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Posts Tagged ‘Thaweesak Srithongdee’

Busan Biennale pushes for new discoveries in contemporary Asian art – artist list

Posted by artradar on August 25, 2010


The Busan Biennale 2010 will be held from 11 September until 20 November at several locations in Busan, including the Busan Museum of Art, as well as at the nearby Yachting Center and Gwangalli Beach, under the theme of ‘Living in Evolution’.

The Biennale’s website describes the theme as such:

The official 2010 Busan Biennale poster, designed by Lee Pooroni. Based on the theme ‘Living in Evolution’.

The official 2010 Busan Biennale poster, designed by Lee Pooroni and based on the theme ‘Living in Evolution’.

We are living individual lives. Yet at the same time, we are living in the processes of evolution. Evolution will continue. But no one knows the direction of this evolution.

This exhibition will try to think through the relations between art, society, world, history and the future by considering the dual time axes in which we are living today.

Featuring 161 works from 72 artists, the art festival will make a new attempt of integrating three existing exhibitions – “Contemporary Art Exhibition”, “Sea Art Festival” and “Busan Sculpture Project” – into one.

The Busan Biennale has been held every two years since the beginning of 2000. This year’s biennale makes an attempt at new discoveries and insights on relations between individuals and mankind, past and future and arts and society.

Kiichiro Adachi, 'Antigravity Device', 2009, Tulip, soil,neodymium magnet, stainless steel, halogen light

Kiichiro Adachi, 'Antigravity device', 2009, tulip, soil, neodymium magnet, stainless steel, halogen light.

In an unusual move, the 2010 Busan Biennale will have one single director, Azumaya Takashi, planning for all exhibitions. As an independent curator hailed for his experimental approach to exhibitions, Azumaya has held curatorial posts at the Setagaya Art Museum and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. He was commissioner of the 2002 Media City Seoul and guest curator for the 2008 Busan Biennale.

The art festival aims to help forge a closer link between the public and contemporary art through creating connections between the featured works and exhibition venues. Large-scale installations will be placed at several key spots in the city to serve as landmarks, depicting the exhibition theme and symbolising civilisations.

Along with the main exhibition, directed by Azumaya, the 2010 Busan Biennale will be composed of special exhibitions such as “Now, Asian Art” and joint exhibitions such as “Gallery Festival” and “Exhibition at alternative spaces”.

Featuring young and experimental artists from Korea, China and Japan,”Now, Asian Art” aims to tighten regional networks in Asia and strengthen contemporary Asian art. “Gallery Festival” is a set of special exhibitions presented by local art galleries, again featuring artists from Korea, China and Japan.

Educational programs, including a contemporary art course called “Art Story”, will be available. The course is scheduled to open in October and targets adult art lovers and aspiring artists. In addition, a conference of art editors in Asia will be held on September 12 under the title of the “Asian Editors’ Conference”.

Asian artists participating in the 2010 Busan Biennale include:

Donghee Koo, 'Souvenir', 2008, wood, light fixture, mirror, and artificial plant

Donghee Koo, 'Souvenir', 2008, wood, light fixture, mirror, and artificial plant.

Min-Kyu KANG
Tae Hun KANG
Donghee KOO
Dalsul KWON
Eunju KIM
Jung-Myung KIM
Shinjung RYU
Bal Loon PARK
Sung Tae PARK
Moo-kyoung SHIN
Sangho SHIN
Dayeon WON
Kibong RHEE
Byungho LEE
SongJoon LEE
Young Sun LIM
Seung JUNG
Hye Ryun JUNG
Jung Moo CHO
Ki-Youl CHA
Bongho HA

Thaweesak Srithongdee, 'Zoo', 2009, Acrylic on canvas

Thaweesak Srithongdee, 'Zoo', 2009, acrylic on canvas.

Kohei NAWA
Kiichiro ADACHI
Miki JO

Anxiong QIU



UK, Israel

Amarsaikhan NAMSRAIJAV

Dinh Q. LÊ

Christina DY

Shih Chieh HUANG



Related Topics: Korean venues, biennales, emerging artists, promoting art

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Bangkok museum opens with seminal survey, a who’s who of Thai modern contemporary art

Posted by artradar on November 14, 2008

Thaweesak Srithongdee Dolls

Thaweesak Srithongdee Dolls




Opened in the course of the summer with a display of royal photography, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is the result of over a decade of lobbying on the part of Thailand’s contemporary art community.

Not just for the elite

Like many recently built government-run cultural venues in Southeast Asia, BACC has been designed as an entertainment-oriented art space expected to bring in extra revenues through retail and is integrated into a cluster of up-market malls (including Siam Discovery and Paragon), all connected by the National Stadium BTS skytrain station.

Explains the Centre’s Acting Director Chatvichai Promadhattavedi, ‘As well as needing the various shops’ retail income to survive financially, we also need to make sure people keep coming back, we need to be a welcoming meeting place, a shopping place and an eating place, as well as a venue for culture. We must strive to have something for everyone, not just the Bangkok elite’.

Teething problems

As well as being critical of BACCs undistinguished architecture, many culture-watchers in Bangkok also have mixed feelings about the new centre’s hybrid aspirations, worrying that its core mission as a museum will be diluted by its commercial nature. At the time of writing, the several dozen retail premises of the lower floors were still untenanted, but by the same token, a clear cultural programme is not yet in place, nor a permanent curator appointed. ‘It is as if the 10 years of fighting we have gone through to get this place set up has exhausted everyone to the point where even the centre’s directors are feeling uncertain and lethargic,’ said a Thai journalist attending the opening of BACC’s first big contemporary art exhibition in September.

Montien Boonma Melting Void

Montien Boonma Melting Void

Initial teething problems notwithstanding, many feel that the over 4000 square meters of exhibition space provided by the BACC have been worth the wait and are optimistic that over time the new centre can defy the familiar Thai model of bureaucratic stagnation and institutional corruption. ‘It has been a long time coming. Now we have the infrastructure, we need to focus on programmes and policy to make the centre move ahead,’ says photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom, one of the activist-artists instrumental in the campaign for the new space and currently a member of BACC’s executive board.

Traces of Siamese Smile – first exhibition
Despite the new building having been accessible to the public for some months, it was the Bangkok centre’s first big exhibition that effectively marked the space’s arrival on the Thai cultural scene. Presided over by Princess Ubol Ratana, one of the largest shows of Thai modern and contemporary art ever assembled in Thailand or elsewhere opened on 23 September. Technically the centre’s second manifestation, Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politics + Love, was, due to its size, breadth, and high-calibre curatorial team, billed in the local press as ‘commemorating the opening of BACC’.

Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politics + Love, scheduled to run for two months until 26 November, has been organised by some of Thailand’s most distinguished art professionals, not least Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, the BACC chairman and internationally recognised curator, who currently heads the Thai Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture.

The Siamese Smile is the exhibition’s loosely observed curatorial theme. Embodying a uniquely Thai paradox, the smile is an appropriate motif for an exhaustive survey. A cliché of the national tourist industry, the Siamese smile has in recent decades been repeatedly appropriated by contemporary artists who use it to critique Thais’ attitude of surrender vis a vis life and conventions as well as their vision of themselves from beyond their own cultural borders.

Over 300 works in the show

Including over 300 paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, photographs and videos, the show presents Thai art as well as a small but high-profile selection of pieces by non-Thai practitioners. One may justifiably ask whether it was truly necessary to include less-than-great works by a few iconic Western, Chinese, Korean and Japanese creators for the sake of a mere smile. Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Pierre et Gilles, Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun, Louise Bourgeois and others figure here more like brands than practising artists, their respective works for the most part incongruous amongst the Thai majority. Within the foreign group one can make exception for Pierre et Gilles, whose photo-montage contributions relate specifically to Thailand, and Louise Bourgeois, whose extraordinary steel Spider of 1996 is so spectacularly beautiful that it would be at home and welcome anywhere! These exceptions aside, however, it is rather surprising that despite Thai contemporary art’s well recognised strengths, curators felt the inclusion of big international names necessary to draw museum-goers. It is a reflection of the local situation – true throughout Asia- that most members of the public are more familiar with, and responsive to, foreign cultural players than local ones.

How does the Thai art measure up?

These sociological observations aside, how did the Thai art measure up? As a survey spanning the first quarter of the 20th-century to the present, the exhibition will no doubt go down in history as seminal, no other inclusive selection of this nature ever having been assembled. Indeed, Traces of Siamese Smile reads like a Who’s Who of modern and contemporary Thai art, save one striking omission, that of Bangkok-based conceptual practitioner Sutee Kunavichayanont. The latter, one of the most significant artists of the present generation, due to being part of the curatorial team mounting the show, was excluded from the manifestation.

A who’s who of Thai modern and contemporary art

Dominated by contemporary art, the display presents some of the most recognisable Thai images of the last 15 years: Montien Boonma’s A Man Who Admires Thai Art is here, as is his 1999 Melting Void: Molds for the Mind (not in the catalogue). Chatchai Puipia’s Siamese Smiles of 1995 is also present, along with Kamin Lertchaiprasert’s over-scale deconstructed Buddha made of shredded Thai paper money. A funny and sharp early video by Vasan Sitthiket pokes fun at the greedy consumer. Manit Sriwanichpoom’s now globally famous Pink Man makes an appearance with patriotic school children waving the Thai flag. The flag appears elsewhere in various guises too, as depicted by Natee Utarit, Kanya Chareonsupkul, Ing Kanchanavanich, Montri Toemsombat, and Noppachai Ungkavatanapong, these artists dwelling on the meaning of the Thai nation and the effects and ills of nationalistic policy. Traces of Siamese Smile also introduces a number of key Thai modernists amongst whom the revered Silpa Bhirasri, (Italian by birth but considered the father of Thai modernism), Fua Haribhitak and Thawan Duchanee.

  • See complete article and image carousel in Asian Art ,
  • recent posts on Thai art
  • Find out which are the important artists in other survey shows of emerging and Asian art
  • review and more images in Mysinchew covers Chatchai Puipia, Surasi Kusolwong, Rirkrit Tiravanija
  • For complete list of artists in exhibition see Asia Art Archive

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