Thai contemporary art has undergone radical changes in the last few decades with the emergence of new galleries and museums such as MAIIAM in Chiang Mai, rise of street art and launch of the Bangkok Art Biennale as well as creative regional initiatives such as Khonkaen Manifesto. But the pace has been slow and public funding lower than in some other Southeast Asian countries.
In international cultural circles, the perception is that Thai contemporary art is struggling for funding and a voice amid conservative traditions. Even as a new generation of Thai artists, art spaces and events draw more international attention, the question is whether the country’s art scene is still far from the global stage — and if so, why?
This panel discussion draws together some prominent curators, critics and artists as well as regional experts. Among other issues is the question of who funds — and should fund — Thai contemporary art, and how the nascent gallery scene compares with other Asian countries.
Panelists will also discuss the growing profile of women in the Thai art world and how street artists and other creative talents are making a mark on international art festivals and galleries abroad.
- Apinan Poshyananada, chief executive and artistic director of Bangkok Art Biennale, and former permanent secretary of the Thai Ministry of Culture
- Thanom Chapakdee, independent art critic [CUT CURATOR] and artistic director of Khonkaen Manifesto, a Thai regional contemporary art festival, and Wai Art, an alternative art space
- Patcharapol Tangruen, aka Alex Face, one of Thailand’s best-known street artists and creator of Mardi, the “kid in a bunny outfit.”
- Susannah Tantemsapya, Founder and Executive Director of Creative Migration and Bangkok 1899, a new cultural & civic hub
- Valentine Willie, Southeast Asian art expert, gallerist and creative director of Iiham, a public art space in Kuala Lumpur
Moderator: Gwen Robinson, editor-at-large, Nikkei Asian Review and FCCT president