Galleries are taking things to the next level this November 2020, with art exhibitions on display in every corner of Bangkok city.
The big news in local art this month is the Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB), which opened to the public on the 29th of October and runs until January 31st, 2021. But art in Bangkok doesn’t stop there and, in fact, a huge array of galleries are presenting shows all around the city, some of which even feature artists who also have their works on display at BAB 2020. Here now are 10 suggestions just to get you started on your gallery going journey.
A Little Letter From Someone Somewhere
JWD Art Space: Until November 24
A Little Letter From Someone Somewhere is an immersive exhibition that showcases the artist SUNTUR, in which he has conveyed the stories, emotions, feelings, relationship, memoir from the past – both reality and dreams. The exhibition also welcomes all visitors to write a letter to their future selves, which will be delivered in the next ten years. Also, 26 local musicians have joined the “sound” aspect of this project, so bring your own headphones and mobile devices for a more enhanced auditory experience.
La Lanta Fine Art: Until January 7, 2021
La Lanta Fine Art presents a solo exhibition of 8 paintings by emerging Thai artist Natthiwut Phuangphi, a native of Buriram. He puts together the traditional and the modern humanistic signs then largely shifts them from the realistic nature to a fictitious colour landscape. His work demonstrates a theatrical rendition of semiotic activity, and is influenced by the iconography and the heritage of his rural upbringing. Phuangphi overlaps techniques of hyper-realism using crayon drawing, while contrasting it with the free flow and abstract quality of drifted paint.
Undressed to Dress Up
Room 248 @ River City Bangkok: Until December 31
Piamrak “Ping Hatta” Hattakitkosol is a Thai artist who works across various mediums, including gouache, embroidery, linocut printmaking, and digital art. Her illustrations have been widely published in international magazines, while her work with brands like Jo Malone London, Sephora, and others has gained her wide recognition. Her solo show Undressed to Dress Up, in Room 248 at River City Bangkok, is a series of fashion portraits that depict her self-(re)discovery process during the Covid-19 lockdown. Unable to return to her 2nd home in New York, she used this challenging time to contemplate both the pandemic, and how it “undressed” her career and her life on a personal level.
Year of the Rat
Tang Contemporary Art Gallery (River City Bangkok): Until October 20
Tang Contemporary Art gallery presents Year of the Rat, a show by the acclaimed and always controversial, 63-year-old Chinese artist-in-exile Ai Wei Wei. Interestingly there are two exhibitions by Ai Wei Wei on display in Bangkok this month, as his ‘Law of the Journey’ is on display on the 9th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) as part of BAB 2020 – and both mark his first time showing in Thailand. The show at Tang is based on the idea that 2020 is a calamitous year that comes every six decades in the Chinese lunar calendar. It features 12 zodiac animal heads made from Lego bricks, as well as other objects and artworks.
Breast Stupa Cookery
Nova Contemporary: Until November 21
In her current solo exhibition at Nova Contemporary, Pinaree Sanpitak – one of Thailand’s most prominent female artists – makes gastronomy and art “bosom buddies”. Entitled ‘Breast Stupa Cookery: The World Turns Upside Down’, the art consists of multiple handcrafted bowls and two large wooden installation pieces, as well works on canvas, all of which explore the sensual and spiritual: as the shape of a Buddhist stupa is shown as a parallel to the shape of a woman’s breast (an idea Pinaree has been exploring in depth for much of her professional career). However, the show also transforms the gallery space into a café, with breast-shaped baked goods, as well as coffees and teas for sale.
The Knight in PPE Suit
Ardel’s Third Place Gallery: Until December 12
For photographer Charit Pusiri, the inspiration for his The Knight in PPE Suit exhibition came from the unavoidable isolation caused by the worldwide Covid-19 quarantine measures, and the way this has affected every segment of society. On display at Ardel’s Third Place Gallery, this series of photos presents the jarring juxtaposition of women in swimsuits with characters in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits, who represent the brave medical personnel – the titular “knights” – who are battling Covid on the frontlines. Charit also has a terrific, interactive photo display called ‘Peek’, which is on now at the BACC as part of BAB 2020.
Performance of Nature
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): Until November 25
Performance of Nature by Sangiam Yarangsee, is an important collection of paintings that trace the artist’s creative transformation over the past 30+ years. These captivating works embrace a flowing and harmonious rhythm of natural beauty. The artist realizes that life has the same attributes as nature: there are moments of growth, rooting, and sprawling leaves according to age. When the season is right, the tree will shed its leaves, bloom, pollenate, create seeds, and restore balance to the world. The colours in each picture are filled with happiness, suffering, sorrow, loneliness, joy, excitement, curiosity, etc., and are used to arouse different feelings in the viewer.
Artist+Run Gallery: Until December 20
Solitude is an art exhibition named after the way three landscape painters work – painting outdoors in the face of weather volatility, which is time-consuming and involves observation, with eyes absorbing sunlight and noses smelling the soil and air. The lovely and talented Onnalin Lojanagosin, who graduated from Central Saint Martins and later studied at the Florence Academy of Art, uses traditional techniques to create her moody and introspective, yet very contemporary compositions. Yuth Suripong, an artist from Songkhla province, accumulates paint layers that then become the mist of light in his atmospheric works. Noppanan Thannaree, an artist from Chiang Rai, loves abstraction, and often uses a monochrome palette in his works to allow us to look into the true essence of landscape.
Sense of Perspective
Kalwit Studio & Gallery: Until December 30
Kalwit Studio & Gallery presents Sense of Perspective, a duo show featuring Thai artists Theerapong Kamolpus and Pronpirun Thonsanoh. The exhibition revolves around each artist’s perspective on the environment and/or the society surrounding it. Pronpirun’s bucolic paintings present an ambiance of joy, where both physical appearance and abstract perception are presented in their simplest forms via colour and shape. By contrast, in Theerapong’s moodier work the environment is a mix of rhythms, colour, and time, as he sees the modern urban society as a sort of chaos.
Looking at the Forest
Kathmandu Photo Gallery: Until December 26
Kathmandu Photo Gallery was closed for renovations during the month of October, but now it has reopened and to kick off the new season it’s presenting a solo exhibition by acclaimed photo-artist Manit Sriwanichpoom. Entitled Looking at the Forest, it consists of nature photographs taken by a camera with its focus fixed at just one metre, and the aperture fully open. The result is a series of blurry, dreamlike images in which it is unclear what the photographer sees. These images, taken between 2009 and 2014, were captured during Manit’s visits to forests in Korea, Japan, Australia, France, Spain, and northern Thailand.