The Bangkok Art Biennale Returns with ‘Escape Routes’ByJenevieve Kok
The Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) has just launched their second edition of their 3-month long art festival and will be held until 31 January 2021. Across 10 landmarks in Thailand’s capital, over 200 artworks from 82 international artists will be presented in the bustling city of Bangkok. The BAB’s mission is to create memorable creative experiences, establish Bangkok as a leading contemporary art destination, and promote their local Thai artists in the industry.
'BLEU BLANC ROUGE (Blue, White, Red)' - Yuree Kensaku, Image courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale
Taking on the theme of ‘Escape Routes’, this edition was conceptualised based on the “new normal” Covid-19 has brought on. In an attempt to understand and search for ways out of the chaos, the BAB addresses global challenges in our world today, such as migration, unemployment, and pollution. The featured artists were invited to find 'escape routes' through their artworks by confronting the global disruption experienced this year, both in the art industry and beyond. Their art practice also offers mental escapism where meditation, healing, and performance become the essence of hope and optimism.
'Winged' - Dansoung Sungworavejaphan, Image courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale
“Migration, unemployment, racism, discrimination, terrorism, pollution and climate change are pressing issues that urge the human desire to escape from despair and desperation. This brings out our primal instinct as humans to react under suppression and threat.” - Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Bangkok Art Biennale
'Woven Chronicle' - Reena Saini Kallat, Image courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale
'Rising' - Marina Abramović, Image courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale
Among the 200 artworks, over 30 artworks were commissioned for this biennale, including an interactive labyrinthine bamboo installation by Rirkrit Tiravanija and a powerful performance by Melati Suryodarmo. Renowned artists such as Anish Kapoor, Marina Abramović, and Yoko Ono will also be presenting their artworks that offer enchanting escape routes with multifaceted dimensions.
'Between the Mountains and Water' - Zhang Kechun, Image courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale
The BAB will fill the historical spaces of Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan (Temple of Dawn), Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihan (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawihan (Temple of Iron Fences) in addition to other venues around the city.
Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in an array of artworks and performances from a diverse range of artists from all over the world, throughout the heart of Bangkok, in galleries, public spaces, and iconic landmarks. They will also be able to participate in conferences, workshops, guided visits.
'Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire' - Tawan Wattuya, Image courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale
“Launching the Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 is a result of the unwavering determination of our Foundation. Using the creative power of world-renowned Thai and international artists to stimulate Thai cultural tourism, we firstly welcome our domestic audiences and soon hope to welcome guests from further afield.” - Mr. Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, president of Thai Beverage (Public) Company Limited, Chairman and Founder of the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation