Thai contemporary art is being highlighted in three simultaneous events in Bangkok on Friday
Singaporean curator Adele Tan of the National Gallery Singapore and Prof Patrick D Flores of the University of the Philippines – the co-curators of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 – will fly into town for research at Wat Arun and Wat Poh.
They will team up with the Thai curatorial team led by artist, director and curator Prof Apinan Poshyananda, Luckana Kunavichayanont, Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre’s director and Sansern Milindasuta of Bangkok University.
The team will visit the two Thai landmark temples which will be highlighted during the upcoming art festival next year. They will present site-specific contemporary art at the sites.
Meanwhile, Korean Bang Sun-Gyu, acting president of Asia Culture Centre will share her experience in a discussion “Curator and the Role of Contemporary Art Management” held by the Culture Ministry’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture at its art centre on Rachadamnoen Klang Avenue.
Other Thai curators from the National Museum, Silpakorn Art Centre, Thailand Creative and Design Centre, Museum of Contemporay Art and Subhachok Art Centre will join the discussion.
The one-day seminar is part of the ministry’s preparation for its contemporary art museum which is expected to open on Ratchdapisek Road next year.
At the same time Singapore-based Australian researcher and curator, David Teh of the National University of Singapore, is launching his new book “Thai Art: Currencies of the Contemporary” in Bangkok’s Jim Thompson Museum’s Ayara Hall.
Teh’s new book is the first scholarly study of current artistic practices in the Kingdom since Prof Apinan Poshyananda’s landmark “Modern Art in Thailand” (1992).
Rather than covering that 25-year gap, Teh offers a more focused account of the ‘currencies’ Thai artists have acquired in their engagements with the international art system.
Teh notes that not so long ago, a ‘history of contemporary art’ would have seemed like a contradiction in terms. But contemporary art is a moving target. Its vitality as an economy and a discourse now demands its own historical framing. What insights might we take from such a study? Is it simply an explanation of the present, or can it open new lines of enquiry about the past?
The launch and discussion is taking place from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
Thailand specialists, Mary Pansanga, Kenji Chanon Praepipatmongkol, Panu Boonpipattanapong and Pier Luigi Tazzi, have been invited to reflect on Teh’s book and its intersections with their own work, in dialogue with the author. The discussion will assess the book’s relevance to art history, art writing, and curatorial work today.
After Bangkok, the author will travel to Chiang Mai to relaunch the book at Mai Iam Contemporary Museum in San Khampang on Sunday from 11am to 1pm.