Get your pre-biennale art fix with a visit to any one of these intriguing gallery shows, which this month feature paintings, sculptures, installations and even neon tube art
While the upcoming Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) 2020 is without a doubt this month’s major visual arts event, it won’t officially launch to the public until the 29th of October. So, in the meantime while we wait, be sure to take time to visit the numerous gallery shows happening in and around the city, some of which even feature artists who will have their works on display at BAB 2020. And, as always, remember to check each gallery’s website for updated opening hours.
Character ME: Pop Me Up
JWD Art Space: Until October 11
There’s still time to catch the Character ME: Pop Me Up exhibit taking place at the JWD Art Space at Chulalongkorn. Curated by Jarut Wongkamchantra, it presents the works of 10 prominent Thai artists, namely: Yuree Kensaku, Maythee Noijinda, Jitsing Somboon, Vasan Sitthiket, Sutee Kunavichayanont, Lampu Kansanoh, Wutigorn Kongka, P7, Youenmo Koo, and Line Censor. For the exhibit, each artist has also created a small character sculpture, each with a mischievous twist, in response to the rising global trend for ‘art toys’. It’s a beautiful group show, in a truly beautiful space, and it’s also worth noting that Yuree Kensaku, Lampu Kansanoh, and P7 are all taking part in BAB 2020, while Wutigorn Kongka is one of the biennale’s curators.
Compassion in Adversity
La Lanta Fine Art: Until October 28
La Lanta Fine Art gallery presents Compassion in Adversity, a solo exhibition by Thai artist Jirapat Tatsanasomboon, the only Thai artist included in the book 100 Painters of Tomorrow, written by Kurt Beers and published by Thames & Hudson in England. As in many of Jirapat’s previous shows, here the artist continues to address the contradictions in cultural beliefs and traditions between the East and West, calling attention to current issues in society – both at home and abroad – and commenting on politics, consumerism, gender inequality, climate concerns, and social injustice. The eight paintings on display reference everything from Thai mural paintings, to Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, to the graffiti art of Keith Haring. With interest from international curators growing, Jirapat is definitely becoming one of the most promising artists of his generation.
The Land of the One Eyed Snake King / Pandemic Bliss / Neuvo Mandala
Offbeat Box: Until November 1
Australian artist Giles Ryder will be exhibiting his new neon sculptural works at Offbeat Box, a newish art gallery and bar, located very close to the Lad Phrao MRT station (24 180 Lat Phrao 21 Alley). Giles will be further expanding on his long-term exploration and use of neon light, and his interest in space, popular culture, music, sci-fi, nightlife, intergenerational mess, anxiety, and lost histories – all mixed together with a dystopian and/or utopian vision. The works present bold, colourful intertwining forms locking in loosely configured loops, creating a new atmospheric environment where electric lines are drawn and subsequently play within the visual context.
Tang Contemporary Art Gallery (River City Bangkok): Until October 20
Tang Contemporary Art gallery presents a fascinating and diverse group show entitled Retrospective Utopia. Incorporating both figurative and abstract works, the show features the works of several acclaimed Southeast Asian artists, including Yunizar (Indonesia), Marina Cruz (Philippines), Sriwan Janehuttakarnkit (Thailand), Kristoffer Ardena (Philippines), and Gongkan (Thailand). Curated by Michela Sena, this exhibition aims to evoke the nostalgia of a past era, one in which the world was more in sync with nature. Through different techniques and various perspectives, the artists reconstruct this lost world using art – the most honest way to express, and to explore the relationships between humans and their natural existence
Variations of Pauses
Rosewood Bangkok Hotel: Until November 30
Chayanin Kwangkaew’s solo art exhibition Variations of Pauses is a continuation of sorts to the solo exhibition he presented almost one year ago at SAC Subhashok The Arts Centre (entitled A Symphony of Pauses). This new exhibition, staged by SAC Gallery, is being held in the 3rd floor gallery space at the Rosewood Bangkok Hotel. In this show, which features several new works, Chayanin once again combines abstract splashes of colour with hyper-realistic figurative painting, exploring how the visual world is ephemeral, and the mental world seemingly eternal. As life plays out in front of our eyes, millions of tiny details are hidden in the context, some passing by before we ever understand their importance. Whether consciously evaluated or not, the continual juxtaposition of these fluid and solid elements in life brings both confusion and conflict.
Miss & Miss
Ardel’s Third Place Gallery: Until October 17
Miss & Miss is a duo exhibition showcasing the artistic talents of Jureeporn Pedking and Omsiree Pandamrong, combining mixed media and installation works. Omsiree shares her tension and melancholic childhood experiences through the work ‘Inscriptions of the Mind’, created with various methods and media, including metal embossing, poetry, sculpture and art installation. In ‘Place of Diasporas’, Jureeporn portrays the history of Thai-Chinese living in Thailand by using inflated plastic sacks – the air symbolizing respiration that has been resuscitated – together with installation art and performance art. Both of these artists have graduated with MFA and currently continue their doctoral degrees at the Faculty of Painting Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): Until October 18
VHS is the artistic alter-ego identity of Chris Webber, an English contemporary artist who grew up skateboarding, surfing, and living fully immersed in street culture. With a background in websites, graphic design, animation, and creative direction, he has worked for some of the world’s biggest brands, agencies, and television channels. His solo show Help Me, on now at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Bangkok, takes a look at toys, reminding us of our younger selves and how far we’ve come. In this multimedia exhibition the artist incorporates paintings, augmented reality (AR), sculptures, skateboards, and something called the ‘VHS Ramp’. His art welcomes everyone to the playground; to a simpler time when wealth wasn’t part of our mindset, when skin colour didn’t separate us, and when all we wanted was to make new friends.
3rd Floor Gallery, River City Bangkok: Ongoing
This ongoing exhibition of furniture design and Thai rattan craftsmanship at River City Bangkok comes to us courtesy of Enter Projects Asia. All elements of the project are made from natural, local materials, such as Thai hardwood, local black slate, bamboo and, most notably, rattan. In Thailand, rattan craftsmanship has been developed over centuries by villagers in the northern and southern provinces. In a market that is saturated with cheaper, inferior, and imported plastic products, Project Rattan builds a bridge for designers to connect with locally craftsmen and factory workers of rattan and bamboo. By fusing high-tech digital design and low-tech hand-made furniture, the initiative delivers beautiful, bespoke furniture that is ethically made, toxic free and custom designed to a discerning international market. This project has received media coverage internationally, with critical acclaim from Interior Design New York Magazine, Wallpaper UK Magazine, and AD Russia Magazine.
Ardel Gallery of Modern Art: October 15 – November 15
In the art world, self-portraits are a creative pursuit with a long history, existing in all emerging and passing art movements. The upcoming group show at Ardel Gallery of Modern Art, aptly titled The Self-Portrait, will walk viewers through 24 self-portraits, created by 24 of Thailand’s leading artists, each one demonstrating the unique skill and expertise of these local talents. By allowing each artist to work in his or her own style, regardless of techniques and formats, the show as a whole should prove to be an amazingly diverse collaboration that will no doubt provide some intriguing insight into the mind of each individual. Among the participants are such well-known names as: Anchalee Arayapongpanit; Vasan Sitthiket; Chairat Sangthong; Jakkee Kongkaew; Jeerapong Khunpaew; Nawin Biadklang; Nitikorn Kraivixien; Parichart Suphaphan; Suradej Kaewthamai; Theekawut Boonvijit; and Warawut Tourawong.