March is here and, as if in defiance of all the ongoing corona virus hysteria, Bangkok’s art scene is buzzing – continuing to offer more and more galleries and one-of-a-kind art spaces to explore. From solo exhibitions in tiny independent galleries, to grand museum-style installations, to lavish paintings in fancy restaurants, there should be plenty of art to “draw” your attention this month.
La Vie en Rose
Brasserie 9: Until March 15
There’s still time to catch La Vie en Rose, a solo show by artist Saverio Lucci on now at Brasserie 9 French restaurant (Sathorn Soi 6). The centrepiece of the exhibit is a giant wall length painting of a woman surrounded by red – roses to one side, and a sea of deep red to the other – but there are many more fascinating artworks on display in the various sitting rooms at this elegant fine dining establishment. Overall, the theme of the show touches on dreams and contemplation about obvious forms of beauty and its force in art. Lucci’s passion for history and respect for tradition that has led to his use of encausto in most of his artworks, with a delicate combination of successive layers of pure beeswax and oil-colours. Having moved to Bangkok in 2012, the artist none-the-less keeps his connection to the old-world European master painters quite intact.
New and Recent Paintings
H Gallery: Until March 28
This group exhibition at H Gallery features paintings by some of Southeast Asia’s most prominent established artists. Addressing the themes of social, religious and political commentary, the artists represented include Mit Jai Inn and Somboon Hormtientong. Of particular interest is Folsom Morning by Sopheap Pich (bamboo, rattan, pigment and mixed media), Kia Outpost I – Gidon Mountain by Sawangwonse Yawanghwe (oil on canvas), and Somdej by Jakkai Siributr (terracotta amulets, hemp and gold thread on canvas).
Green Lantern Gallery: Until March 29
In this solo photography exhibition by Pongtawat Paeungchaitananont, the artist continues to show his interest in photographing, and painting on, the human body. Like a unique canvas, each body has its own texture, line, and curve to convey a particular story. Body painting and tattoos are beautiful and valuable for their owners, however their presence often makes others jump to conclusions. In this exhibition Pongtawat uses his camera to address and explore his beliefs.
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MOCA: Until May 31
The temporary exhibition room No. 3 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has been transformed by artist Nino Sarabutra into a room is filled with thousands of porcelain hearts illuminated in the dark. It describes Thai farmers’ reaction to the ‘Royal Rain’ when His Majesty’s initiative to reduce drought and develop natural water systems in rural areas led to rain. “We all saw his love for the Thai people falling from the sky,” explains the artist. “It is this love that nurtures and revitalizes our soul, even today.” The Raining Room was originally created and exhibited in 2017, during the mourning period after the passing of King Rama IX. After graduating in ceramic art from Silpakorn University in Bangkok, Nino spent nearly 20 years working as advertising creative in various agencies, before becoming a full-time artist in 2008. In the past 11 years, Nino has held regular solo and group exhibitions, in Bangkok, New York, Manila, Singapore, Berlin, and Venice.
A City Aglow
Serindia Gallery: Until March 29
Japanese street-photographer Shunji Dodo has spent a great deal of time photographing the city of Bangkok during numerous visits between the mid-1980s and 2019. His solo photo show ‘A City Aglow’ is a warm, dizzying, up-close and overwhelming portrait of this chaotic capital city. It’s an encompassing, unwavering gaze into life’s universal forces, which continue, no matter the circumstances. The exhibition is also commemorated with the publication of a hardcover book, also entitled A CITY AGLOW, with an introduction by Yasufumi Nakamori, an international art curator from the Tate Modern, London (the book is available for sale at the Serindia Gallery).
Kathmandu Photo Gallery: March 7 – April 25
In this solo photography show artist Kamonlak Sukchai has made up an elaborate Thai folk tale – rife with negative attitudes towards the female sex – and the photography she has created to illustrate it is visually inspired by period costume dramas on Thai television, with the colours and textures of cheap “penny dreadful” magazine illustrations; all of which bestow this series with a surreal fascination and primitivity. Combining her studies in film production design with personal experience growing up among a gaggle of aunts, she has cast her whole family as characters of her homemade “traditional” folk tale, nicely and effectively closing the loop between reality and fantasy. Born in 1994, in Rachaburi, Kamonlak is currently a freelance artist, and her ‘Red Lotus’ series was selected for inclusion in Dutch contemporary photography magazine Foam’s ‘Foam Talent’, alongside just 20 other artists worldwide.