Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 announces its curatorial team and theme
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Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 announces its curatorial team and theme

BANGKOK.- The 2nd Bangkok Art Biennale returns on 10th October 2020 through 21st February 2021, after a critically acclaimed inaugural edition. BAB 2020 announced its curatorial team and theme ‘Escape Routes’, aiming to present an intense, provocative and criticizing perception on the world. Organised by the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, in collaboration of Thai Beverage Company Limited (ThaiBev) and public and private sectors, the first edition, BAB 2018, attracted over 2 million visitors from around the world.

“In the grave new world that we live in, cracks are appearing everywhere; subverted by whether the nature or humans themselves. Millions of people wake up to realise that they are facing unescapable situations trapped in dilemma. The fantasy paradise in the land of plenty where wine, milk and honey flowed as people partied, sunbathed and slept around, an escape from earthly suffering, has turned bitter and sour. Yet, technology has developed miraculously to the point that miracles seem normal. The quest for immortality, eternal happiness and superhuman powers often make us forget how miniscule we are on this planet. In one way or another, artists create ‘escape routes’ to make us aware of the paths of sufficiency, sustainability and inclusivity. The artists will reflect on issues such as environmental detriment, pollution, social malaise, gender, diaspora and political differences. Moreover, they will offer art practice as mind escapism where meditation, contemplation, ritualism, healing and performance become the essence of hope and optimism,” commented Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyanada, Chief Executive and Artistic Director.

Led by Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, the curatorial team consists of Dr. Sook-Kyung Lee, Senior Curator, International Art (Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational) at Tate Modern, UK; Dow Wasiksiri, President, the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand; Asst. Prof. Wutigorn Kongka, Assistant Professor, King’s Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Faculty of Architecture, Fine Art Department; Ong Puay Khim, Former Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. The reputable list of the international advisors are renowned performance artist Marina Abramović and acclaimed curators and art historians, Fumio Nanjo, Alexandra Munroe and David Elliott.

“Human beings are afraid of very simple things: we fear suffering, we fear mortality, we even fear to speak up. When I presented my work at the first edition of BAB, I also spent three weeks in Bangkok, living with the people, understanding their way of life. I loved presenting my work within Thailand’s context. It is an honor to be part of the advisory for this next edition. Under the theme ‘Escape Routes’, we, artists, will become a mirror for the audience; our work will become a ‘case study’ to the society,” Marina Abramović said.

Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, President and CEO of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, said, “Arts and culture promotion is one of our company’s core missions which will share the Thai talent to the international stage. From success of the first edition of Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB2018), the event has been well embraced by public, artists and art enthusiast tourists around the world. During 4 months of the event, BAB2018 greatly boosted economy and tourism in Thailand by generating a circulation of over 8,000 million baht with over 2 million visitors including domestic and international tourists joining the event."

To complement the announcement of the theme ‘Escape Routes’, BAB shared the first batch of participating artists for the 2020 edition.

Anish Kapoor, UK • Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Thailand • Bill Viola, USA • Julia Fullerton-Batten, Germany • Leandro Erlich, Argentina • Melati Suryodarmo, Indonesia • Dinh Q. Le, Vietnam • Rirkrit Tiravanija, Thailand • Lu Yang, China • Zhang Kechun, China • Nipan Oranniwesna, Thailand • Ana Prvački, Serbia • Thanet Aowsinsiri, Thailand • Baatarzorig Batjargal, Mongolia • Yuree Kensaku, Thailand • Ho Rui An, Singapore

The inaugural edition broke boundaries by, for the first time, presenting contemporary works in historical and religious sites in Thailand. Following the success and warm responses from visitors and monks, the second edition will once again take place at Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan (Temple of Dawn), Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihan (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawihan (Temple of Iron Fences), in addition to other venues around the city, including BAB Box @One Bangkok, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), Museum Siam, Lhong 1919 and leading Department Stores.

With a strong curatorial team and Dr. Poshyanada’s vision, an open call for artists that launched in the summer, will offer an opportunity to all artists from around the world to be part of BAB 2020.

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