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Jun 17 2020

Bangkok Art Biennale Offering “Escape” Is On for October

by Jae Lamb

Exterior view of BAB Box @ One Bangkok. Image via Twitter

The Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) has confirmed that it will commence its 2020 edition on October 29 despite Covid-19, in addition to an announcement of additional names of participating artists. Of the 82 selected artists, 56 artists—including those released in the first batch in January—have been confirmed by the curatorial team, led by artistic director Apinan Poshyananda. 

While the Biennale theme of “Escape Routes” was announced before the onset of the pandemic in November 2019, it now encompasses different meanings. Acknowledging a new way of experiencing art in light of the current circumstances, Poshyananda remarked that the pandemic acts as “a component in the desire for escapism” in BAB’s press release, saying that “In the grave, fragile ‘new normal’ world we live in, cracks are appearing everywhere. In recent months, we have been immersed in fear and despair . . . that has caused unprecedented calamity and disruption worldwide.” Poshyananda believes that although the theme was announced under the “premises of the ‘old normal,’” it will “challenge issues stemming from the current predicament.”

For BAB’s second edition, 51 international artists from 34 countries, alongside 31 Thai artists, will offer their interpretations of art as a form of diversion and release from the current world of uncertainty and anxiety. Among these artists include Shanghai-based multimedia artist Lu Yang who utilizes elements of pop culture in videos, installations, and performances to explore concepts of spirituality and transhumanism, and Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija whose social interaction focused performances provoke viewers to challenge the boundaries between art-making and spectating. British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor, whose conceptual artworks span from powdered pigment sculptures to large-scale indoor and outdoor installations is also among those participating. 

The Biennale will run until January 31, 2021. The full list of artists revealed so far is as follows:  

Ana Prvački (Serbia)

Andres Serrano (United States)

Anish Kapoor (India)

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsuk (Thailand)

Baatarzorig Batjargal (Mongolia)

Bill Viola (United States) 

Carlos Casas (Spain) 

Chantana Tiprachart (Thailand) 

Charit Pusiri (Thailand) 

Choy Ka Fai (Singapore) 

Christian Jankowski (Germany)

Dane Mitchell (New Zealand) 

Dansoung Sungvoraveshapan (Thailand)

Dinh Q. Lê (Vietnam) 

Elena Knox (Australia)

Elina Brotherus (Finland)

Farhana Islam Tani (Bangladesh)

Frank Hallam Day (United States)

Ga Ram Kim (Korea)

Haevan Lee (Korea)

Ho Rui An (Singapore)

I-na Phuyuthanon (Thailand)  

Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina (Indonesia)

Julia Fullerton-Batten (Germany)

Kubra Khademi (Afghanistan, France) 

Lampu Kansanoh (Thailand) 

Leandro Erlich (Argentina) 

Lolay (Thailand)

Lu Yang (China)

Maria Stamenkovič Herranz (Switzerland)

Marina Abramović (Serbia) 

Massimo Bartolini (Italy)

Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia) 

Miles Greenberg (Canada)

Minah Son (Korea) 

Naiza Khan (Pakistan)

New-Territories (France) 

Nipan Oranniwesna (Thailand) 

Nomin Bold (Mongolia)

Note Kritsada (Thailand) 

P7 (Thailand)

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand) 

Rachel Maclean (United Kingdom) 

Reena Saini Kallat (India) 

Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thailand)

Ruangsak Anuwatwimon (Thailand)

Rungruang Sittirerk (Thailand) 

Tada Hengsapkul (Thailand)

Tawan Wattuya (Thailand) 

Thanet Awsinsiri (Thailand)

Ubatsat (Thailand)

Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch (Thailand) 

Yoko Ono (Japan)

Yuken Teruya (Japan) 

Yuree Kensaku (Thailand) 

Zhang Kechun (China)

Jae Lamb is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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