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THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

More than 19 years of event planning experience have prepared us at Baanlaesuan Magazine Group for the job of hosting the best home and garden fair in Thailand and the ASEAN region. “Real Life Galleria” is the theme of the 2019 Edition of Baanlaesuan Fair Select, which is now in its second year. The exhibition is brought to you by room Magazine. Look for room Showcase at the fair for imaginative designs and inspiration. Experience the excitement of modern design that comes with every showroom on display during the five-day event. Good design inspires the admiration of everyone, and it’s one that answers your specific lifestyle needs. For the 2019 Edition of Baalaesuan Fair Select, Room Magazine proudly presents a collection of masterpieces by some of Thailand’s distinguished designers.

Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.

If you are handicraft lovers, there’s a special zone for that. Look for My Craft Zone at the fair for new ideas and inspiration for your next project. Whilst there, drop into The Book House to browse and shop new books and other bestsellers on the topics of home and garden. For those who are enthusiastic about small garden ideas, Baanlaesuan Pocket Garden offers a wonderful richness of small garden ideas. Just a reminder, the home and garden fair is happening from 20 to 24 February 2019 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

The floor plan, 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Entrance to the Galleria

 A rendering of the entrance to the Galleria at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair select

A rendering of the entrance to the Galleria at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair select

To create an inviting atmosphere, the entryway to the Galleria is decorated showroom style. Simple, clean designs paired with perforate metal patterns give handy hints about furniture, home goods and decorating ideas. The paint color, the furniture, the lighting combines to make the area awesome. Drop by for a photo opportunity. There’s something good in every show.

room Magazine Showcase
Real Life Galleria: The Secret of Showroom Making

Real Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
Real Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Real Life Galleria is a show about design masterpieces by some of the country’s top-notch designers. Organized on theme of “The Secret of Showroom Making”, the exhibition provides a conducive atmosphere for learning and exploring design possibilities. It’s the product of a collaboration between the Baanlaesuan Magazine Group and the Design and Objects Association. The 2019 Edition of Baanlaesuan Fair Select proudly presents five masterpieces by five leading homegrown designers. They include Suwan Kongkunthien, M. L. Pavinee Santisiri, Amornthep Kachanont, Jirapan Tokhiri, and Rangsan Narathasajan. Together, they let us in on their secrets in “giving a home the look and feel of a living art gallery”. Over time, our curators have worked jointly with diligent care and effort to choose five designs that answer different lifestyle needs. Not only are the showpieces fully functioning as expected, but they are awesome in ways that bespeak their unique style.

The Book House at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

The Book House at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
The Book House at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Real Life Galleria is also the theme of this exhibition booth. The relationship between color and texture in the room is defined by a gridiron design that sits atop a series of archways painted contrasting shades of red and green. Where appropriate, small green plants thrive from hanging containers creating a welcoming atmosphere. It’s designed to be an ideal place to browse, read and shop books specially screened and chosen by a team of editors at Baanlaesuan Printing.

            Special Promotions! Buy books from Baanlaesuan Printing on this occasion only and get:

* 15% discounts when you buy 1 to 3 books.
* 20% discounts when you buy 4 books.

The Book House and Chang Green Oasis

 

A rendering of the interior of The Book House and Chang Green Oasis at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
A rendering of the interior of The Book House and Chang Green Oasis at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
A rendering of the interior of The Book House and Chang Green Oasis at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
A rendering of the interior of The Book House and Chang Green Oasis at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

 

Relax Zone for Garden Lovers

The Relax Zone is a stress free area for garden lovers. It’s pleasing to the mind to be able to sit down and do some reading after a long walk. And if you think it’s time to grab a bite to eat, there’s a very nice café for that. Plenty of food and drinks to enjoy in a relaxing environment! It’s also a center for home decorating demonstrations and workshops for those who are interested. Decorated urban café style in a garden setting, the Relax Zone makes a visit enjoyable thanks to live music courtesy of Chang brands.

 

 

The Relax Zone at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
The Relax Zone at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Besides good food and a cup of coffee to replenish your energy and recharge your spirit, the Relax Zone will put a smile on your face. There are plenty of design ideas to take home to liven up your favorite family hangout.

Urban Pocket Garden Ideas

Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.

Urban Pocket Garden Ideas are the theme of a show for people living in small spaces. They come in handy to brighten the home with living plants, whether it be a backyard patio, small terrace or indoor space. Healthy green foliage provides unexpected pops of color and texture that can soften the harsh appearance of the built environment. The show garden offers clever tips for choosing plants and decorative containers suitable for small spaces. There are plenty of cool designs to transform a niche of space into a stunning garden that bespeaks your unique style. They include living green walls or vertical gardens, potted gardens, and urban green space ideas. Drop by for a good photo opportunity.

A rendering of urban pocket garden ideas at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
A rendering of urban pocket garden ideas at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
Small garden ideas at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select
Small garden ideas at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Art and Craft Zone

Looking for decorating ideas to create a personal oasis? Art and Craft is a zone for home goods, décor accents, even small ornaments for every room in the house. Save on home accessories from across the country, among them unique screen prints from “The Archivist”, cool items of clothing and nice looking hats for summer from “PALINI”, and more. There are plenty of handmade ceramics and imaginative décor materials to make your home awesome.

Just a reminder: The 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select is happening from 20 to 24 February at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. It’s open from 9.30 to 21.00 hrs. See you there.

 

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The Chairmen of Thai Design, A Room Magazine Showcase at The BaanLaeSuan Select Fair
Looking back, the Chairmen of Thai Design, a Room Magazine showcase at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Select Fair

Bringing Nature into the Home

Bringing Nature into the Home

The family’s firstborn son is married and household members have increased. For the past 40 years, the old house located on a residential estate has gone through various stages of repair and expansion. The time for further improvements has come, and the Sattayavinij family thought it wise to renovate the dated, tired- looking home, turning it into one that’s warm, livable, and in sync with the present time.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham 

Woranol Sattayavinij, the firstborn, is an architect at the reputable company Architects 49 Limited. And the responsibility to remake the home rested with him. Earlier on, the family had entertained the idea of tearing down the old house to make room for a new one set on 96 square wah of land. Fully aware of the family’s lifestyle needs, the kind of place they wanted, and the limited budget they had, he had a change of mind and went for a renovation project instead.

 

Tall aluminum latticework that makes the front façade protects the west-facing home from harsh sunlight. It provides a buffer against solar heat gain building up in the interior. On the street, black iron lattice fencing promotes natural air circulation and doubles as a privacy screen.
Tall aluminum latticework that makes the front façade protects the west-facing home from harsh sunlight. It provides a buffer against solar heat gain building up in the interior. On the street, black iron lattice fencing promotes natural air circulation and doubles as a privacy screen.

“I made a walkway connecting to the courtyard that has become  our sitting room.  Using my stock of lumber and wood recycled from the old house, I mixed teak with Makha wood (Afzelia xylocarpa), and gave it a fresh layer of paint.  It was a mix-match since the boards came in different sizes, but  nothing serious.  Now mom and her sister seem really pleased  that it’s a nice spot to sit and catch the cool breezes.”

“The question is: How can I go about it in coming up with design that’s open, bright and well ventilated? First, the land itself isn’t oriented in a direction that can avoid getting direct sunlight or minimize solar heat gain. Besides, it’s a modest home. There isn’t much room for the long roof overhangs needed to protect it from the elements. So I solve the problem by putting a courtyard at the center of the home plan to make the interior light, airy and very comfortable,” said the architect.

That said, Woranol chose box-shaped design featuring twin rectangular buildings that run parallel to each other with a courtyard in between. The little oasis that’s open to the sky contains a small garden with a wood deck made for sitting and catching some fresh air. It serves as engine that drives natural air circulation all day. This creates a comfortable atmosphere in the entrance hall. As for the A/C, who needs it anyway? The forward part of the house has a carport that’s separated from the street by wrought iron fencing. The black on the fence contrasts with the silver on aluminum latticework protecting the building. From the outside looking in, it’s clear that privacy protection is high on the list of priorities. It’s achievable without sacrificing the desire to live in close touch with nature.

A flight of garden steps leading to the house interior is canopied by overhanging trees thriving along the fence line. The corridor offers enough room to stroll around in the privacy of home.
A flight of garden steps leading to the house interior is canopied by overhanging trees thriving along the fence line. The corridor offers enough room to stroll around in the privacy of home.
The unroofed area between the buildings becomes a small courtyard garden. At the further end, the architect puts in a long seat for people to relax under the shade.
The unroofed area between the buildings becomes a small courtyard garden. At the further end, the architect puts in a long seat for people to relax under the shade.

Evergreen Korean banyan trees (Ficus annulata) lining the fence and the house exterior reduce the harshness of concrete construction and make the home appear more environmentally friendly. The house with 450 square meters of usable space boasts a bright and airy interior, thanks to open floor plans that emphasize interconnectedness throughout. Modern glass room dividers promote visibility and warm social interactions within the family. Steel construction saves time and makes the interior living space appear spacious and lightweight. In the end it’s all about feeling good and living better. “I made a walkway connecting to the courtyard that has become our sitting room. Using my stock of lumber and wood recycled from the old house, I mixed teak with Makha wood (Afzelia xylocarpa), and gave it a fresh layer of paint. It was a mix- match since the boards came in different sizes, but nothing serious. Now mom and her sister seem really pleased that it’s a nice spot to sit and catch the cool breezes.

An empty space between buildings looks stunning from the architectural perspective.
An empty space between buildings looks stunning from the architectural perspective.

“For security purposes, iron latticework is preferred over solid walls. To keep the sun out, the perforate shell is lined with trees. There is an Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis) that has grown tall to shade the interior and give sweet smelling white flowers. We also put in a Common Tembusa tree (Fagraea fragrans) which grows slowly, and a Brazilian rose wood (Jacaranda obtusifolia) which is loved for its beautiful purple flowers. The courtyard floor is covered by a container garden intended to make cleaning easy after seasonal heavy rains. It’s OK to get wet sometimes, but it’s better than being enclosed by solid walls,” Woranol explained. His choice of furniture speaks to the minimalist style of interior design. The idea of less-is-more translates into an interior living space that’s open, easy on the eye, and conducive to natural ventilation. It’s easy to get why everyone likes to hang out together in the hallway downstairs that connects to the lush courtyard garden. The natural environment helps them feel relaxed all day every day.

While lattice screens go to work protecting the home from the outside world, large opening glass walls connect the interior room to a lush courtyard garden thrown in between buildings. Diffused light and winds passing through the permeable shell keep the entrance hall cool all day without the A/C. No wonder it’s the family’s favorite hangout.
While lattice screens go to work protecting the home from the outside world, large opening glass walls connect the interior room to a lush courtyard garden thrown in between buildings. Diffused light and winds passing through the permeable shell keep the entrance hall cool all day without the A/C. No wonder it’s the family’s favorite hangout.
Adjacent to the sofa set, the dining room is well lit and made comfortable by fresh air blowing in from the nearby courtyard garden.
Adjacent to the sofa set, the dining room is well lit and made comfortable by fresh air blowing in from the nearby courtyard garden.
The raised passageway around the courtyard is built of old wood worn by long exposure to the weather. Concrete steps provide easy access to the garden floor. It’s a place to sit with your legs hanging down, enjoy a patch of greenery, and shoot the breeze on a lazy afternoon.
The raised passageway around the courtyard is built of old wood worn by long exposure to the weather. Concrete steps provide easy access to the garden floor. It’s a place to sit with your legs hanging down, enjoy a patch of greenery, and shoot the breeze on a lazy afternoon.
An Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis), the courtyard’s main attraction, develops a healthy crown near the studio and the bedroom on the upper floor.
An Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis), the courtyard’s main attraction, develops a healthy crown near the studio and the bedroom on the upper floor.
While they allow natural light and fresh air to pass into the courtyard, metal lattice panels also double as privacy screens and safety precautions against intruders.
While they allow natural light and fresh air to pass into the courtyard, metal lattice panels also double as privacy screens and safety precautions against intruders.
The room upstairs can be used for work or pleasure. Open the door to see what happens below, and take in the view of the lush courtyard garden. Some fresh air really will do you good. After all, it’s about bringing nature into the home.
The room upstairs can be used for work or pleasure. Open the door to see what happens below, and take in the view of the lush courtyard garden. Some fresh air really will do you good. After all, it’s about bringing nature into the home.
Rustling leaves in the Indian cork tree make a sound that has a relaxing effect, especially for the home office and the bedroom located across the yard.
Rustling leaves in the Indian cork tree make a sound that has a relaxing effect, especially for the home office and the bedroom located across the yard.

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In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace
In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness
Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness

Behind the Works at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018: Historic Images of an Important Time for the Art World

Behind the Works at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018: Historic Images of an Important Time for the Art World

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 has now finished up. Here we’ll look back at some historic images illustrating what was behind the scenes of this important page of Thailand’s contemporary art world, which brought many world-class artists – Marina Abramović,  Yayoi Kusama, Choi Jeong Hwa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and many others – to exhibit at 20 landmark locations in Bangkok.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

This is Tape Bangkok 2018, or “Adhesive Tape Tunnel,” by Numen/For Use Collective Design. The artists had a foreign team work closely with the Thai team to teach installation methodology during setup on the 7 th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.


Zero, an 8.2-meter-tall installation art sculpture by Elmgreen & Dragset, required skilled Thai workmen using a crane to lift it into position in front of the East Asiatic Building.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Our team found that three pieces especially grabbed the public eye at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. The “mother goddess of polka dots,” Artist Yayoi Kusama, sent a foreign work team to closely supervise the highly complex installation of her pieces after their arrival from Japan. The FAVForward/Lifestyle website in the Amarin Group, which monitored the installation, said, “The 14 Pumpkin balloons took a lot of days to set up, with meticulous attention to every detail by the Japanese team. Setting up “Inflatable Pumpkins Balloons” wasn’t simple: it required stringing electric lines and constructing beams and internal
supports to get the pumpkins to float high above.

I Carry On Living With The Pumpkins (Silver Pumpkin and Red Pumpkin), two large and heavy works composed of inflexible pieces with lots of angles, had a hard time making it through the door. It took the staff a big chunk of time, and they told us that putting it all together was no easy thing.

Your Dog, the work of Yoshitomo Nara, another Japanese artist, at BAB Box @One Bangkok, was in a single piece and didn’t involve difficult transportation or setup. The installation team simply lifted the 4.5-meter puppy, and in the clip below you can see the setup procedure.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Turkish female artist Canan’s Animal Kingdom involved installation of dozens of animals, large and small, at BAB Box @ One Bangkok. This animal kingdom took up nearly 10 square meters and was as tall as the 2-storey building itself. Installation required a work team to build scaffolding to fit.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018The work 2562++, by Tay (Patipat Chaiwitesh), was exhibited at the East Asiatic Building. It’s full of fun, but that is blended with biting satire. The backstory here, Patipat tells us, is that the animals displayed here were all stuffed. He himself found them all in the market (not alive at that point, of course), and worked with lab experts at the Veterinary Department of Chiang Mai University to stuff them, preserving shapes and eliminating decay. After that procedure, Patipat left the lab and continued working on them in ways you can see in the video below.

Pictures that Tell Stories: Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 (Photo Essay)

Pictures that Tell Stories: Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 (Photo Essay)

On its very first day, Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 became an important part of world-class contemporary art history, with many stories of its own to tell. Today Living ASEAN will show you what this means, telling stories through pictures. Sometimes many written words can’t express the spirit of a thing as well as a single picture.

/// THAILAND ///
Story : Singhanart Nakpongphun 

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
19 September 2018 – Minister of Tourism and Sport Weerasak Kovasurat gives opening remarks for Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 at BAB Box @ One Bangkok. The glass walls in back reflects the shadow of Happy Happy Project: Please Love Me 1, a work of synthetic fabric in the shape of a flying pig, 3.5 x 5 meters, by Choi Jeong Hwa | Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
23 October 2018 – Marina Abramović, one of the most influential artists in the world of contemporary art, conducts her first full-length symposium in Thailand at Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theater in Siam Paragon before more than 2,000 Thai and foreign audience members | Photo: Phukarin Phuangthong

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

8 November 2018 – A tour group from Korea and their translator, visiting The State of Suffering (Mental Therapy), an installation art piece by Ajarn Sunanta Phasomwong at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, serving as a case study showing how Thailand can use a contemporary art festival in a concrete way to promote tourism. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 20188 September 2018 – Ajarn Lakhana Khunawichayanon, former director of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, speaking informally with participants in the 16th BAB Talk seminar at Warehouse 30 on the topic “Beyond Bliss: Can Art Really Build Happiness?” | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
13 November 2018 –   Inflatable sculpture Happy Happy Project: About being irritated, by Choi Jeong Hwa, an 8-meter-tall robot lying down between buildings in the heart of the city. Normally this can only be seen in a Japanese superhero film, but here visitors see the real thing close up, in a plaza connecting Siam Center and Siam Discovery. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
17 October 2018 – Diluvium by Lee Bul, an installation art piece of silver light-reflecting tape set up in the 2nd floor of the East Asiatic Building. The picture was taken using double exposure to overlay three separate corners of this work. | Photo:  Singhanart Nakpongphun

24 November 2018 – Two Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 artists meeting without an appointment: Michael Elmgreen, creator of Zero – at the East Asiatic Building –came as a visitor only to become a special guest participant in Pichet Klunchun’s Bogus Séance Version Bangkok 4.0, which deals with a mix of cultures and communication without words, national borders, or languages, through something known as “art.” | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

19 November 2018 – The venue of Geometry of Lamentation by performance artist Jihyun Youn, one of 8 artists from the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) who did continuous live performances eight hours a day for 3 weeks running from October 19th – November 11th, 2018 on the 8th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. At first the room is white, as Jihyun Youn communicates sadness and the emotional complexity of a woman unable to use the spoken word. But then red colors are splashed all over the room throughout the performance. Even after the performance is long over, the venue itself speaks to visitors. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

10 November 2018 – Phaptawan Suwannakudt and Jitsing Somboon during a special lecture (a TV program with Tiwaporn Thetsatit) outdoors in nature at the Crocodile Pond, Wat Pho, near where Phaptawan’s work is displayed. Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 has created happiness throughout Bangkok with about 200 art pieces in various locations – department stores, old buildings, or important Thai temples. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
18 November 2018 – The grand old East Asiatic Building

In eventide, bathed in joy and light at the 20th BAB Talk half seminar, half very- special-pool-party with the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, who have a lot of world-class works behind them. | Methee Samantong, Post Process, Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

20 November 2018 – Taweesak Molsawat, in a live performance of Mis/placed: The Existing of Non-Existence on the architectural piece Moving System Pavilion by Vira Inpuntung and Pich Poshyananda, assembled by Bangkok Art Biennale and the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage. Here we see how beautifully architectural design and live performance can support each other. Taweesak has done other architecture-based performances as well, with installation art by Bea Vithayathawornwong of Beautbureau and Savinee Buranasilapin and Tom Dannecker of Thingsmatter. November  20-25, 2018 at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

26 October 2018 – BAB Workshop #2: Teaching printmaking at Baan Lae Suan Fair “Massclusive 2018,” with Ajarn Chakri Kongkaew, whose prints of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej were distributed the previous year at Baan Lae Suan Fair 2017. Here you see him sharing his knowledge at “BAB Workshop #1” in the most recent Midyear Fair. We must express our thanks for all the support for such great activities from Thai Beverage, Pcl. and companies in the Amarin network, as well as the Ardel Gallery Of Modern Art and the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, who have jointly organized such wonderful, creative artistic activities as we see here, without any participant fees charged! | Photo: Sitthisak Namkham

In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

“The ground floor exists in open view, so everybody can  participate in the activity.  It consists of an ancestral hall,  living room, and dining space with large opening glass walls.    It offers the view of a central courtyard that’s made for family gatherings. There is visual continuity that allows   everybody to be in the sight of everybody else.”

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Punchat /// Photographs: Wison Tungthunya /// Design : Integrated Field Co., Ltd. /// Landscape : Na Laan Studio Co., Ltd. ///

It’s next to impossible to find peace and privacy in the midst of movement and activity of Bangkok’s busy Sathu Pradit neighborhood. But this house is one that defies the odds. The freedom of being observed or disturbed by other people is accomplished in ways that most would deem impossible. The difficult situation is solved, thanks to clever design and interior decoration by Integrated Field Co., Ltd. in collaboration with Na Laan Studio Co., Ltd. the landscape designer.

The homeowners wanted a place in which to spend their post retirement years. That was the homework assigned to the capable team of designers at Integrated Field. They were looking at creating a home that would be the heart and soul of the family. That was the main idea that went into building this house on an area just shy of 2 Rai (roughly three quarters of an acre). There was a problem.

Modern House
The sun shining through the skylight above the courtyard creates a natural play of shade and dancing light as time progresses. The trees and vegetation beneath the canopy need sunlight to thrive.
Modern House
A set of steps lead to the house interior and the courtyard garden enclosed by the building.

The land was in a densely populated area surrounded by high-rise buildings, especially in the north and west directions. The architects dealt with the difficult situation by creating a home plan that wrapped around a lush central courtyard designed for the benefit of family togetherness. The house is now complete.

The ground floor exists in open view, so everybody can participate in the activity. It consists of an ancestral hall, living room, and dining space with large opening glass walls. It offers the view of a central courtyard that’s made for family gatherings. There is visual continuity that allows everybody to be in the sight of everybody else. Only the service areas, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and living quarters for housekeepers are separated from main hall design by a nontransparent wall.

Modern House
Silver oak trees (Grevillea robusta) come in handy to shade the house façade against the sun coming in the south direction.
Modern House
Striking the right balance between concrete and steel frames, the modern home leaves plenty of room for nature to participate.
Modern House
A flight of stairs leads to the bedrooms and personal offices on the upper floor. It’s designed to clearly separate public and private areas.
Modern House
An array of bi-fold doors opens to connect to the courtyard garden and other parts of the building. Bright and airy design allows natural light and wind to blow into the interior all day.

A Buddha room sits in the common area near a run of stairs leading to the upper floor that contains bedrooms for all family members. For the utmost convenience in modern living, each bedroom comes complete with a workstation, living area, a bathroom en suite. Apart from capacity for the interconnection among household members, the house’s most outstanding feature is contact with the natural environment that’s apparent in a lush inner courtyard.

The building is oriented to have the front façade stand facing south, a direction that isn’t likely to be observed or disturbed by other people. It stands to reap the full health benefits from southerly winds that keep the house cool naturally all day. In so doing, an array of bi-fold doors is installed, while transom windows are fitted with nets for ventilation. Meantime, a skylight that illuminates the interior also doubles as engine that drives natural air circulation.

On the side that’s exposed to intense sunlight, double concrete walls are installed, while the windows are fitted with insulated glass. Outside, the walls are canopied by overhanging trees that have become the house’s first layer of protection from the elements. What’s obvious here is that design isn’t about bricks and mortar alone. Rather, it has a lot to do with promoting the comforts and quality of life for people living in it.

As this house has shown, it pays to have a good grasp of the location and ability to overcome the challenge in the most effective way. By keeping the hustle and bustle of the city life outside, peace and tranquility at home is accomplished. Plus, it’s a lush courtyard in the design that adds up to a salubrious atmosphere in which to live.

Modern House
There is visual continuity from the interior to the courtyard garden, thanks to large opening glass windows.
Modern House
Spacious rooms with just a few pieces of chinoiserie furniture bespeak minimalism in interior design. Every room is bordered by large opening glass walls overlooking the lush courtyard garden. With few material possessions, the interior is plain and simple with nothing to clutter up the hallway.
Modern House
All the bedrooms are fitted with insulated glass to protect from solar heat gain and reduce noises from the outside.
Modern House
Equipped with everything necessary, the bedroom is a personal sanctuary that’s comfy, simple and clutter-free. It’s bordered by large opening glass walls designed to take in the view of the lush courtyard garden.
Modern House
Two walkways connect to the house. One starts from the carport. The other is a covered pathway designed for the elderly.
Kawita Vatanajyankur, Great Performance Brings Afternoon Tea to Life

Kawita Vatanajyankur, Great Performance Brings Afternoon Tea to Life

 A cup of tea in the afternoon is an excuse to share great thoughts with like-minded friends. Even better if the elixir of life is served fresh while live performance art is happening in real time. And right before your eyes, you fall in love with the show. It just goes to show the close-knit relationship between two artistic disciplines – visual arts and culinary talents.

/// THAILAND ///
Story and video: Singhanart Nakpongphun /// Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul, Singhanart Nakpongphun and PR material 

“Knit” 2018, a performance art show visualizing hardships women face in society
“Knit” 2018, a performance art show visualizing hardships women face in society

Kawita Vatanajyankur, one of six must-see artists in the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, is renowned for using video art to raise concerns about major issues in society and the exploitation of women, more specifically women’s rights abuse. The young homegrown artist calls attention to the problems by putting her body through various situations in the workplace that involve real pain and suffering.

Through painstaking attention to detail, Kawita sends a strong message that women deserve respect for doing backbreaking jobs in society. Her works characterized by vivid colors portray a woman as part of weaving machines, dyeing processes in the textile industry, and unending house work that includes cooking, cleaning and laundry. Over time, the power of enduring unpleasant situations crystalizes into a style that’s her signature as we know it.

Like a shuttle on the loom, the artist puts her body in an imaginary knitting machine to portray real pain and suffering that women face in society.
Like a shuttle on the loom, the artist puts her body in an imaginary knitting machine to portray real pain and suffering that women face in society.

Kawita Vatanajyankur, a rising star on Thailand’s thriving art scene, gave a live performance at an afternoon tea event hosted by the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok on January 11, 2019. Aptly named “Knit”, the show turned out to be quite a departure from her previous performances both in form and content. Only this time it focused on the power of visual storytelling as a means of highlighting hardship, solitude and experience that played a role in shaping people’s lives.

The artist likened human life experience to interlocking loops of wool or yarn knitted together to form an item of clothing. The stage on which she performed was bordered by 11 poles depicting an imaginary machine used in making knitted garments. Spun thread in bright red color twisted and wound around her evoked memories of a shuttle being thrown back and forth in the course of textile weaving. Only this time the shuttle was a human being – the artist herself.

Reports had it that the artist had gone through countless rehearsals to bring the show to perfection. The practice involved strenuous work, physical and mental fatigue, and many long hours. In the end, the audience responded with a big round of applause for the artistic talent, energy and strength that she displayed in the show that went on 60minutes.

Kawita makes art while afternoon tea is served at the Peninsula Bangkok.
Kawita makes art while afternoon tea is served at the Peninsula Bangkok.
The Knit Afternoon Tea menu is made exclusively for the show at the Peninsula Bangkok
The Knit Afternoon Tea menu is made exclusively for the show at the Peninsula Bangkok

Nothing compares to an hour reserved for afternoon tea. With a cup of tea in their hands, audience members enjoy the best of both worlds – a tea culture that looks aesthetically pleasing, and an art show that’s impressive, powerful and thought provoking.

Pastry chef Nicolas Pelloie has every reason to be very pleased. | Photo courtesy of the Peninsula Bangkok
Pastry chef Nicolas Pelloie has every reason to be very pleased. | Photo courtesy of the Peninsula Bangkok
Executive Chef Stefan Leitner, the face of leadership at the Peninsula Bangkok. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun
Executive Chef Stefan Leitner, the face of leadership at the Peninsula Bangkok. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Sharing his experience, the Peninsula’s Executive Chef Stefan Leitner said, “To get the inspiration that we needed in the course of designing the menu for the show, our team of chefs spent some of their time each day looking at rolls of yarn and stage props for weeks. It just goes to show that well thought-out themed menus can go hand in hand with visual arts shows, which include the live performance that’s happening today. The result is a perfect marriage of two artistic disciplines.”

Members of the audience are able to experience the performance up-close. The event is recorded on videotape and the guests who attend the Afternoon Tea all become actors and actresses for the day. Footage of the performance will be used in a video art production for future shows abroad. In the end, the show becomes a stage, and everyone plays a role, this writer included.

The artist said in a post-performance interview, “I want societies to appreciate the roles that women play especially in the textile industry, in which women account for between 80 and 85 percent of the sector’s workforce worldwide. When we buy an item of clothing, oftentimes we think of the brand name and machinery that goes into making it look good. We hardly ever think of the little people who work on the production line. The exploitation of women and girls must end. I want societies to turn their attention to the problem. My message is that everyone is worthy of being treated fairly, the little people included.”

The 2018 Bangkok Art Biennale’s CEO and Artistic Director Dr. Apinan Poshyananda addresses honor guests at the end of the “Knit” live performance by artist Kawita Vatanajyankur.

Speaking to honor guests at the end of the show, the Bangkok Art Biennale’s CEO and Artistic Director Dr. Apinan Poshyananda said: “I can feel for her. It’s hard work. And it just goes to prove the artist’s perseverance with, and commitment to, a purpose and everything she has stood for in a fight against gender inequality. It tires me out to watch Kawita try with everything she has, her hands, her feet, even her mouth. The artist puts her body through hardships and pain twisting and winding thread around the 11 poles that symbolize the machine used in making knitted garments. In a way, it reminds us of many challenges that we must overcome in our work life.”

“Knit” is the latest edition of Kawita’s live performance series known as “Performing Textiles”. The series also includes 4 video art productions, all of which are on show at the East Asiatic Building now until February 3, 2019. They are the following:

“Dye”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“Dye”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“The Spinning Wheel”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“The Spinning Wheel”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“Shuttle”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“Shuttle”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“Untangled”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist
“Untangled”, a live performance by Kawita Vatanajyankur | Photo courtesy of the artist

“Knit” has been dubbed one of the must-see art exhibits as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. The live performance by artist Kawita Vatanajyankur is held in the Lobby of the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok every Saturday in January from 1530 to 1630 hours. The show runs until Saturday February 2, 2019. Everyone is invited, and it’s free. But if you prefer to watch the show and enjoy the pleasure of Afternoon Tea service at the same time, the ticket is 1,400++ Baht for two persons. The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok’s Afternoon Tea service is in such high demands that reservations are required. To make a reservation, the number to call is 02 020 2888 or by email at diningpbk@peninsula.com.

Apart from the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok, amazing works of art by Kavita Vatanajyankur are also on show at the Central World Shopping Center, the Emquartier Mall, the Theatre of Indulgence, and the East Asiatic Building now until February 3, 2019

Picture Perfect Moments at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

Picture Perfect Moments at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

 Visiting an art show sounds like a good idea. But taking selfies with beautiful works of art – Priceless!

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Yupawadee

Who would have thought the Kingdom’s inaugural art festival could produce so many precious moments that will remain ever vivid and emotionally uplifting! More than 200 masterpieces, ranging from aesthetically pleasing to awe-inspiring to thought-provoking, even provocative, are on display at 20 locations throughout the city.

75 renowned artists from across the globe are exhibiting as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale. It’s not too late to plan your visit. The festival that began last October 19 will run until February 3, 2019. Bring your smartphone if posting bloggable material is your idea of fun. The show spans many artistic disciplines, from paintings to striking installations that will transform your perception of a space. We don’t want you to miss any one of them.

Not sure where to start? The following is a list of some of the top-notch shows we recommend.

1. The East Asiatic Building plays host to “Zero” 2018, an outdoor architectural installation by Michael Elmgreen of Denmark and Ingar Dragset of Norway. The artist duo has worked together since the mid-1990’s. Whether you come in by boat or on foot via Soi Charoen Krung 40, Bang Rak District, you can’t miss it. The 8-meter-tall white structure resembling the circumference of a swimming pool is set up vertically at the water’ edge. Take a nice shot with the towering sculpture in the backdrop.The historic landmark building is also home to “Diluvium”, an architectural installation by world renowned contemporary artist Lee Bul of South Korea. The monochromatic exhibit turns the entire gallery space into a monster, depicting a barren landscape devastated by glacial drift. Another nice photograph to cherish!

2. The Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC) has the most shows going on right now, among them the “Basket Tower” that’s part of the Happy-Happy Project by Choi Jeong Hwa. The Seoul-born designer-cum-artist is renowned for turning found objects and day-to-day materials into stunning artworks. His artistic talents span a wide range of disciplines, from visual arts to graphic design to architecture. The Basket Tower that rises as tall as a five-story building will make a very nice shot.Dubbed one of Bangkok’s thriving art scenes, BACC also plays host to “Tape Bangkok”, an astonishing installation by the “Numen/For Use” design collective. The conceptual art installation is crafted of countless adhesive tapes that stick together to form a suspended tunnel that invites viewer participation. It’s an amazing work of art. Take off your shoes and climb on board. Plenty of nice shots inside the tunnel.

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#numen #bangkokartbiennale2018

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3. Siam Paragon. All eyes were on Siam Paragon, Thailand’s third largest shopping malls, even before the show began on 19 October 2018. Its main exhibition hall was thronged with a crowd of people eager to see amazing works of art by Yayoi Kusama being set up for the show. Dubbed “Queen of polka dots”, 89-year-old Kusama is passionate about pumpkins and hallucinatory repetitions of dots and loops that she uses to convey the idea of infinity. You will love “I Carry on Living with the Pumpkins’” 2016, and “Pumpkin” 2017, two collections that are on view for the first time in Thailand. So far, several famous persons, among them actress Kathaleeya McIntosh, have been there to take pictures with the polka dot pumpkins. The show won’t be there for long. So, don’t procrastinate.

4. BAB BOX @ One Bangkok. The headquarters of Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 play host to many interesting masterpieces on view indoors and out-of-doors now until 3 February 2019. They include “Your Dog”, a larger-than-life sculpture of a puppy by Japanese contemporary artist Yoshitomo Nara, and “Fruit Tree”, a sculptural installation in vivacious color by Choi Jeong Hwa of South Korea. Whist there, drop by “Animal Kingdom” 2017, an artistic expression depicting a heavenly realm of strange creatures both real and imaginary, by Turkish woman artist Canan. A very nice shot to excite your imagination!

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🎨☁️☁️ #bangkokartbiennale2018 #happyweekend

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5. Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan is one of three historical landmarks that play host to exhibits as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. So far many art lovers have come away impressed by “Sweet Boundary: In the Light Tube” 2018, a site specific installation by homegrown artist Kamol Phaosavasdi. Equally thought-provoking is “What will we leave behind?” installations comprising over 100,000 miniature ceramics depicting human skulls by Thailand’s woman artist Nino Suwannee Sarabutr. The best time to take pictures of the exhibits is the late afternoon, no later than 1900 hours, during which natural light around the Main Stupa is perfect for great photography.

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💀 #bangkokartbiennale2018

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The above are five out of a total of 20 locations city-wide that play host to art exhibits as part of the Kingdom’s inaugural art festival. They translate into plenty of photograph opportunities for both locals and tourists who happen to be visiting Bangkok from now until 3 February 2019. We think you had better hurry.

Living ASEAN also recommends the following art destinations for your photo shoots.

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เง เลย์ ศิลปินชาวพม่า ใช้ผ้า8 ชาติพันธุ์ในเมียนมา ตัดเย็บเป็นช่องคลอด ให้เห็นว่าไม่ว่าใครก็แล้วแต่ ก็ต้องผ่านช่องคลอดออกมา ช่องคลอดไม่ใช่สิ่ง สกปรกหรือทำให้คนที่ผ่านช่องนี้ตกต่ำ แต่คือคุณค่า ที่เกิดมาพร้อมกับความเป็นแม่ ธรรมชาติ และผืน แผ่นดิน #bangkokartbiennale2018 ดูYouTube https://youtu.be/5LWkMChjoAU ลึกซึ้งรู้เรื่องราวของงานอาร์ต #กรุบกริบกรุบกริบกับแหนนะจ๊ะ #บ้านพระรามสี่

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Title: The Check Point 2018
Artist: Nge Lay
Venue: The Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC)

ในภาพอาจจะมี 1 คน, สถานที่กลางแจ้งhttps://www.facebook.com/tgifspace/photos/a.241172956645582/345237022905841/?type=3

Title: Lost Dog
Artist: Aurele Richard
Venue: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok

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📸 @cookpavadee #bangkokartbiennale2018

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Title: Happy-Happy Project: Breathing Flower (808 Chinese Characters)
Artist: Choi Jeong Hwa
Venue: BAB Box @ One Bangkok

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cycle of life 🕑 #bangkokartbiennale2018

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Title: The State of Suffering
Artist: Sunanta Phasomwong
Venue: The Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC)

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Crystalised reality

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Title: Across the Universe and Beyond
Artist: Sunitas Pradittasanee
Venue: Wat Arun, also the Temple of Dawn

Title: Memory House 2018 by Alex Face House
Artists: Souled Out Studios (SOS)
Venue: The Bank of Thailand (BOT) Learning Center

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put my thinking cap on #bangkokartbiennale2018

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Title: Companion Hands 2nd Edition
Artist: Khata SaengKha
Venue: The East Asiatic Building

Title: Sweet Boundary
Artist: Kamol Phaosavasdi
Venue: Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan

Title: Monuments of the Memory, the Golden Room
Artist: Paolo Canevari
Venue: Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan

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#bangkokartbiennale2018 #เกลอ

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Title: Giant Twins
Artist: Komkrit Thepthien
Venuje: Wat Arun, also the Temple of Dawn

Title: Chat…Naa
Artist: Arnont Nongyao
Venue: Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan

Title: Zero 2018
Artists: Elmgreen and Dragset
Venue: The East Asiatic Building

Title: Zou You He Che
Artist: Huang Yong Ping
Venue: Wat Phra Chetupon, also Wat Pho

Title: Zodiac Houses
Artist: Monthien Boonma
Venue: Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan

Title: Standing Structures for Human Use
Artist: Marina Abramovic
Venue: BAB Box @ One Bangkok

Title: Turtle Religion
Artist: Krit Ngamsom
Venue: Wat Prayurawongsawa Worawihan

Here’s the map to help you get to your destinations.

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**To rightful owners of the photographs, we thank you for your kind permission.

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Manual for Art Viewing 101: the Professional Approach to Art Exhibitions

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Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness

Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness

“The design is about disposing the home plan around a central  courtyard.  This way the problem of a lack of natural daylight  in the interior is solved.  It immediately freshens up the room  and makes it comfortable for everyone, especially older  members of the household.”

courtyard
A wood deck is designed to take in the view of the courtyard landscape. Like a must-have in any design, a healthy, lush lawn serves as the yard’s focal point. The grass lawn is uncluttered and easy to keep clean like those on the golf course. Underneath it, a drainage system is in place to carry off excess water, thereby preventing flooding in case of rains and getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds. From this angle, the rectangular-shaped inner courtyard can be seen enclosed by a walkway system that connects everything on the property.
courtyard
A set of stairs leads to the entrance of the building. Nearby, a ramp is put in place as part of a preparation for possible future events should a wheelchair be needed. Only a short distance away, an Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis) thrives in a round container. It has since grown through the skylight that’s purposely built to brighten a nearby carport during daytime hours.

The Swiss chalet-style building had been a family home for more than thirty years. Eventually it was in need of repair and restoration. The Panikabutra family gave serious thought to renovating and returning their two-story wooden home to its original condition. All things considered and when a decision had to be made, the homeowners thought it wise to have it demolished to make room for a new home. Reclaimed wood from the old house was prepared for reuse in a new single-level building designed for mother, Khunying Pannang Panikabutra. Her daughter, Thapanant Suwittayalangkarn, shared the story behind it.

“Old wood taken from the house that Dad built a long time  ago was still in very good condition. It was considered so valuable.  Besides that, it was legal as timber prepared for use in building.  Dad always insisted on the legality of things. Generally, it was  beautiful reclaimed wood. There was some of it that had fallen into decay and new materials had to be purchased including old house  poles.” The new home plan is arranged around a central courtyard with a beautiful lawn as its main attraction. It’s a great way to frame a view since every room opens to the lush, refreshing garden landscape. This is especially true where the main hall and dining room connect to a wood deck with furniture, a perfect setting for relaxing outdoor living spaces. The design is about disposing the home plan around a central courtyard. This way the problem of a lack of natural daylight in the interior is solved. It immediately freshens up the room and makes it comfortable for everyone, especially older members of the household. Free from being observed by other people, the house’s five bedrooms have their place and private facilities around the courtyard garden. The building being raised on piles at least a meter from the street level is a decided plus. The rooms are clean and uncluttered thanks to the under-floor space being used for utility systems. Meantime, preparations are put in place to take good care of the elderly parent. Sharing her thought, Thapanant said:

“From our experience before Dad passed away, the old two- level home proved inconvenient since we were responsible for  taking care of people in poor health. The safety precaution already  in place wasn’t good enough. When we decided in favor of building a new house, my brother looked into every design detail. We put in a garden walkway around the courtyard with direct access to  Mom’s room. That was our idea of making space available for  mobility exercises. Everyone felt secure now that, to protect against  slips and falls, all the rooms were set at the same level including the bathroom floor. We also put in a ramp linking the house to the  carport to be ready should a wheelchair be required in future.”

The reception room boasts large opening glass doors overlooking the central courtyard. At the further end, two doors with matching transom windows add a light and airy feel to the atmosphere. In the middle of the room, despite its rather formal appearance, a vintage-style waiting room sofa in dark hues seamlessly fits into the décor.
The dining room and nearby sitting parlor get a good view of the inner courtyard, thanks to large opening doors that stand tall from floor to ceiling. Soft hues on the sofa upholstery creates a calm and serene atmosphere to make one feel more relaxed. It’s easy to get why this area has become the family’s favorite hangout.
The walkway around the courtyard is roofed over with translucent sheeting to shield it from sunlight and rains. The rafters and roof battens are made of reclaimed wood from the old house, while the posts are erected on cement foundations to protect against humidity damage. The passageway surface is covered in a mixture of small stones to prevent water splashing in case of rain.
An open space between walls offer room for a shady tree, while wood lattice fencing serves as engine that drives natural air circulation. Together,
they create a spectacular light and shadow play that’s constantly changing with time.

The bedroom offers a relaxed corner for leisure activity, such as drawing and playing music.
Mom and daughter relax together in a sitting area around the courtyard.
Are We Living Life, or Just Playing Parts? In Conversation with Marina Abramovic

Are We Living Life, or Just Playing Parts? In Conversation with Marina Abramovic

A large crowd of art lovers queued up to get into Siam Pavalai, the Royal Grand Theater at Siam Paragon. Like everyone else, I had my ticket to the event ready for inspection. I could sense the atmosphere was filled with enthusiasm and energy. People were excited about the prospect of a vis-à-vis with Marina Abramovic, the icon of live performance art and living legend. Dubbed one of the most influential personalities to date, the 72-year-old Serbian artist and writer apparently was doing extremely well.

/// THAILAND ///
Story : Singhanart Nakpongphun /// Photography: Anupong Chaisukkasem

Inside, the sound of Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy brought the Royal Grand Theater to life.  As the beautiful piano music played, a slide show evoked the images of museumgoers taking it in turns to sit across the table from Marina Abramovic and look her in the eye. The artist was still and silent for the duration of the marathon live performance. The show brought a series of flashbacks of “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present”, her solo exhibition hosted by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York back in 2010.

Taking a quick look around, I saw people both local and foreign gradually being ushered to their seats while dimming lights signaled that something was about to happen. Clair de Lune, French for moonlight, seemed quieter now setting the scene for the show.

Lights were back on as Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Chair and Artistic Director of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, appeared on stage to deliver a speech making the opening of the show. He said the event coincided with one of the most important public holidays on Thailand’s calendar.

October 23, known as King Chulalongkorn Day, is observed nationwide in loving memories of the fifth monarch of the House of Chakri, who passed in 1910. The day also remembers his first official visit to Europe that took place 121 years ago. It was with mixed emotions knowing the journey also took him to Venice, Italy back in the day. Nowadays the “City of Canals” is home to one of the most celebrated art destinations in the world. La Biennale di Venezia, or the Venice Biennale, was founded in 1895 and have since become the model for other shows worldwide.

Out in the streets, it was raining heavily, but inside the Royal Grand Theater was filled to capacity to the point extra seats had to be provided to accommodate larger-than-expected crowds of art lovers. The Kingdom’s inaugural art festival, known as the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, began on 19 October and would run until 3 February 2019. The period saw more than 200 masterpieces by 75 renowned artists both local and international being on display at 20 landmark destinations throughout the city.

No stranger to Thailand’s artists circle, Abramovic was a visiting lecturer at Chulalongkorn University back in 2000 and since then has become fascinated with Thai culture. She was among the first world famous artists to accept the invitation to partake in the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. Abramovic began her art career in the early 1970’s in Belgrade, in what was then Yugoslavia. Active for nearly 50 years, she won the Golden Lion Award for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her video installation titled “Balkan Baroque”.

The 2018 art festival in Bangkok offered the opportunity of experiencing the amazing works of Marina Abramovic, which included “Standing Structures for Human Use”, a live installation exhibit that looked into the power of silent communication and invited viewer participation. The other show, known as “Method”, was an experimental piece about the state of being present in time and space. It was presented by a team of artists from the Marina Abramovic Institute (MIA), which focused on durational works.

“Standing Structures for Human Use” is a collection of five wood poles in the upright position and adorned with crystals, each one unique in its own special way. Intended for viewers to practice meditation, the live installation is happening daily at BAB Box @ One Bangkok on Rama V Road now until February 3, 2109.

The artist said that a lot of work had gone into the making of the exhibit. There was a time she traveled as far away as Brazil to search out crystals that would be the most suitable for a show, in which she wanted viewers to participate. She could still recall many long hours sleeping on a bench inside a remote Brazilian mine. She searched among the rocks looking for clear minerals believed to have healing powers. The rest of the time was spent searching out new ideas for future art making. In retrospect, the long, arduous travel into the woods has had far-reaching effects on her art. It was a spiritual journey that went beyond traveling to work.

The fun started here. The moment Marina Abramovic entered the stage, she asked people in the audience to close their eyes and breathe in and out normally in sync with the rhythm she was giving. After 12 times, she told everyone to slowly open their eyes. Like a wow moment, it felt like the beginning of a new day, one that culminated in a rendezvous with a celebrity artist.

“Welcome to the present,” said the artist. A succinct opening remark directed the audience attention to something like we’ve got far better things to do than dwell in the past. Neither would we think about the future still to come. Marina Abramovic proceeded to outline three activities she wanted to talk about in that evening conversation. As she spoke, eight young performers who had undergone training with MAI appeared on stage. Like a scene of walking meditation, they lined up one after another behind her and began treading very slowly without making a sound. And it went on for the duration of her talk.

Abramovic speaks as young performers tread the stage slowly and quietly behind her.
Abramovic speaks as young performers tread the stage slowly and quietly behind her.

Abramovic said the eight performers had successfully completed training at an MAI workshop aimed at getting their minds ready for show. Like a long, arduous journey, they gave live performances eight hours daily and the exhibit continued for three weeks at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BAAC). It began on 19 October and ended on 11 November as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. From a wide field of hundreds of applicants, Abramovic handpicked only eight, among them Thai performance artist Thavisak Moolasawat.

The crux of the matter was a workshop on performance and material art, which the artist referred to as “Cleaning the House”. During training, participants went through different phases of intense activity. Some exercises involved the practice of walking very slowly that could go on for several hours. The focus was on breathing, motion, stillness and concentration of the mind, a method developed over several decades to prepare a select group of performers for long durational art exhibits.

Performance art is an exhibit presented to an audience within a fine art context. It can be performed live or shown via media. Abramovi said durational performances required a lot of physical and mental strengths and willpower to succeed. She said performance art, which could be art of any discipline, was different from acting or playing parts in stage or other productions, where actors and actresses assumed a different persona or put on a disguise. Quite the contrary, performance art was about living life and being who you were and what you stood for. A durational art performer was not performing a fictional role in any stage or screen production. The Cleaning the House workshop is about resetting the body, the fresh-and-blood living being, and preparing the mind to face the challenges in life.

Abramovic explains the idea behind the Cleaning the House Workshop.
Abramovic explains the idea behind the Cleaning the House Workshop.

The slow walking exercise soon changed to stillness where performers paired up and looked each other in the face. It was soundless, motionless and without response of any kind. They tried not to blink, because any shutting and opening of the eyes could result in losing a focus on the matter at hand. The show was modelled on a previous performance by Abramovic titled “The Artist is Present”, which was hosted by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York in 2010.

The work of a lifetime
The work of a lifetime

Then came the moment of Abramovic’s work of a lifetime. A public declaration of her life and works appeared on the screen behind her. The artist said the formal announcement and listing of works she has performed from the past to the present has meant a lot to her. The same applied to any career, whether it be singer, songwriter, or authors and whatnots. Her life manifesto just went to show who she was and what she believed in.

After asking the performers to change from looking each other in the face to standing still with their eyes closed, Abramovic began reading her life manifesto clearly and slowly one item at a time. Some items were repeated many times over, especially ones that said an artist shouldn’t behave like a star, and that depression had no benefit for anyone pursuing an art career.

There was a big round of applause when she said: “Never should an artist fall in love with another artist.” She was speaking from life experience, subtly alluding to a romantic relationship with Uwe Laysiepen, also known as Ulay, her German partner and artistic collaborator. It was one of the most meaningful aspects of life and sources of deep fulfilment and companionship that had strong influence on her art during the 1980’s.

Abramovic reading her life manifesto
Abramovic reading her life manifesto

The meeting concluded with a Q&A session, in which the artist invited people to ask about anything. Sure enough, there were a lot of questions from members of the audience, both local and international. One of them harked back to a witty remark Abramovic had made earlier in the show, which said: “Never should an artist fall in love with another artist?”

To which, she answered from experience that apparently artists tended to have a lot in common. Their spirits and natural instinctive states of mind tended to be too similar. It was especially good from the get-go. Two artists could be ideally suited to each other, but rarely did it translate into living life together happily ever after. Exceptions were few and far in between. This writer thought the same applied to relationships in other professions, too. Don’t you think? Click this link to share your thoughts with us.

Without a doubt, Abramovic has been held in high esteem the world over. The long spiritual journey to respect and admiration must have taught her something. This writer finally got around to asking her what was it that had the most influence on her art.

This writer stands up for vis-à-vis with Marina Abramovic.
This writer stands up for vis-à-vis with Marina Abramovic.

Abramovic answered: “It was Rhythm 0.” She was referring to a solo live performance she staged at age 23. She could still recall it was one of the most challenging performances in her lifetime as artist. It was a test of the limits of the relationship between performer and audience. Between the artist and members of the audience, there were 72 objects that she put on the table. People were allowed to use any one of them in any way they chose, among them a rose, a feather, honey, scissors, a knife, even a pistol loaded with one bullet. The performance last six hours, during which her body sustained several injuries that brought out the dark side of human nature. Needless to say she felt really violated. Since then, Abramovic has spent more than four decades researching and developing spiritual and material art as tools to promote the positive traits of humankind.

The inaugural art festival saw the icon of live performances work non-stop for more than three weeks in Thailand, the longest visit she has ever made to a country she has grown fondest of.

The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 began on 19 October and runs until 3 February 2019. There are 20 locations city-wide that play host to more than 200 masterpieces from all disciplines. In all, 75 artists from 34 countries across the globe are taking part in a joint effort to turn Bangkok into one of the world’s most sought-after art destinations.

The moment this writer has been waiting for, the opportunity of meeting the artist up-close and picking up a book with her autograph on it. | Photo courtesy of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
This writer’s most treasured possession

This writer told Marina Abramovic that he wanted more than just an autograph. He would really appreciate an inspiration, especially to do something creative. And the artist scribbled something resembling two mathematical expressions being equal. This writer then asked her what she meant by it. With a smile, she answered in a clever and amusing way: “Infinity plus infinity, then on one knows the answer.” Aha! I’ve got it.

Experience Art Late at Night: A Charm You Never Knew Before

Experience Art Late at Night: A Charm You Never Knew Before

Sometimes changing our perspective crystallizes our vision so that what we’re looking at appears entirely new and different. This definitely applies to certain exhibits at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 international festival of contemporary art: there are quite a few you might want to visit, experience, and drink in not just during the day, but much later, at night. Here we’ve collected some of those you might want to spend some quality evening time with, and we’d like to pass on these suggestions to the people of Living ASEAN.

Let’s start in the heart of Bangkok with the Siam District, which could be considered the trade center of the nation. There at night you can see art works from the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 international festival of contemporary art at either Central World shopping mall or the real estate development One Bangkok. These locations are neither terribly close to each other nor very far apart.

  • Name: 14 Pumpkins
  • Artist/Nationality: Yayoi Kusama (Japan)
  • On display at: Central World

In any discussion of outstanding contemporary artists it would be surprising if the name Yayoi Kusama were not mentioned. She is considered the “mother of polka dot art,” creating paintings, sculptures, installation art, and movies based on innovative arrangements of those quirky round spots.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 features numerous of her latest works, including 14 Pumpkins, giant polka dot pumpkin . . . sculptures, is that what they are? In any case, they are on display at Central World and have created an exciting transformation of the mall interior with a truly spectacular piece of pop art.

  • Name: Happy Happy Project: Fruit Tree
  • Artist/Nationality: Choi Jeong Hwa (South Korea)
  • On display at: Central Embassy

Happy Happy Project: Fruit Tree is a fantastic work by Choi Jeong Hwa, a leading contemporary artist from Korea. All his creations are inspired by materials encountered in daily life that are recycled and arranged to tell their stories in fascinating ways.

The Happy Happy Project is a good representation of Choi’s approach. These pieces explore the world of happiness, which is actually a very transitory and contradictory realm within each of us, and the project is made up of art works created as large inflatables, such as Fruit Tree, a giant plant that can’t help but bring a smile to anyone who so much as gives it a brief glance.

  • Name: Happy Happy Project: Breathing Flower
  • Artist/Nationality: Choi Jeong Hwa (South Korea)
  • On display at: One Bangkok

Happy Happy Project: Breathing Flower is one of this project’s most interesting works. Somehow, viewers just can’t escape feeling a rush of happiness as they pass this giant inflated flower which moves on its own.

  • Name: Happy Happy Project: Love Me Pig
  • Artist/Nationality: Choi Jeong Hwa (South Korea)
  • On display at: One Bangkok

Love Me Pig is another work from Happy Happy Project that calls forth smiles from visitors. How could it not? An inflatable pig with giant wings! And so brightly colored, dominating its space in the One Bangkok hall as it waits for viewers to come admire it.

  • Name: Animal Kingdom
  • Artist/Nationality: Canan (Turkey)
  • On display at: One Bangkok

The artist Canan calls herself an activist for women’s rights. She believes in the power of social activism and uses the female body to communicate her work in mixed media, handicrafts, painting, video, and installation art.

Her latest, Animal Kingdom, is installation art based in Arab and Persian cosmological concepts, made from a blend of materials such as sequins, fabric, fibers, and interwoven string. It suggests a scene in the land of heaven, which is full of all kinds of mythological animals such as the phoenix, dragons, snakes, and demons (djinni), and reflects the artist’s personal sense of supernatural creatures.

Charoen Krung is another area which, despite its economic growth, still retains much of its historical identity and culture. This preservation is clearly visible in houses and other buildings you’ll find here, which makes this district a favorite of artists and art lovers.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 exhibitions you can see at night in this district are at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the East Asia Building.

  • Name: Lost Dog
  • Artist/Nationality: Aurèle (France)
  • On display at: Mandarin Oriental

This is a sculpture by famous French artist Aurèle Ricard, who uses art to reflect on environmental problems that humans worldwide have brought on themselves. One of his recent major pieces is Lost Dog CO2, a huge dog made of pollution-reducing plants, designed to encourage awareness of increasingly occurring negative environmental effects produced by humanity’s own skills.

His very latest is Lost Dog, a more than 5.9-meter-tall sculpture standing tall by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, one of the treasures of Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. Here Aurèle suggests an animal seeking a path leading to happiness in the midst of a world made confused by humanity’s all-too-clever accomplishments.

Credit Pic: Singnat Nakphongphan
  • Name: Zero
  • Artist/Nationality: Elmgreen & Dragset (Germany)
  • On display at: The East Asiatic Building

Zero is a thought-provoking sculpture by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, a pair of artists known for their installation art techniques who have exhibited at festivals all over the world, including at the Venice, Berlin, and Gwangju Biennale exhibitions.

For their latest showing, at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, the pair have a select space on the riverfront of the East Asiatic Building where you’ll find Zero, a stainless steel “swimming pool” outline 8 meters high. Its form resembles a zero and symbolizes a connection between Bangkok’s large waterway, the Chao Phraya River, and the artists’ homeland on the Nordic Sea.

Besides the spots we’ve mentioned, there are quite a few Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 exhibitions that have been placed in temples, as, for instance . . .

  • Name: Turtle Religion
  • Artist/Nationality: Krit Ngamsom (Thailand)
  • On display at: Wat Prayunwongsawat Worawihan

Turtle Religion is a mixed media sculpture by Krit Ngamsom, which may have sprung from childhood memories brought back by the artist with new twists and interpretations to pique interest in the ordinary world.

Turtle Religion is found at Khao Mo in Wat Prayunwongsawat Worawihan where a moat home to an abundance of turtles and catfish is echoed above by these steel turtles, each of which holds something different on its back, suggesting a unity in religious faiths and cultures which are mixed and blended into a single substance here.

  • Name: What Will You Leave Behind?
  • Artist/Nationality: Nino Suwannee Sarabutra (Thailand)
  • On display at: Wat Prayunwongsawat Worawihan

“If today were your last day of life, what good would you leave in this world?” is the question posed by What Will You Leave Behind? This installation art is designed specifically for this place by Nino Suwannee. It consists of more than 100,000 tiny ceramic skull bones spread down on the walkway surrounding the temple’s main chedi. The concept is to make visitors experience it with the soles of their feet, giving them sudden insight into the fragility of life.

  • Name of work: Across the Universe and Beyond
  • Artist/Nationality: Sanitas Pradittasnee (Thailand)
  • On display at: Wat Arun Ratchawaramahawihan

Across the Universe and Beyond brings back to life a principle which has been lost and forgotten, with a design of space and light urging the viewer stepping into the space to stand in contemplation of himself, as in a moment of persistence, impermanence, and emptiness, this art piece carries a reminder for us to be aware of being mere particles in a vast universe.

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