It’s not the best time for being out and about in Bangkok, but with the right pandemic precautions in place it’s still worth taking a peek at what’s on display at the city’s still-open art galleries.
Hero image: Kannika Jansuwan at BACC
Well, July is finally here, and since our Covid nightmare looks like it will be with us for a little bit longer (ugh!), we may as well hunker down and be brave about it all. And while that means lots of staying and working at home, one way to lighten the lockdown mood is with art. Thankfully, many art galleries in the city are choosing to remain open, however most are operating on an appointment-only basis, so call and book ahead just to be safe.
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE
Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC): Until August 29
The extended-run People to People art show is currently on display in the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre’s Main Gallery 9th Floor. This group exhibit presents contemporary artworks from 58 artists, all of whom got a boost early in their careers as participants in the BACC’s 2nd floor People’s Gallery, which launched in 2012. The artists involved represent a diversity of social groups, including professional artists, students, and art enthusiasts, all of whom constitute individual voices sharing their reactions to social phenomenon, the economy, politics and personal beliefs (or self-esteem) through the aesthetic processes. Earnings from artwork sales at this show will be donated to support BACC activities and operation.
INDIVIDUAL MINDS… INDIVIDUAL SIGNS
RCB Galleria 3, 2nd floor, River City Bangkok: July 8 – September 30
The exhibition Individual Minds… Individual Signs is being presented by Willows Art Hall, a non-profit organization established to assist Thai artists affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. This group show will feature many well-known Thai artists – whose works are available at reasonable prices – with an artist’s portfolio that rotates each month. The creative talents with works on display in July include: Vasan Sitthiket, Pnida Pim Pim Laval, Chai Wan, Carey Wright, Billy Chavalit, and more.
I’LL BE BACK
Rosewood Bangkok, Art Connection gallery: Until August 31
SAC Gallery, in collaboration with Rosewood Bangkok, presents I’ll Be Back, a solo exhibition by Preyawit Nilachulaka being held in the hotel’s 3rd floor Art Connection gallery space. In this latest body of work the artist examines life, death, and human existence via the misadventures of a humorous collection of zombie characters. As members of the “walking dead”, who know neither life nor death, each zombie’s existence is rendered meaningless and the only fleeting moment of knowing what it is to be “alive” comes when each is faced with the prospect of imminent annihilation; whether in a fiery car crash, or perhaps against an oncoming tsunami. These mischievously macabre paintings depict – with clever, comic-book style realism – a wide variety of final-moment scenarios for these unlucky undead. And as a metaphor, it’s not too hard to realise that, in fact, we are the zombies… all on our own aimless quest for meaning.
PARADIGMAL TRAPS: JIGGER CRUZ SOLO EXHIBITION
Tang Contemporary Art Bangkok: Until July 25
Tang Contemporary presents a solo exhibition by Filipino artist Jigger Cruz, entitled Paradigmal Traps. Here the artist returns with a body of work that challenges perception rendered in his signature style. Tubes of oil paint squeezed onto the canvas, spray painting and decisive, confident strokes all create a rough and thick 3-D surface that meets in a grid of tangled coloured lines. Strips of colour overlap, travelling in parallel or intertwining, pushed by Jigger’s impulsive gesture. The dense, compacted, and impastoed surfaces, partially or totally, hide the figurative background which are usually representations of subjects from Flemish or Renaissance art repertoires. Albeit frayed and mutilated, in some works, the original image survives his interventions, but at other times however, the realistic representation is completely distorted and destroyed, making it difficult to identify the initial subject.
NOVELTY, BY NITI WATTUYA
Numthong Art Space: Until July 31
Artist Niti Wattuya presents Novelty, a solo show of paintings on now at Namthong Gallery (in the Ari district). In lieu of a press kit, the artist composed a poem, a portion of which reads:
“I stand gazing at the water flowing slowly,
Still enchanted by its serene beauty.
The weak evening light still shining,
And the pale green woods reflecting.
For a long while, but I’m never tired of watching.
It cleanses the mind, making me mentally clean and serene.”
THE SPIRIT OF CHERRY BLOSSOM
Theatre of Indulgence Gallery, by Lotus Arts De Vivre: Until November 12
The Theatre of Indulgence Gallery by Lotus Arts De Vivre (Rama III Road) takes collectors interested in Japanese culture on an exciting journey to the Land of the Rising Sun with a show entitled The Spirit of Cherry Blossom. Discover over 200 rare and precious Japanese artefacts that reflect the nation’s rich history. Marvel at the undisputed elegance of every single item – jewellery, furniture, home décor, and more – underlined by the subdued aesthetics perfected by master artisans over the centuries, which makes each piece so desirable amongst collectors worldwide. The exhibition itself has been curated by Luckana Kunavichayanont, an art consultant and curator to Lotus Arts de Vivre and the acting director at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and is divided into three zones: Japanese Aristocratic and Noble Life; The Art of Dressing; and The Beauty of Transience and Imperfection. Advance booking is required.
SIGHTS OF HOME COLLECTION BY LEE VLADISLAVSKY
ATTA Gallery: Until July 25
As an artist working in the field of contemporary jewellery, the creations of Lee Vladislavsky, now on display at ATTA Gallery, are inspired from personal research arising from the definition and understanding of “home and belonging”. The research began as a personal quest in 2017 at the Alchimia, Contemporary Jewellery School in Firenze and has continued and evolved until the present day (while working from the artist’s home studio in Haifa, Israel). Described as a “beaded collection of sights viewed through tears”, this collection of jewellery pieces involves intricate needle weaving of beads by hand into vibrant glass fabrics, capturing abstract landscapes as a wearable memory, a piece of jewellrry encompassing in itself a gesture of pride. Each piece involves several months of work to reach completion.
ONE GENERATION PLANTS THE TREES, ANOTHER GETS THE SHADE
Warin Lab Contemporary: July 15 – September 15
The latest exhibition at Warin Lab Contemporary is entitled One Generation Plants the Trees, Another Gets the Shade, by the Chiang Mai-based artist Thaiwijit Puengkasemsomboon (the title is taken from an old Chinese proverb). This show, curated by Angkrit Atchariyasophon, looks at the topical issue of air pollution resulting from Thaiwijit’s first hand experience as a resident in the North of Thailand where smog from farmland burning filled the air at certain times of the year. The exhibition also incorporates the artist’s interest in scrap materials, and while repurposing them he also gives a new meaning to these materials in his decidedly abstract expressionist works.
Ananta Kama Gallery: Until July 31
The always charming local art entrepreneur Eric Dutocq has moved his popular Ananta Kama art gallery from its former home on Soi Yen Akart to a more intimate space on nearby Soi Si Bumphen (7th floor of the Peony Building). And, if truth be told, the new gallery is also Eric’s residence, so all those interested to arrange a private viewing of Light Flakes, the new solo exhibition of colourful abstract paintings by Arjinjonathan Arjinkit – described as being “sweet as the fading memory of a dream, captured before it disappears forever” – should contact him directly. For French and English dial 086 633 0300, and for English or Thai call 085 222 6989.