leaves behind his pristine working practice of euphemistic brushstrokes and straightforward colour palettes, and instead uses a trowel to smear paints in layers on a surface full of harsh brushstrokes.
Offbeat Box: From February 7
Offbeat Box is a newly founded creative venue offering two unique showrooms in a lofted container gallery in the vibrant and busy Lad Prao district of northern Bangkok. These spaces will run parallel conceptual shows throughout the year, offering engaging Thai and international art to the general public. The main room presents collections from well-established Bangkok-based artists, while the smaller room focuses on new media artists and their conceptual ambient designs. The inaugural exhibition will feature the likes of Attasit Pokpong, Alex Mardi, Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew, Tawan Wattuya, Sinit Saejia, and Cece Nobre.