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Art in Bangkok: Creative breaths, fantasy monsters and distorted skulls
Bangkok Art Map, the city's essential guide for art lovers, shares its top picks for the coming weeks
Rocking a fresh new look, this month's edition of the Bangkok Art Map (BAM!) devotes its exhibition spotlight to senior, self-taught artist Pratuang Emjaroen’s Breath of Creation, on view at the Ardel Gallery of Modern Art.
BAM!, published every month in Thai and English and distributed free in Bangkok, explores this exhibition and more as it shares its list of the city's top art shows in the weeks ahead.
Breath of Creation, October 19 to November 21
Self-taught artist Pratuang Emjaroen is one of the Kingdom’s foremost modernist painters, having had a significant influence on the course of Thai art through the second half of the 20th century.
The recent paintings on view in Breath of Creation at Ardel Gallery of Modern Art were all created three years ago in 2007, at a time when Pratuang was coming to terms with being diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, today the senior artist isn’t physically fit enough to put brush to canvas, but these works created in the early stages of illness invoke a spirit of optimism and determination.
Painted in his familiar naïve style with vivid psychedelic hues, the exhibition brims with contemplative reflections about nature’s cyclical power and magnificence.
Ardel Gallery of Modern Art, 99/45 Belle Ville, Boromratchonnanee Rd (Km 10.5). Tel: +66 (0)2 422 2092. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Amporphous, until November 28
Having found early success as a cosmopolitan fashion lensman, Bangkok resident British photographer David Mitchell presents a contemplative series of semi-abstract cumulus-inspired photo prints.
Painterly in their appearance, the ethereal cloud compositions suspend in a weightless space, leaving viewers to seek their own emotional and spiritual response.
Kathmandu Gallery, 87 Soi Pan, Silom Road. Tel: +66 (0)2 234 6700. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. BTS: Chong Nonsi
Intersections, October 6-31
Rippling cyclic pools that intersect and merge, Chatr Jenchitr’s abstract compositions pertain to responsive human experiences, relationships and environments, reminding us that life is an unavoidable journey of discovery.
Exploring spatial relationships between color and geometric forms, his energetic patterns of grid and circles pulse with kaleidoscopic energy.
H Gallery, 201 Soi 12 Sathorn Road. Tel: +66 (0)81 310 4428. Open daily, 10 a.m.-6p.m. Tuesday by appointment. BTS: Surasak
Refection: Chain of Transience, October 7 to November 4
Having previously focused on painting, Bangkok based German-Philippine artist Melanie-Lou Gritzka-del Villar uses her recent residency at Pikture Gallery for site-specific experiments into notions of transience and transformation.
Using reflection as an entry point, the artist uses materials such as stickers and plastic film for her collaborative and interactive manifestations.
The Pikture Gallery, 47/1 Sukhumvit Soi 49. Tel: +66 (0)2 662 8359. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. BTS: Thonglor
W x L x H -- Mes Petits Monstres, October 8-31
For his debut solo exhibition of acrylic painted canvases, recent Silpakorn University graduate Tossapol Khemawattanakul presents a menagerie of fantasy monsters that reflect his escapist visions to constrictive urbanity.
Floating in a surreal cloudscape of the mind, the cute and playful illustrative creatures appear heavily influenced by recent animation trends.
Koi Art Gallery, 43/12 Sukhumvit Soi 13. Tel: +66 (0)2 662 3218. Open daily, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. BTS: Phrom Phong
What lies within us, until November 10
An established sculptor recognized for his cranial bronze works with tactile patinas, Haritorn Akarapat’s latest works tread new ground with experiments in two-dimensional painting.
On view at travel company Exotissimo’s recently opened gallery space, the exhibition of distorted skulls and faces is part of the tour agency’s expanding drive to promote contemporary culture.
Exotissimo Art Gallery, Exotissimo Travel, Nanglinchi Soi 4. Tel: +66 (0)2 286 5786. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Living in Transparency, until October 18
A visual and sensory stimulant, gastronomy often finds its way onto the artist’s palette (and palate) as an expressive form of creativity.
Previously Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak has explored the kitchen pantry for her molded breast-stupa forms, and now Italian artist Simona Ambrosini collaborates with La Botega’s chef Luca Appino to cook up some flavorsome art objects.
La Botega di Luca, 49 Terrace, Sukhumvit Soi 49. Tel: +66 (0)2 204 1730
Journey, until October 30
Marking his first solo exhibition, sculptor Tanadol Derujijaroen, a sculptor teacher at KMIT Ladkrabang, fills the floor space of Gossip with an army of figurative bronze and fiber-glass forms.
Exploring personal themes like childhood memory, the autobiographical modernist sculptures attempt an evocation of life’s difficult journey.
Gossip Gallery, Silom Galleria 3F, 919/1 Silom Road Soi 19. +66 (0)2 637 7878. Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. BTS: Surasak
Crowded Comfort, until October 17
Just as George Orwell used domesticated beasts in a cautionary allegory about human servitude, artist Bencharong Kowapitaktat also uses farmyard fauna to symbolize and point out human foibles.
Somewhat idealized, his patterned paintings of farm life are intended to point out a sufficiency based alternative to what he considers the materialistic miseries of contemporary existence.
Whitespace Gallery, Lido Bldg 2F, 260 Siam Square 3, +66 (0)2 252 2900. Open Tuesday-Friday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. or by appointment. BTS: Siam
Published monthly, the Bangkok Art Map (BAM!) is a free monthly guide to Bangkok’s growing art arena. Now featuring both English and Thai, it’s put together by Steven Petifor, one of Thailand’s leading art writers, and is available all over the city.