Bangkok is changing at light speed both physically and culturally. I’ve watched buildings sprout up like alfalfa in a potato sack, one fried chicken chain after the next, and seen select stores blossom thanks to an expanding middle class. The conversation about art is starting to echo from place to place, and Thai contemporary art is reinforcing its boldness and identity throughout the world.
Here in Bangkok the space to think about art is widening, with more media and corporate attention to the arts. Even in pop culture our pals like Note Panayanggool and Pahparn Sirima Chaipreechawit are rocking their wonderful weirdness in popular light, on the internet, as well as physically like the ‘Bitterman and the gentleladies‘ group exhibition starting this week. I also see curious young Thais open their minds to everything they are exposed to. There is an incredible amount of support and connectivity that energises the city. Zoom out and take a look internationally to somewhere like Paris, where artist Korakrit Arunanondchai painted flavours of his history onto the walls of Palais de Tokyo (exhibition finishes September 13th). Thais are rocking out some spicy juju and it’s pretty great.
So with newness comes the excitement of possibility. Today we head over to the shiny addition to Bangkok’s burgeoning art scene, ‘BANGKOK CITYCITY GALLERY‘, a feat of architectural minimalism, a great helping of fresh space, and dreamland for people with wild ideas. Think, clean forms speckled with genius like metal chains that attract water droplets to one localised spot for the tropical rainy season. Imagine a completely transformable central gallery space with panels of natural light ready to soak the interior with sunlight, and in truly Bangkok-ian form, a multi floored parking lot out back for those who like to shift from one air-conditioning sytem to another. As the cherry-popping exhibition to season the space, Thai artist Wisut constructed a life sized graphic novel for us to play with. People can get lost in making good (and/or) bad life choices inside the extensive maze-like structure that has essentially cannibalised the interior. Oh yeah, and they can grab some comic book socks and a mango flavoured frozen girl on a stick at the gift shop on the way out.
On opening, we asked co-founder Op Sudasna about the space’s magic juju, programming and his gallery uniform that we like to call gallery-moflage with our very first Ponytailcast. Listen below.
BANGKOK CITYCITY GALLERY
13/3 Sathorn 1,
South Sathorn Road,
Thung Maha Mek
open Wed – Sun