Art

Photo Walks Around the City; July 2017

July’s roundup of who and what is on the streets of Bangkok 🙂

See morrisophotography.co.uk for my photographs of the month

Art Galleries in Bangkok

There are many places to go in Bangkok to get your fill of art and culture, photographic and painting exhibitions to annual street art festivals, heck there are even boats that exhibit art, so it can be appreciated by people travelling along the Chao Praya River. And next year, the city will play host to its first Art Biennale which will showcase artists from Asia, Europe and the Pacific; an exciting prospect and one that I shall very much look forward to. Visiting art galleries wasn’t something I was into before, but I can’t get enough of it now and I actively seek out exhibitions to go and see. With that in mind, here are a few of my favourite places to go.

Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre

Art Galleries in Bangkok
Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, Bangkok

My all time favourite place to go for art, just because it’s so big and there are always interesting and diverse exhibitions going on across it’s 9 floors. You’ll need a good couple of hours to wander round the whole place, but that’s all part of the fun. I usually go there with an exhibition in mind, but there are always other works of art that catch my eye. However, not everything makes me stop and look, and some works simply baffle the hell out of me, but, on the whole, I can appreciate the work, effort, time, and love that has gone into creating something. The first five floors circle up and around the main foyer and the main exhibitions are held on the 7th, 8th and 9th floors in huge, hangar-like rooms. Also in the BACC, are art shops, bookshops, art spaces, and cafes, as well as little stalls selling homemade jewellery and handicrafts, and a resident artist who is happy to paint your caricature. If you’re into art, this is the place to go.

Kathmandu Art Gallery

Art Galleries in Bangkok
Kathmandu Art Gallery, Bangkok

A small, unassuming old shophouse, converted into the charming Kathmandu Art Gallery, on Pan Road, Silom. It’s owned by Manit Sriwanichpoom, Thailand’s best known photo-artist, and some of his work, displayed on the walls, is for sale. (in his photos, he’s the one in pink!) Downstairs is a book store, with art and photography books, as well as books on Buddhism and Hinduism, for sale. Upstairs is the tiny art gallery, which showcases photographic images from new and established artists. Although small, the windows are always open creating a light and airy atmosphere. It won’t take much of your time here, but the photography is spectacular and you’ll probably have the place all to yourself.

Soy Sauce Factory

Art Galleries in Bangkok
Soy Sauce Factory, Bangkok

A cafĂ©/bar and art gallery on Charoen Krung Road is an old Chinatown soy sauce factory, hence the name. Downstairs is the cafĂ©/bar, simply decorated with tables and chairs and bold, light and dark colours on the walls. There’s a drum kit set up for the evenings when the place transforms into a popular hang out for a mix of people who come to enjoy the cool music, drinks, and atmosphere. (Temporarily closed due to renovation, but hopefully will re-open soon

S Gallery

Art Galleries in Bangkok
S Gallery, Bangkok

Sofitel, Sukhumvit’s own 100 square metre gallery, it’s tiny, but elegantly decorated and it holds exhibitions from Thai and French painters, photographers and other creators every two months. It’s right there to the left of the hotel’s main foyer, you can’t miss it. There’s a sofa in the middle, so you can sit and gaze at the wonderful art pieces on show.

These are just a few of the art galleries I have visited so far, but I plan to get around quite a few more. The next one on my list is called “Hopeland” at Jam Factory; a selection of photographs taken from the artist’s condo window, so watch this space. 🙂

Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre

Bangkok is not a destination that you would normally associate with art and culture centres. But there are quite a few dotted over the city, so I decided to put my cultural hat on and visit the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and I was happy I did, it is well worth a visit.

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The centre is located at National Stadium BTS stop and opposite MBK centre, so you can’t really miss it. I got off the BTS at Ratchthwei and walked back towards the centre and was almost disappointed when I saw that there was scaffolding all over it and barriers surrounding it. I thought it was closed but I walked around and found the entrance and realised it was open.

There are five floors that circle around the main foyer, and on the ground floor there are a couple of coffee shops. The Art Café is a chic little place decorated with beautiful murals and there are easels, magazines to read, and funky jazz tunes playing.
On the first couple of floors there are more cafes. Most of them sell crafts or books, and some of them you can go to share ideas, read books, or just have a coffee. There are also little stalls selling homemade jewellery and handicrafts, and there were painters painting caricature portraits. There are ice cream cafes which sell a weird and wonderful range of flavours- cigarette (yuk), wasabi and global warming??!!

 

On the second floor there are a couple of rooms displaying different art and one of the exhibitions was the “Illusion of the Human Body”. Large painted canvases showing parts of the body stitched together. It was meant to represent how people turn to plastic surgery to achieve beauty when there is natural beauty in everyone.


Wandering up and around the floors there was more art- paintings, sculptures and hand-made jewellery displays. Floors seven, eight and nine are used for the main exhibitions with new ones each month. The day that I visited there was only one main exhibition. A collaboration of Thai and British artists called MD III- Monologue, Dialogue. The idea behind this exhibition was fragility and monumentality. The explanation was it illustrates nothing. It is a continuation of a conversation started eight years ago between the artists.
“ failure and nothingness are key words in art and ones that can be embraced resulting in fragility and a vision that is unexpected. Monumentality is about presence, and can be about the awkwardness of being”- quote from part of the exhibition.
Whether you understand the meaning behind this or not the pieces displayed in the exhibition are impressive. I had to guess at what “The Ghost of Jimmy the Nail” meant. It wasn’t until afterwards when doing some online research that I realised that the cotton sheets were hung in the shape of a nail and there were rusty spots on the sheets, which I think are meant to represent blood. I still haven’t fathomed the meaning, so if anyone knows please enlighten me.


The creativity and foresight these artists have is incredible. I am certainly no expert,  in fact I would say I know nothing about art , but I was definitely impressed, although a little bemused, at everything I saw there.


The centre is open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am to 9.00pm. Admission is free.
Address
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
939 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

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