03 Dec 2020
Immerse yourself and dive into an array of artworks and performances from diverse artists, both local and international. The Bangkok Art Biennale 2020, under the theme “Escape Routes”, is currently taking place at BACC and other venues around Bangkok all the way through 31 January, 2021.
Come celebrate art, creativity, and culture throughout the heart of Bangkok in galleries, public spaces and iconic landmarks. They’ll also be accompanied by workshops, guided visits and conferences.
Let’s explore some of the art works on display at BACC:
Thai Artist Tawan Wattuya recreates banknotes from all over the world by painting enlarged versions of them in watercolor, letting fluid properties of the watercolor forge new images. The blurriness reflects the transformation of the world that is turning these banknotes into mere paper and diminishing their values such as currency exchange rates that fluctuate, inflation, financial crisis, online transactions with no exchange of actual money but digits. In reality, what we assume is valuable today may be worthless tomorrow.
The Birth Giving
Afghan performance artist and feminist Kubra Khademi often mobilizes a fantastic imagination, where women look like nymphs who are subordinate creatures of desire and fertility. In her drawings and paintings, it characterizes naked bodies, hers or the one of her mother.
Korean Artist Ga Ram Kim portrays her latest work #FANTASY exposes today's YouTube consumption behavior, which no longer distinguishes between reality and virtual, and serves as a guide to encourage active participation of visitors. It raises the issue on how social networking services alter our lives and how desires are expressed as well. Interpreting the two-sided media age of modern people who are being isolated while being satisfied with their own existence.
With beliefs of secret groups that are planning to disrupt the city and responsible for poisoning his family, Thai street artist Peerachai (Samer) plans and instructs ways of escape by using word associations related to rhymes and often link with astrological stars and logos on buildings. Only Samer understands the numbers and scribbles. His drawings reflect unconventional ideas that make more sense than the crazy world we live in.
Max The Spin Necker
A ventriloquist doll, having become consistently portrayed as villains in horror films, P7 recreates a ventriloquist doll in his distinct style. However, P7 does not make clear what exactly he is offering to viewers. These two sculptures pose open-ended questions for viewers.
Law of Journey
Artist-activist from China, Ai Weiwei has visited over 40 refugee camps in 20 countries. The artwork represents an inflatable boat carrying faceless refugee figures. They represent those in exile escaping from Bangladesh, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Gaza, Mexico and countries across the globe.
The Great Adventure of The Material World
Multimedia artist Lu Yang’s work focuses on embracing the “now”, where reality and virtuality intersects to represent the world we live in. The Great Adventure of Material World (2019) is a digital fantasy full of cyberpunk noir mixed with mind-bending technologies and neuroscientific religion. With frightening speed through mind-bending technologies escape paths in the fake digital world offer momentary satisfaction and loss from reality.
A Thai photographer Charit Pusiri once said, "When we think of the word ‘peeking’, we usually think of looking through a keyhole which suggests a sense of wanting to know other people’s secrets (both friends and strangers)", and added that "Being nosey is an inborn human trait. As people are always curious about something that is hidden, the main idea behind project Peek! Is the photographic image in a box to let viewers peek through the keyhole only to see a fraction of the story. This is also a reflection of social media which can convey so much misleading information.
Eins und Eins (One and One)
Indonesian artist, Melati Suryodarmo imagines her body as a suffering country that endures many aggressions in a silent manner. Sooner or later, the body reacts in a form of nausea and eventually vomiting. With physically intense movement, her performance aims to portray that the body is a nation full of repressive conditions; it tends to create an explosive reaction.
Australian media and performance artist Elena Knox explores pathways of robotics where artificial intelligence is replacing humans in many areas as science and biotechnology develop at a fast speed. She analyzes issues of human augmentation, ethical concerns, gender, youth and old age through robotics within an art form.
Lao animator and new-media artist Souliya Phoumivong reflects remote life in Ban Kokxay, near the Mekong River. She portrays her art with handmade clay models of colorful humans and buffalos are illustrated as they move dumbly into the abyss. As some water buffalos become more equal than others, they transform into humans stomping on highways which lead to nowhere. Greed finally directs them to their final escape destination.
Dancing in the light
Thai Artist Lampu Kansanoh is well known for her hilarious and unique paintings which depict a blend of everyday affairs with wild imagination that comes from her own experiences to famous people and cultural practices that make up the Thai way of life.
Thai Death Starr
Thai artist and social activist, Ubatsat portrays the black star in his artwork as destroying agriculture, forest and livelihood. He searches a way out for Thai people after two decades of struggle and schism. The “Death Star” from Star Wars symbolizes its potential destructive power, while a lonesome farmer standing on a field of husk looks to outer space in solitude and hopelessness with the Death Star in his view casting a shadow.