The international contemporary art festival, Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 (BAB 2020) unveils its full list of participating artists. The city-wide show will be housed across nine venues and once again new commissions will be installed within historic sites. Presented within the context of a ‘new normal’ for cultural consumption, 82 world-renowned artists from 35 countries will elevate and energise the Thai art scene with over 200 artworks, curated under the theme of ‘Escape Routes’.
Artists include: Marina Abramović, Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, Ai Weiwei, John Akomfrah, Rushdi Anwar, Elina Brotherus, Maisie Cousins, Leandro Erlich, Ho Rui An, Christian Jankowski, Anish Kapoor, Yuree Kensaku, Khvay Samnang, Ga Ram Kim, Dinh Q. Lê, Lu Yang, Yoko Ono, Nipan Oranniwesna, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Michael Shaowanasai, Melati Suryodarrmo, Yuken Teruya, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Bill Viola. For a full list, please see notes to editors.
The inaugural edition in 2018 welcomed more than 2 million visitors, in support of COVID-19 precautions, and to maintain social distancing, the first three venues will launch on 12th October 2020 to control visitor numbers. A newly purpose built exhibition space of over 1,000 sq.m. at The Parq will present over 25 artworks by 16 artists and it will also feature a new “BAB Café”, as a place for relaxation and discussion. Additionally, there will be two exhibition spaces at the city’s new global landmark, One Bangkok.
To officially mark BAB’s launch, a further six venues will open from the 29th October 2020. Commissions and exhibitions will be showcased in ancient temples that sit along Chao Phraya River, the principal river of Bangkok. These venues will include three Buddhist temples; Wat Pho, known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha; Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn with its pagodas decorated with Chinese porcelain; and Wat Prayoon also known as Temple of the Iron Fence in the Kadeejeen neighborhood.
Further down the river and into the city, exhibitions continue to Bangkok’s largest public contemporary arts centre, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC); a Neoclassical architectural landmark, formerly The Ministry of Commerce, Museum Siam; and a Thai-Chinese heritage buildings transformed into an art complex where the sacred Mazu shrine is situated, LHONG 1919. All exhibitions will be on view through 31st January 2021.
Top left: The Parq / right: One Bangkok
Middle top: Wat Pho / left: Wat Arun / right: Wat Prayoon
Bottom left: Bangkok Art and Culture Centre / middle: Museum Siam / right: LHONG 1919
In 2018 BAB launched “DEK BAB”, an arts apprenticeship program with the aim to nurture the next generation of personnel interested in developing a career in the arts and culture sector. DEK meaning ‘youth’ in Thai and the programme welcomes a wide range of applicants of different backgrounds and experiences, from university students to the general public; offering unique hands-on experiences in contemporary art and working closely with renowned artists from around the world. This year, the program has accepted over 730 applicants and they have made important contributions to the biennale.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expressed: ‘The return of the second edition, which features another stellar line-up of internationally renowned artists, will bring together art enthusiasts around the world to this art and culture destination. This event reassures our country’s gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and pronounces Thailand’s readiness and capabilities to welcome tourists with our smiles and safety. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is confident that Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 will help boost cultural tourism and attract domestic and international tourists, increasing economic activities during this global recession. Thailand is determined to press forward with all activities to promote safe tourism and to achieve sustainable tourism goals.’
Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Bangkok Art Biennale said: ‘Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 has become an art event of global significance, which transforms Bangkok into a buzzing hub for art and culture, thanks to the success of the festival’s first edition in 2018. This year, we have 82 artists, even more than the previous edition, which will help liven up Thailand’s tourism and its art scene. The locations are strategically chosen for their cultural and historical significance, such as temples and pathways along the Chao Phraya River which are communities with long history, invaluable cultural heritage sites and considered the heart of tourism in Bangkok. We are fully prepared for the ‘new normal’ way of viewing art, with safety and social distancing measures such as mask wearing, temperature check, cleaning with alcohol, to fully reassure our audiences.’
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) commented: ‘I admire the collaborations between different sectors that made this event possible, especially the commitment from the private sector including Thai Beverage Public Company Limited. The company sees the importance of supporting cultural tourism and jointly push forward this biennale. In addition to generating a dynamic atmosphere in the art community, the biennale would help stimulate economic growth, especially in the tourism and hospitality sector.’
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The second edition of Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB 2020) will be held, from 29th October 2020 through to 31st January 2021 in Thailand’s capital, organised by the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation. The foundation was cofounded in 2017 by CEO and President of ThaiBev, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi and the former permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of BAB. BAB 2018 was Bangkok’s first Biennale, marking the city’s addition to the international biennale circuit.
BAB 2020 is sponsored by Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, who forms a significant collaboration with the government and the private sector, including Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), One Bangkok, Siam Cement Group Public Company Limited (SCG), Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd., South East Insurance Public Company Limited, PM Center Co., Ltd., Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Amarin TV 34, GMM Channel Company Limited, and Embassies in Thailand as main sponsors and allied partners.
Professor Dr. Apinan Poshyananda was born in 1956. He received his Bachelor and Master Degree in Fine Arts from Edinburgh University and Ph.D. in History of Art from Cornell University. As artist, he won 3 medals at National Exhibition of Art, Thailand. Poshyananda is author of several books on Thai and Asian art. He became professor at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
Poshyananda served as Director-General, Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Director-General of Cultural Promotion Department and, the Permanent Secretary and Acting Minister, Ministry of Culture, Thailand when he was to commission and curate the first Thai Pavilion at 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.
He has curated and directed international art exhibitions in Asia, Europe, USA and Australia including Contemporary Art from Asia: Traditional/Tension (1996, Grey Art Gallery, Queen Museum of Art, and Asia Society Galleries, New York); Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politic + Love (2008) the inaugural exhibition of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC); Thailand Eye (2015, Saatchi Gallery, London and BACC).
He is a committee member of the Asian Cultural Council, New York; Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York; Board of National Gallery, Singapore; Board of Foundation of BACC; and Advisor to President and CEO, Thai Beverage Plc.
He was conferred Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, Thailand; Knight First Class of Royal Order of the Polar Star, Sweden; Knight, Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, Italy and Officer of the French Arts and Letters Order, France.
・Asst. Prof. Wutigorn Kongka, Artist and Lecturer at Fine Arts Department, Faculty of Architecture,
King’s Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand
・Ong Puay Khim, Head & Curator, Biennale and Residencies, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
・Sun Wenjie, Head of Exhibitions, Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China
・Dow Wasiksiri, Artist and President of the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand (RPST), Thailand
Courtesy Bangkok Art Biennale
Ong Puay Khim
Courtesy Bangkok Art Biennale
Courtesy Bangkok Art Biennale
© Wang Jun & Yang Li
Courtesy Bangkok Art Biennale
・Marina Abramović, Performance artist and President of Marina Abramović Institute (MAI)
・David Stuart Elliott, Vice-Director and Senior Curator of RMCA, Guangzhou, China
・Fumio Nanjo, Former Director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
・Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, USA
・Marco Scotini, Artistic Director of FM Center for Contemporary Art, and Head of the Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies Department at NABA, Milan, Italy
・Wang Chen, Vice President of the China Arts and Entertainment Group and member of the Expert Committee of China National Art Foundation
[ View the list on BAB2020 official site ]
・Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina
・Choy Ka Fai
・Venzha Christ and Indonesia Space Science Society
・Frank Hallam Day
・Maria Stamenković Herranz
・Ho Rui An
・Reena Saini Kallat
・Kaung Swan Thar
・Ga Ram Kim
・Dinh Q. Lê
・Farhana Islam Tani
・Zhou Xia Hu