The first-ever Bangkok Art Biennale kicked off on 19 October 2018. The mega-event in the capital of Thailand comprises more than 200 masterpieces, 75 Thai and international artists, and participation from 34 countries. The mission is to inspire, engage and bedazzle a Thai, ASEAN, and international audience who loves to explore the inner city, Riverside, and central business district. The 20 participating locations are more unusual than one is used to from other cities. For the event under the theme ‘Beyond Bliss’ two of the most famous Buddhist temples Wat Arun and Wat Pho are backdrops of contemporary art installations, A number of five-star hotels along the riverfront, namely the Penninsula, and the Mandarin Oriental, serve as a canvas for contemporary art. Additionally, the organizers were able to secure exhibition space for several installation art pieces in the high-dotted shopping malls EmQuartier, Siam Paragon, and Central Embassy. Apart from the locations, the artists’ line-up is not any less impressive. Art enthusiasts will easily recognize works by Yayoi Kusama, Marina Abramovic, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Huang Yong Ping to name a few international names. Thai artists Wisut Ponnimit, Sornchai Phongsa, and Nino Sarabutra are not less known in the art scene showing exciting, thought-provoking installations. And if the venues for the inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale would not have been enough, the challenging topics artists chose to address are a certain eye- and conversation-catcher. They dare to address some socio-political challenges that the country faces including the migrant workers, the sex industry, and conflicts in the South of the country. This creative event is a celebration of contemporary art, a way to present Bangkok as a destination that incorporates heritage, hospitality, entertainment, gastronomy, and a new budding international art scene. The Bangkok Art Biennale provides visitors with complexities of the city that are the very essence for so many who come through and make them fall in love with the metropolis. For artists and creative types, the event offers a chance to attend workshops, conferences, talks, and get up close with exhibiting artists. The Bangkok Art Biennale is open until 3 February 2019 and will certainly give rise to more talk in the near future.
Source: photos are courtesy of Bangkok Art Biennale