May 17 2017

First Bangkok Art Biennale to Launch in 2018

by Crystal Wu

As scensters filed into Venice for this year’s Biennale, it was announced that the first Bangkok Art Biennale will launch next year. Photo from Bangkok Art Biennale Facebook page.

The first Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) will be held next year, from November 2018 to February 2019 in Thailand’s capital. The announcement regarding BAB’s first edition was made in Venice on May 13 at the Westin Europa & Regina Hotel, San Marco, by the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, which was co-founded by food and beverage mogul Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi and the former permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, Apinan Poshyananda.

BAB will be Bangkok’s first Biennale, marking the city’s addition to the international biennale circuit. Under the theme “Beyond Bliss,” the three-month event will feature contemporary art from Asia, Europe and the Pacific region, which will be showcased at various sites in Bangkok, including the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Suan Lumpini Park and at least three ancient temples along the Chao Phraya River.

Regarding the theme of BAB, Apinan Poshyananda, who is also chief executive and artistic director of BAB, said during the announcement in Venice, “We live in the age of chaos, disruption . . . and violence. So the search for your bliss is up to the individual artist, who would interpret, as well as the visitors who come to Bangkok. We all want to find our own bliss.”

The Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation is led by Poshyananda along with a number of international advisors, including Alexandra Munroe, senior curator of Asian art and senior advisor of global arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation; independent curator David Stuart Elliott; Eugene Tan, director of the National Gallery Singapore; Nanjo Fumio, director of Mori Art Museum; Nigel Hurst, chief executive of Saatchi Gallery in London; contemporary artist Rirkrit Tiravanija; and Sunjung Kim, director of Artsonje Center in Seoul. 

Details of participating artists or curators have yet to be announced.

Crystal Wu is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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