Like Thai houses of former eras, this garden house has a high open area called a tai thun on the ground floor, an economical construction that suits Thailand’s climate and terrain and encourages family culture.
Three years ago Pongsakorn Tumpruksa, of Arsom Silp Community and Environmental Architects Co., Ltd., decided to live the waterside life and build a family home on 340 square meters at water’s edge in Bang Khun Thian, where two other streams converge with Bang Mot Canal.
The roadside entrance is in back, so the house fronts on the canal, Thai-style.
The tall tai thun includes a carport and an area blocked off as a workshop. An open staircase leads up to the porch, and in the center is a large contiguous open space combining living and dining areas, with the kitchen on one side and bedrooms on the other. Pongsakorn explained the three design principles he kept in mind:
A centuries-old principle of Central Thai traditional architecture is suitability for the environment, balancing sun, wind, and rain to keep things cool and comfortable. Here the old knowledge is blended with modern construction materials. The high tai thun avoids flooding and termite damage. Good air circulation is ensured with a high roof with long eaves; windows and a gap below the roof help release hot air. There is a deck where either clothes or fish can be dried, a heat-resistant mesh on the wooden roof, and there is an open porch below the eaves where you can sit, catch the breeze, and relax from the heat. Also the gardens around the house give shade and maintain moisture, cooling the area.
The architecture promotes family culture. Previously the family lived in a townhouse, chatted at the dinner table, and were always in close, warm contact. To continue that feeling, living and dining areas and kitchen were designed as a single continuous space.
Economical construction. The house was built with a limited budget: overbuilding would have been problematic. Thai traditional knowledge shows how to do this: leave room for gradual expansion, building onto the house as needed, as was done in Thailand’s earlier days.
Pongsakorn tells us, “Building a home for my loved ones was like building happiness. What I’m most proud of is doing it as the architect son of my father, who worked for the government as an architectural technician. Dad left us last year, but he got to live with us in this house.”
“Happiness for me is growing plants and living in a shady, cool home,” says Pongsakorn’s mother with a smile. “I’m truly glad that Father had the chance to live here with us.”
Among the 75-plus artists exhibiting at the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, there are some distinguished names who have collaborated with world renowned fashion houses. Others have managed to put themselves on the map by creating products that are their signatures.
Over the years, so many collaborations have taken place to the extent that they are blurring the lines between haute couture and visual art. It comes as no surprise that here and now the sky is the limit. When beautiful works of art have left the confines of gallery life and landed in the atelier of a fashion house, the results can be far-reaching. In this presentation, we at Living ASEAN use the symbol x to designate a collaboration.
01 | Christian Dior x Lee Bul
54-year-old South Korean artist Lee Bul is widely known for her works in many artistic disciplines, among them sculpture and installation art. Driven by a passion for modern art and design, she lets her talent shine in everything she does. The artist regularly collaborates with the European luxury goods company Christian Dior. Some of the highlights of her contributions include Dior Lady Art #2, which came out in the fall of 2017. Interpreting design and manufacturing techniques in a different way, Lee Bul affixes pieces of plexiglass mirrors to the original Lady Dior handbag to imitate the appearance of a single sheet of broken glass. The new couture technique evokes memories of Lee Bul’s “Cella”, her display for the Miss Dior Exhibition at the Grand Palais Paris in 2013. Our editor for art and culture Singhanart Nakpongphun was there to see it and came away very impressed. As he put it, “Cella inspired a sense of peace in an unusual way. Same objects are reflected multiple times in multiple directions. I stood there motionless for quite some time.”
In this video clip, Lee Bul gives an interview about how she works. Every morning, the Seoul-born artist keeps a detailed log of her activities. It keeps track of the process of developing until she puts the finishing touches to her work of art.
Those interested in Lee Bul’s way of conveying ideas through art shouldn’t miss Diluvium, her architectural installation for the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. The striking exhibit crafted of multiple metal frames wrapped in silver foil tapes is currently on view at the East Asiatic Building that’s well known for its old world charm.
02 | Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Mention polka dots, and the name Yayoi Kusama springs to mind. The Japanese legend was among the first artists to have collaborated with the French fashion house and luxury brand Louis Vuitton. She began working with the atelier of Louis Vuitton in 2012, the most visible result of which being the Louis Vuitton – Yayoi Kusama collection. At the time, bold yet playful polka dots artwork, also known as “Dots Infinity”, began appearing on Louis Vuitton’s Vernis handbags. It wasn’t long before other bestselling models followed suit, most notably Speedy and Neverfull monogram canvas series, not to mention shoes, wallets, scarves … you name it. Yayoi Kusama is also known for her work in store decoration and brand awareness ideas.
Flashback: Here’s a video clip from the fashion blog stylerumer recorded on the day Yayoi Kusama attended a product launch at Louis Vuitton on Fifth Avenue, New York back in 2012.
Handbags, shoes, and clothing aside, it’s time to appreciate the beauty of installation works by the “Queen of polka dots”. Her entries into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, which include the Red Pumpkin with black polka dots, and the Silver Pumpkin with multiple color dots, are currently on view at Central World and Siam Paragon shopping malls.
03 | Prada x Elmgreen & Dragset
The artist duo, Michael Elmgreen of Denmark and Ingar Dragset of Norway, are widely known for creating “Prada Marfa”, an installation featuring a small Prada store somewhere in the middle of a desert in Taxas. Despite it being located just 42 kilometers from the nearest airport, exotic travels take a good three hours to reach it. The crux of the matter is a strong message about capitalism and how it affects the way people think. The visual art piece is created with Prada support.
For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, Elmgreen and Dragset present “Zero”, an 8-meter-tall sculptural installation made to look like the circumference of a swimming pool set at right angles. The thought provoking artwork is on show in front of the East Asiatic Building on the Chao Phraya River for the duration of the festival.
04 | Marina Abramovic
A pioneer in contemporary art, Marina Abramovic is widely known for “The Artist Is Present”, an endurance performance that changes the way art sends a message to the active audience. Her first live performance exhibition debuted at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York in 2010. During the silent show, museum visitors took turns sitting across the table from Marina staring into her eyes for hours. The live performances took 736 hours and 30 minutes from start to finish. It was the focal point of a series of art exhibits designed to call attention to social issues.
Her iconic works gave the Italian fashion house Gucci an inspiration to host similar events as a means of promoting an exhibition at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai that runs until December 16, 2018. The luxury fashion brand presents its versions of “The Artist Is Present” curated by Maurizio Cattlean. In so doing, Gucci has installed gigantic art walls in the biggest cities across the world featuring the portrait of Marina Abramovic that was taken at the MoMA live performance in New York in 2010.
Besides the big names mentioned above, there are some homegrown artists who have become involved in the fashion world. Jitsing Somboon, formerly creative director at the Thai clothing brand “Playhound, is exhibiting his work titled “Paths of Faith” as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. The artist uses live performance art as a means of telling stories about Thai life and religion. The focal point of his work is a collection of white overcoats with “Faith” in either Thai, English, or Chinese stenciled on their back. The exhibition is on view at the entrance to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Phra Chetupon at Tha Tian. The overcoats are given for people to wear on top of other clothing as they enter an area dedicated to religious purposes in the temple interior.
The show would be incomplete without a couple of cool T-shirts. The up-and-coming artist Komkrit Tepthian also debuts a print T-shirt collection as part of his entry into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. The white short-sleeved casual top features simple drawings of his Giant Twins installation art stenciled on its front. The image tells stories of long-established friendship in a humorous way. Here’s the link to the artist’s fan page if you want one: Komkrit Tepthian : Artist
Whether you’re interested in the arts, fashion, or design, there are plenty of inspiring shows awaiting your visit. The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is going on now until next February 3. Featuring more than 200 masterpieces by international and homegrown artists, the inaugural art festival is being held at 20 different locations throughout the capital city. This time you don’t have to travel far to appreciate the beauty and the power of art. It’s the opportunity you can’t afford to miss. Art lovers. mark your calendar!
People tend to think of the Chao Phraya as a nice place to take a boat ride to visit an old temple or flea market that’s kept its fascinating architecture. On this trip we’ll add to that, taking you to see new lifestyles and great art, as well as stopovers guaranteed to fill your Bangkok holiday with enjoyment.
/// THAILAND /// Story: favforward.com /// Photography: Tanakitt Khum-on, favforward.com, Rithirong Chanthongsuk, Methee Samantong, Singhanart Nakpongphun, Soopakorn Srisakul, Media Hub, Courtesy of the Artist
We begin in a district with a long and storied history: Wang Lang. More than an old market known for its famed rare and mouth-watering treats, it offers great shopping bargains, especially in new and used clothing of every style. Wang Lang once was the palace of His Royal Highness Prince Thong-In, Deputy Vice King of Siam during the reign of Rama I, but now it’s the site of Siriraj Hospital. A common sight in this neighborhood is of teenagers searching for good-quality second-hand clothes in favorite styles, and throngs of people come for the interesting vintage goods available everywhere here.
Bank of Thailand Learning Center (BOT Learning Center)
This large learning center once originated the nation’s first printed bank notes. Now it is a place of opportunity and inspiration, a place for learning and individual research that facilitates exchange of ideas and opinions, driving creation of knowledge and love of learning and sharing in an integrated learning center with state-of-the-art learning media and a multitude of learning activities. You’ll find a museum of national heritage that hosts exhibitions in various fields, such as rare money that can transport you into the past just with a look. You’ll hear stories about the evolution of money through various periods of civilization, and about what the money of the future may be like. This is also a Bangkok Biennale 2018 Art Fair site, where works by two artist groups can be seen: “Memory House” by Alex Face and Souled Out Studios (SOS), and “Dragon Boat” by Huang Yong Ping.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchanon Mahawihan
Wat Arun’s massive stupa can be seen as an artistic work of the highest beauty. It is adorned with a covering of tiles and pieces of rare ancient and gorgeously patterned Benjarong crockery imported from China. The temple has undergone continuous restoration from the reign of Rama 5 until the present. This is another Bangkok Biennale 2018 Art Fair site, featuring works such as “Across the Universe” by Sanitas Pradittasnee and “Giant Twins” by Komkrit Tepthian.
After visiting Wang Lang, you can take a ferry across to Tha Maharaj, a super-chic “community mall” right on the river for capital city denizens. Come evening, you’ll drink in the beautiful view all the more, enjoying shopping and the many famous restaurants and fabulous street food.
Tha Tian is easy to get around. A neighborhood unique for its two-storey bright colonial-style yellow buildings from the Phra Nakhon riverside’s early days. Tha Tian can be a district to pass through on the way to somewhere else, but itself is full of classic charm of an old community that has survived, and temples such as Wat Pho that have been part of Phra Nakhon since ancient times. Scattered all about are attractive cafés, outstanding restaurants, and sight-seeing walks where you can view art works. The nearby Pak Khlong neighborhood and flower market sound an irresistibly seductive call for us to fall in love with this district.
Wat Phra Chedi Phonwimonmangkhlaram Ratchawong Maha Wihan,or Wat Pho
His Majesty King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok, first king of the Chakri Dynasty, presided over the founding of Wat Pho in the city of Bang Kok, and this premier monastery was his designated temple. As in the Ayutthaya period, the temple is next to the Grand Palace, and under the altar is a statue of the Buddha. The principal Buddha image in the hall contains ashes of the Buddha, and contributing to the temple’s worldwide fame also are the green and red “Wat Pho Giants” set at arched entryways to the Phra Mondop scripture hall, their form like the giants depicted in that classic of Thai literature, the Ramakien. The Bangkok Biennale 2018 Art Fair also has a presence here, showing works of Jitsing Somboon and Pannaphan Yodmanee.
Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawihan
This temple was built during the reign of the third Rattanakosin monarch, King Phra Nangklao Chaoyuhua, who gave it the name Wat Prayuruwongsawat, but the people knew it as “Wat Rua Lek” (Iron Fence), since some sections of its wall and arched gates were made of iron. For sophisticated preservation work requiring deep technological understanding, at the 2013 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation the temple chedi received the Award of Excellence, first prize out of 47 entries from 16 countries worldwide. This project brought to surrounding communities a greater awareness of the value of cultural heritage conservation. Works of Bangkok Biennale 2018 artists Krit Ngamsom and Nino Sarabutra are on display here, as well.
If you have time, wander around Museum Siam, our first “learning museum,” unique for innovations that encourage learning, with displays telling stories through accessible modern technology that arouses interest in visitors. Techniques are used to tell stories by raising questions, inviting visitors to use imagination. Certain spots are intentionally designed for maximum benefit, suggested in creative, enjoyable formats involving various activities that move the narratives forward. Items and devices used within the museum are to be touched so as to convey meanings and create perfect connections.
This venerable haunt of Chinese people and civilization has long been here. Yaowarat is especially colorful at night, with topflight food to be found everywhere. There are a number of noteworthy points along Yaowarat Road, such as Odeon Circle, Charoen Krung Road, Ratchawong Road and Chakkrawat Road. Not-to-be-missed eating spots are Kuey Chap Nai Ek, Khua Kai Than Tao, and Kuey Chap Uan Phochana (in front of the Chinatown Cinema). Hidden away nearby are Khanompang Sai Thalak, Sweet Time, for incredibly delicious desserts, and Pa Jin Hoi Khlaeng Luak, which specializes in shellfish prepared in absolutely delicious ways, and is one of the oldest restaurants in Yaowarat.
Renowned for decorative architecture, Lhong 1919 is a popular new tourist spot, well worth visiting and taking a slew of pictures of. Here once was a location called “Huai Jung Lohng,” Chinese for “steamer pier,” and now is also known by the name “Wang Li godowns.” Its history and architecture go back 167 years and really make one aware of its architectural value. Recently a major restoration was done on the pier, which had deteriorated over a long period, and now it is a tourist destination with a remarkable heritage that tells of its history through art and architecture.
The Jam Factory
The Jam Factory is a warehouse space along the Chao Phraya River revamped as a hub for super-hip lifestyles. Besides beautification of a funky old godown, the environment was made especially charming by preserving its large trees for a shady atmosphere extending to a riverside restaurant, a chic furniture shop, and a bookstore where serious bookworms can come stuff their heads with knowledge found in rare books from Thailand and abroad.
Warehouse 30 is a creative space with a distinctive industrial style, renovated from an old factory. This newly born community is located in Soi Charoen Krung 30. It’s a place to hang out. There’s a restaurant. There are shops offering hip home furnishings. There are many spots to take beautiful pictures, even a cinema! All this, and then the “co-working space,” too! People can shop, munch, chill, or have fun with various activities, either during the week or on weekends.
East Asiatic Building
The East Asiatic, a fine example of Renaissance revival architecture, is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River next to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Not only is it gorgeous, it gives us a look back to more than 100 years ago as a rare historical treasure showing the prosperity of the Danish community in Siam at that time. Right now it is also home to Bangkok Biennale 2018 Art Fair works by Lee Bul, Sara Faviau, and Elmgreen & Dragset.
The beauty of its carefully maintained architecture has long contributed to recognition of the Mandarin Oriental as one of the greatest hotels in the world, and it is generally agreed that since opening in 1870, Bangkok’s first hotel has also been one of its most important landmarks. Though the hotel has undergone many renovations, even today it retains its classic nature. It is also a perfect venue for Bangkok Art Biennale 2018’s showing of such works as “Lost Dogs,” by Aurèle Ricard.
If you have time in your scenic boat ride along the Chao Phraya, you can stop in to see heretofore unknown artistic works tell fascinating stories about culture and society, sparking ideas which we can use to improve our own lives.
An international festival of contemporary art, Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is held between October 19, 2018 and February 3, 2019 at 20 important Bangkok locations.
Ask anyone in the street a simple question about Thai-ness. “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?” And you may get something like traffic jams for an answer. It will come as no surprise. Everywhere you look, the streets are wedged solid with the traffic gridlock especially during rush hours.
From a different point of view, you may get something positive for an answer, something like beautiful temples, the marvels of ancient architecture, or the land of colorful taxis. But Thai-ness isn’t about people’s perceptions of anyone or anything in particular. It’s a million memories that constitute a distinctive national identity. Good or bad, the underlying attributes of Thai-ness are hidden in all things we do. They range from little things like the flower garlands used in the worship of the Buddha and dolls in full traditional dance regalia, to spectacular scenery including temples and palaces, national monuments and colorful nightlife. All things considered, the perceptions of the quality of being Thai can differ greatly from one person to the next, and it’s open to interpretation. That’s where art comes into play as a medium of expression that in a subtle way explains, reframes, and conveys an understanding of what it means to be Thai.
The contemporary art festival “Bangkok Art Biennale 2018” is doing exactly that. 75 artists from Thailand and abroad are exhibiting more than 200 works at some 20 venues throughout the capital city from now until 4 February 2019. For many homegrown artists, it’s a golden opportunity to express their ideas, passions, and commitments through various creative arts, ranging from installations and live performances to paintings and sculptures. It’s inevitable that their perceptions of the underlying attributes of Thai-ness is hidden in the works of art they put on display. And it’s entirely up to you to interpret them. We at LivingASEAN.com are proud to bring you some of the masterpieces created your compatriots.
Something about Thai-ness in home goods, décor and accessories
We have grown accustomed to seeing glass-faced armoires crafted of teakwood as part of our childhood experience. Equally familiar are pieces of architecture and a few ceramic vases that look very Thai to us. Over time, these home goods and décor items have changed hands as they get passed on from generation to generation or sold on the local marketplace. Now they can be found at temples. The flowers vases are widely used in the worship of the Buddha and merit making ceremonies across the country. Artist Torlarp Larpjaroensook, an Ayutthaya native, now lives in Chiang Mai. He’s no stranger to traditional art and craft, and he knows exactly what to do with them. His latest masterpiece is the representation of a spacecraft that he creates using old armoires, home goods and accessories that he found lying around unused at the home of a relative. He calls his objet trouvé installation “Spiritual Spaceship”. We call it the power of imagination.
The installation that measures 485 x 815 x 349 centimeters consists of found objects, among them an old armoire, a few vases, iron and copper implements, a spade, computer screens, electric lamps and fragments of various items. Together, they constitute a spacecraft model that he calls “Spiritual Spaceship 2018”. The artist is passionate about spatial relationships and interactions between works of art and exhibition viewers. His works illustrate how even unexciting materials can be modified and eventually come to be appreciated as art. Especially in “Spiritual Spaceship 2018”, there’s something about being Thai in the obsolete items that the artist uses as a medium of expression. In a nutshell, it’s a marriage between old objects and ultramodern architectural design. Who would have thought the final outcome would be a spacecraft with Thai-ness elements on it?
One of the magnets for art lovers, Basket Tower is an installation by Choi Jeong Hwa, a big name in South Korea’s contemporary art scene. The soaring sculpture is made of hundreds of brightly colored baskets in various shapes and sizes that Choi single-handedly picked from the marketplace. A versatile artist with many rewards to his name, Choi has authoritative knowledge in effective use of space. His past works include sculptures, installations, fashion and graphic designs. Choi gets most of his inspirations from undistinguished, even recycled materials that he finds in daily living and turns them into amazing works of art. Interestingly, there’s something in the colorful Basket Tower that bespeaks Thai-ness. The brilliant color combinations appear to be sending a message about life being fun, which coincides the quality of being Thai. The sculpture that stands as tall as a five-story building is on display at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.
Something about Thai-ness in Cultural History
A force to be reckoned with in Thailand’s mixed media art scene, Pannapan Yodmanee was among a few Thai artists to ever win the 11th Benesse Prize that was part of the Singapore Biennale 2016. For her, the fun part of it was the opportunity to compete with fellow artists from 19 countries from across Asia. Apart from the award money, she had the privilege of exhibiting her works at the Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, dubbed Japan’s island of art.
Pannapan’s entry into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is a transportable installation titled “Sediments of Migration”. The sculptural exhibition consists of six miniature mountains, hermit figures in yoga poses, and a collection of ballast stones used in stabilizing the cargo ships of ancient times. Inspired by mural paintings found throughout the temple ground of Wat Phra Chetupon, it tells stories of the long established trade and cultural relations between the people of old Siam and their Chinese counterparts.
The artist said in an interview, “Through this installation, I want to communicate to the audience cultural harmony and the assimilation that exists between two peoples from entirely different backgrounds. It turns out to be quite a challenge because the miniature mountain landscapes must be kept intact, while media of expression are added to the scene to produce a pleasing visual effect.” Pannapan was able to do exactly that. Some exhibition viewers have said it wasn’t easy to tell the difference between old and new parts that made up the installation art.
Likewise, it’s the dream of the up-and-coming artist Komkrit Tepthian to feature a page of Thai history and religion in the early Ratanakosin Period. His entry into the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is a sculptural installation consisting of two three-meter-tall Giant Twins. It features the likeness of a sculptural Chinese warrior and a giant gatekeeper from classical mythology.
On a related topic, Chinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping presents Dragon Boat, a 16-meter-long sculptural installation depicting a journey by the people who migrated from China to settle in Thailand in the past century. Huang is founder of the Xiamen Dada art movement.
Something about Thai-ness and the Environment
Patipat Chaiwitesh is a new generation artist with a unique way of expressing ideas about events and their impacts on society. He has created works in a number of genres from sculpture to installation to textile art. For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, his installation with a futuristic name, “2562++”, has excited the curiosity of many viewers. That’s exactly the intention. The artist sees his work both as a laboratory and means to promote an awareness of the effects of change in the natural surroundings. The message is being conveyed in the artistic representations of fish, birds, and crustaceans that appear to have undergone transformation as the result of environmental degradation by humans. The artist’s work is on display at the East Asiatic Building.
On a related topic, British artist Andrew Stahl presents “Pyramid Shape Sculpture 2018”, a two-meter-tall installation crafted of fragments of toys and found objects that he plucked from the Chao Phraya River. His work raises concern over water quality and the health of rivers in Thailand. Professor Stahl is chair of the Painting Department at the UCL Slade School of Fine Arts. His pyramid-shaped sculpture stands covered in multiple layers of warm-color paint spread over the surfaces that he uses to draw attention to hot issues concerning water pollution problems. Stahl has used his painting skill to chronicle a journey through time and unfamiliar places, where culture and language differ greatly from his own. He specifically made reference to the physical environment of Bangkok from an artist’s perspective and the enormous energy that made it a vibrant destination. Stahl said in an interview: “A journey on the Chao Phraya evokes memories of the time when the first Europeans discovered old Siam and came into the company of the people whose life depended on this river. Professor Stahl’s work is on view at the East Asiatic Building.
The exhibitions listed above are part of a wider art festival that’s going on right now and will run until 3 February 2019. The Bangkok Art Biennale is a major confluence of more than 200 beautiful works by 75 leading artists from 34 countries across the globe. The exhibits are on show at 20 different locations scattered throughout the capital city.
“Wat” as we know it refers to a place worthy of worship, one that’s occupied by a community of monks living under the vows of Buddhism. Having been in existence from time immemorial, the site that’s thought of as sacred has performed many crucial roles in society, ranging from schoolhouse and herbal apothecary to kitchen and community center. And the list goes on. Take a good look at it, and you’ll find the holy dwelling place also plays a role as museum, where objects and places of religious reverence are preserved and prominently displayed for people to appreciate. It gives the followers of Buddhism a sense of the path to peace and freedom of the mind using, among other things, beautiful works of art as a s medium of communication.
Three famous temples take part in hosting the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, which is happening now until next February 3. The inaugural festival isn’t centered around just one venue. Rather, it’s putting more than 200 works of art on display at 20 different venues throughout the capital. Among them are Wat Phra Chetupon (Wat Po), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), and Wat Prayurawongsawas Woraviharn. The three riverside sanctuaries constitute a hub of religious studies and temple art. For over two centuries, the followers of Buddhism have gathered here to discuss the importance of religion to Thai life and express their beliefs through the various forms of art. For BAB 2018, their artistic exhibitions include:
#Faithway (Paths of Faith) Venue: Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Phra Chetupon (Wat Po) Artist: Jitsing Somboon
“Paths of Faith” is a fashion art exhibition by Jitsing Somboon, formerly chief designer at the Thai clothing brand “Playhound”. The artist, who is passionate about deeply interactive forms of art, said in an interview: “It got me wondering. Usually people take off their shoes and carry them in their hands as they enter the interior of the temple. This makes it troublesome as they prostrate on the floor with the shoes still in their hands. It’s conflicting with what they’re trying to achieve. In the end, it gives me an idea to create a collection of white micro polyester overcoats with shoe pockets on either side. The shoe pouches are sewn onto the overcoat just above the knees.” Above, the artist demonstrates how the worrisome problem is solved.
The garment with “Faith” in either Thai, English, or Chinese stenciled on its back is given for people to wear as they participate in solemn ceremonies inside the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It’s an important part of a live installation that’s accompanied by the sounds of coins hitting the inside wall of a donation bowl. The fashion art event is held every day for the duration of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018.
Venue: In front of Khao Mo, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn
Artist: Komkrit Tepthian
“Giant Twins” refer to a sculptural installation featuring two buddies from different backgrounds. They come together with a common sense of purpose. One is a sculpture made in the likeness of warrior stone sculptures that were used as ballasts on ancient cargo ships from China, the other a Thai style mythical giant gatekeeper whose duty is to protect against all things evils. The twin sculptures crafted of fiberglass stand 3.20 meters tall. The artist purposely puts a beaming smile on their faces as a gesture of welcome to art lovers. As Komkrit puts it, “I want it to be a piece of storytelling that reflects upon the happy and cordial relations between Thai and Chinese people.”
The artist said: “I want the sculptural installation to communicate the importance of trade and cultural ties between the peoples of Thailand and China. The message is being conveyed in the form of artwork featuring giant twins – one being the likeness of a Chinese warrior stone sculpture, the other bearing some resemblance of the iconic Giant of Wat Arun in full regalia. The work gets its inspiration from an inseparable relationship between twin brothers Eng and Chang (1811-1874), whose names have become synonymous with conjoined twins, a.k.a. Siamese twins.
Giant Twins by Komkrit Tepthian, Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 | Photo courtesy of Media Hub
Besides the Giant Twins, the same venue also plays host to a sculptural Garuda, an eagle-like being that Hindu god Vishnu rides as his mount. Made of interlocking plastic bricks from China, it’s an attraction not to be missed among like-minded friends. For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, Komkrit has created a collection of figurines similar to popular Japanese miniature toys. You are invited to try your hand at one of Gashapon-style capsule machines. There will be plenty of surprises for those looking for their favorite animal-mounted heroes, including some of the rarest mythological symbols.
What Will We Leave Behind? Venue: Circular Walkway, Main Stupa, Wat Prayurawongsawas Woraviharn
Artist: Nino Sarabutra
An exhibition by Nino Sarabutra has its origin in a question that he raises about life and the purpose of existence. By calling it “What Will We Leave Behind?” the artist sets out to explore spiritual growth and service to humanity. The installation gives a hint that in the end all we are is dust in the wind, and a reminder to do a great service to mankind before we are gone. Nino’s site specific installation consists of 125,000 miniature human skulls made of porcelain. Like a question that requires no answer, the little ceramic sculptures are scattered along the circular walkway of the Main Stupa at Wat Prayurawongsawas. His beliefs and ideals are encapsulated in an E-sarn motto that says: “Death hangs around every step of the way.” He said, “As we wake up each day to find one another, it’s good to know we’re still living. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to set up an exhibition on the walkway around the Main Stupa. There are niches containing cremation ashes nearby. Never have I worked on a site close to death like I do now. This is an installation that reminds us all to do what we want to do, because we never know when our lives will end.”
As Nino puts it, death is a fact of life that no human beings can escape. It’s a question of when, not if. So we need to ask ourselves we are gone, “What will we leave behind?”
Wat Phra Chetupon, Wat Arun, and Wat Prayurawongsawas all have miniature mountain sites known as “Khao Mo”. Each of them is playing host to a site specific installation by Thai artists. Let’s pay them a visit.
Sediments of Migration
Venue: Khao Mo of Wat Phra Chetupon (Wat Po) Artist: Pannapan Yodmanee
“Sediments of Migration” is a transportable sculptural installation consisting of six miniature mountains, hermit figures in yoga poses, and ballast stones that were used to stabilize the cargo ships of ancient times. It’s inspired by mural paintings found throughout the temple ground of Wat Phra Chetupon.
Venue: Khao Mo, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) Artist: Sanitas Pradittasnee
Sanitas Pradittasnee creates this site specific installation after having been inspired by the miniature mountains that she finds scattered around the temple ground of Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). Her work comes in handy as an invitation to search the mind to understand the inner self, so as to become aware of the goings-on in the world outside. The installation consists of acrylic panels in a brighter shade of red that changes hue as time passes, a subtle reminder that nothing is certain in life.
Turtle Religion is a mixed media installation that seeks to communicate, in a cheerful and happy way, that there’s more to life than just living. Through this exhibition, the artist sends a message that life is about being useful and honorable. The idea is manifested in the way sculptured turtles carry the iconic shrines in Buddhism on their back.
Besides the shows listed above, there are plenty of interesting events on the theme of religion and temple art. The following artists are exhibiting their works in the Riverside Zone of the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018:
Want to get the most out of your time in Bangkok? Sure, there are great shopping malls, but where else to go? Here are some Living ASEAN recommendations on enjoying Thailand’s capital city. For comfort and convenience, we suggest using the BTS system for your weekend jaunt to see new lifestyles and interesting art works, or spend time with gods and angels at sacred sites all around town.
/// THAILAND /// Story: favforward.com /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham, favforward.com, YAYOI KUSAMA Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Courtesy of Artists
Start out on the Sukhumvit Line
>> BTS National Stadium
Where’s the largest art exhibition space in the “Big Mango?” Easy. It’s right here at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre: exhibitions, music, films, literature, education, and, on the 5th floor, handicraft art. Then there’s the BACC souvenir shop for buying art show mementos, works by the artists themselves, and plenty of other things. Shows here aren’t just uplifting, but inspire our own creative instincts. Right now BACC is one of the prime locations for Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival l, showing such works as “Basket Tower” by Choi Jeong Hwa and “Tape Bangkok 2018,” by Numen For Use Design Collective.
>> BTS Siam
This location is a sort of urban landmark, not merely a place for teenagers to hang out, but a showplace for the modern age. There’s a center for technology and innovation, plus a bezillion shops and outlets: Siam Discovery, the Siam Center, Siam Paragon, and Siam Square, each distinct area offering its own select products and product selections.
Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 shines here, too, featuring works of various prominent artists brought in from abroad. One such is Yayoi Kusama, an 81-year-old Japanese known as the “Princess of Polka Dots.” She has extended her love of that quirky blob into many branches of creativity: sculpture, painting, arrangement art, and many more, to become one of the world’s most highly esteemed contemporary female artists, giving exhibitions and receiving top international awards in many countries.
You can see some Kusama signature works on display at Central World: the beautiful arrangement art piece “Inflatable Pumpkins Balloons” hangs suspended from high above and polka dots adorn escalator handrails, changing this massive space into an art gallery where you yourself are a participant in the creation. More Kusama is seen at nearby Siam Paragon in “I Carry On Living With The Pumpkins,” where you’ll find the polka dot theme continued on a silver pumpkin with mosaic-style skin.
>> BTS Chit Lom
Walking along the skywalk between the BTS Chit Lom and Siam stations you can reach a lot of great locations: Central World, Central Chit Lom, Gaysorn Village, and a lot of famous hotels. The Erawan Shrine is right below, where pilgrims come to pay homage to six divinities believed to grant blessings to worshippers petitioning for success in work, money, love, or various other realms.
At Central World is yet another Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival display: an exhibition featuring the beloved Miss Mamuang, by artist Wisut Ponnimit, cartoonist and illustrator. Stop by to meet Miss Mamuang and take pictures with these rare art works.
>> BTS Ploenchit
The Ploenchit area has not only major office buildings and governmental locations such as embassies, but also department stores and hotels. And near here is a major passenger boat pier for connections to Pratu Nam (the Watergate district) and various locations along Phetchaburi Road.
Getting off at the BTS Ploenchit Station gives you additional access to Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. Famous art works are shown nearby at Central Embassy, Nai Lert Park Heritage Home, One Bangkok, and Alliance Française Bangkok. One especially interesting collection features the work of Marc Schmitz, whose fascination with the relationships between people and spaces has produced paintings, large arrangement art pieces, and video art. Mr. Schmitz looks to challenge the limits of communication on many fronts, giving us works that really make us think. His goal is to stimulate a continuing conversation between observer and art piece that at some point becomes like real personal communication. His later work contemplates commonly known relationships between people and history by means of large works installed in public spaces, filling the gap between art history and contemporary art in useful ways. You can see his works at Nai Lert Park Heritage Home from Oct. 19 to Feb. 3.
>> BTS Asoke
Asoke: district of prosperity, and one of the capital city’s major communication and transportation hubs. From the Asoke Intersection, where Asoke Montrii, Rathchaphisek, and Sukhumvit Roads meet, a network of streets and alleys can whisk us to important areas all over Bangkok. The super-fast, convenient, and comfortable BTS and MRT rapid train systems connect here, helping efficient time management. The Airport Link train is just one stop away by MRT, adding convenience for foreign travel. Directly by the rail stations is the Terminal 21 shopping complex, each floor designed with many shops and services mimicking a different international airport, and with a giant food center where you can partake of different lifestyles, all open for your daily enjoyment.
>> BTS Phrom Phong
Here the “EmDistrict,” meaning EmQuartier and the Emporium, flanks Sukhumvit Road on both sides. EmQuartier has three shopping complexes. The Helix Quartier, or Building A, is distinctive for its “floating garden” starting on the 5th floor. From here you’ll walk up and around, up and around on a helical ramp where you can dine at luxury restaurants and visit shops along the way.
The Glass Quartier features high-end outlets, fashion shops, a Virgin Active Fitness center, and the Bhiraj Tower (Sammachawanich Building 3) is a 30-storey office building. The Bhiraj has a central reception hall on floor M from which you’ll take a high-speed elevator up to the 15th floor, where you’ll find a helipad and a roof deck with a stunning view. Be sure not to miss the hall on the 45th floor, home to the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival’s display of works by artist Kawita Vatanajyankur.
We arrive here after changing to the Silom Line. This district is replete with businesses and office buildings, colorful department stores, and hangout spots, with public parks scattered here and there. At the corner by MRT Sam Yan Station a new “lifestyle community” is soon to be completed: the Samyan Metrotown Life Expansion, a mixed-use building complex conceived under a concept called “three friends.” Lifestyle choices and personal enjoyment are coupled with learning and expanding perspectives with the aim of unlocking personal and community potential over the long term. The motto here is “learning is built around friendship”: “smart” spaces are designed to promote learning and be user-friendly under the concept of an “urban life library,” or “treasury of food and learning,” as a new chapter is added to the legend of Sam Yan. Three districts, three libraries, complete and unique in all of Thailand.
>> BTS Chong Noni – BRT Thanon Chan
The BTS Chong Nonsi Station is located in the Silom district between the Sathorn-Narathiwat and Silom-Narathiwat intersections, pretty much the city’s financial center. Full of office buildings, embassies, and condos, and with quick SkyTrain access, Chong Nonsi is especially popular with foreigners. The byword here is “mobility,” as Chong Nonsi is easily accessible by public and private transport. Besides BTS there’s the BRT Express Van Sathorn Station, and if you want to escape the clogged streets there is nearby Sathorn Pier, where you can catch an express boat: just hop on BTS and glide down to Taksin Station for that. There you can also easily cross to the Thonburi side of Bangkok: both coming in and exiting the city is convenient. Also, a quick ride to the BRT Thanon Chan station brings you to yet another Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival installation: the Theater of Indulgence, where the work of many fine artists is featured.
If you have time to use BTS to get beyond the normal tourist activities, why don’t you check out some of these great locations? See art works unseen anywhere before tell inspiring and trendsetting stories through reflections of culture and society, lighting fires of thought we can use to improve our daily lives. Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is held between October 19, 2018 and February 3, 2019 at 20 locations in Bangkok.
All-around knowledge about fabrics for solutions beyond beautification: Fireproofing, waterproofing, and long-term sun resistance
Materials used for house décor and furnishings in the modern era need to do more than simply add beauty: they must also be more comfortable, convenient, and easy to use. This includes fabrics we normally think of as decorative that have been developed to have fire-resistant and waterproof properties and – especially for outdoor furniture – high tolerance for sunlight, rain, and ocean salinity. Today’s fabrics have evolved beyond old limitations to be more beautiful, durable, and adaptable to many new uses.
For the safety of people and property, in the near future fireproofing will be legally required for many types of equipment and materials, including fabrics. Modern production of fire-retardant cloth involves treating the fibers with fireproofing chemicals before color-dying the cloth and weaving it into sheets. The admixture of these chemicals will not only make the fabric slower to burn but can also add as much as five years to its life. This can help save lives by giving more time to persons escaping a burning building, but also has the simpler advantage that the material can be washed and ironed an unlimited number of times. This method is superior to earlier, more conventional fire-protection coating, where fabrics stored in either air-conditioned rooms or spaces with a lot of humidity will gradually lose such a coating within 7-8 months, reducing its effectiveness.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 701 is a standard used in the United States of America and approved by international designers.
Waterproof fabric is more appropriate for furniture upholstery or wall covering than for drapes, since they are more likely to experience liquid spills. Upholstery with waterproof qualities has to be strong and have a long-term resistance to water. For more effectiveness the cloth is woven in a special, loose way, using polyester fibers with gaps between that allow waterproofing chemicals to penetrate, be absorbed in, and fully adhere to them. Properly waterproofed fabric must be able to hold water for at least 35 minutes without any seeping through, and maintenance should be easy: stains should be quickly removable by wiping with a damp cloth, after which the furniture should be as beautiful as before.
Homework’s waterproof upholstery fabric has a Martindale value of more than 25,000 rubs, higher than the general standard of 20,000 rubs. great waterproofing, and also extremely durable.
Acrylic fibers have enabled production of new fabrics for outdoor use because they have qualities that ordinary cloth does not: resistance to sea salinity and strong sunlight. Color is added along with chemicals to produce “dyed acrylic” thread whose color remains fresh, beautiful and lasting for 5 years or more with no significant maintenance required even when subjected to air pollution, sunlight, and sea water. Collected dust, dirt, and even pen marks can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth.
Fabrics designed for outdoor use are generally quite tough, and can feel uncomfortable to the touch. Homework avoids this problem by weaving its fabrics so that fibers are slightly spaced apart, giving the product flexibility and a comfortable feel even with heavy use.
Mahanakorn SkyWalk is poised to become a popular global landmark destination. The new vantage point with breathtaking panoramic city skyline is located at the top of King Power Mahanakhon. Dubbed Thailand’s highest rooftop, the lookout with fantastic views is now officially opened.
A place of interest for both local and international visitors, the SkyWalk’s main attraction is an observation deck that sits 310 meters (1,017 feet) from the ground. The rooftop destination affords 360-degree panoramic views of Bangkok city skyline. It boasts a spacious 63-square-meter floor space that ranks among the world’s biggest glass observation decks.
Mahanakhon SkyWalk facilities include:
1st Floor: The Lobby experience is about creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere as visitors arrive at the Main Entrance and Mahanakhon SkyWalk Ticket Counter. It’s conveniently linked to the elevator lobby via a Bangkok-themed digital corridor. Feel the excitement of Thailand’s fastest elevators that are capable of reaching the 74th floor in just 50 seconds.
74th Floor: The Indoor Observation Deck affords 360-degree panoramic views of landmark destinations around Bangkok. It comes complete with interactive windows and Augmented Reality screen experience to capture and send postcards to loved ones direct from Thailand’s highest mailbox!
75th Floor: The Mezzanine offers restroom facilities and access to the glass elevator lobby.
78th Floor: The Rooftop and Outdoor Observation Deck comes alive with the adrenaline-fueled excitement of “The Glass Tray”, a floor space that sits 310 meters from the ground. The spacious viewing deck ranks among the world’s largest glass floors. The Mahanakhon SkyWalk experience culminates in “The Peak”, which is a vantage point set at 314 meters up from the ground. Take your time as you take in the awe-inspiring panoramic view of the city skyline. It’s home to the highest rooftop bar with plenty of signature drinks and alluring cocktails.
If you travel on BTS Skytrain, Mahanakhon SkyWalk is easily accessible via Chong Nonsi Station, Exit 3 while Siam BTS Line is located 3 stations away). The SkyWalk is open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight, the final admission being 11 p.m.
Ticket Type:Mahanakhon SkyWalk Description: Indoor Observatory Deck (74th Floor) Adult Admission: 850 THB and 250 THB for *Children under 12 years of age / *Seniors over 60 years of age
Ticket type: Mahanakhon SkyWalk & Rooftop Description: Indoor and Outdoor Observatory Deck (74th and 78th Floors) Adult Admission: 1,050 THB and 450 THB for *Children under 12 years of age / *Seniors over 60 years of age
Good news! To celebrate the official opening, special promotions include a complimentary upgrade to the Rooftop with the purchase of a Mahanakhon SkyWalk ticket at just 765THB (a 1,050 THB value) from today until 31 January 2019*. (*Terms and conditions apply.)
Mahanakhon SkyWalk is part of the “King Power Mahanakhon” project. Set in the heart of Bangkok on Naradhiwas Road, the mixed-use development includes:
King Power Duty Free and Retail Shop (Floors 1 to 4): One of Asia Pacific’s leading centers for duty free goods, world-class brand name products, exclusive Mahanakhon SkyWalk souvenirs, international quality Thai products and creations, and a rich array of lifestyle products.
King Power Hotel (Floors 1 to 18): More details will be announced in the next phase.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences (Floors 23 to 73): Luxury living at its best. A total of 209 luxurious freehold residences, ranging from 2-5 bedrooms; from 125 square meters to 844 square meters of space, with exclusive amenities and legendary service by the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton.
Mahanakhon SkyWalk (Floors 1, 74, 75 and 78): Bangkok’s newest iconic landmark destination, Mahanakhon SkyWalk is Thailand’s highest observation deck, offering 360-degree panoramic views of Bangkok. Sitting 314 meters from the ground, it ranks among the world’s largest glass tray floors, and is home to Thailand’s highest rooftop bar.
Mahanakhon CUBE provides some of Bangkok’s best dining experiences, with a showcase of leading international restaurants, café and gourmet products including Dean & Deluca’s flagship store, M Krub, and L’Atelier by Michelin star chef, Joël Robuchon.
Mahanakhon Square: Over 1,000 square meters of available space for exhibitions, performances and events in central Bangkok.
Modern tropical is one of decorating styles that have become popular across the country. It’s a style that takes into account the warm and humid climate characteristic of the Region. This is abundantly clear in the way tropical décor materials sourced directly from the locality are being put to good use in so many ways. They include wood that promotes relaxing and peaceful feelings, floating furniture crafted of natural materials, home décor accessories, and fabrics for furniture upholstery, throw pillows, and curtains in striking colors and textures. Their simple yet elegant appearances bespeak a cool, contemporary style that’s classic in its own special way, a style that’s quite capable of answering many decorating needs.
Polyester fabrics look their best not only in home furnishings and decorative accessories, but also in business establishments from hotels to retail shops, where not seriousness but a friendly, relaxing and pleasant manner is everything and everlasting. For that, there are polyester fabrics to suit every decorating need. Here are some of the qualities worth considering.
TYPES OF FABRIC
The Modern tropical style is well suited to the warm and humid climate typical of the Region’s highlands and seaside environments. Polyester fabrics come in handy as the material of choice for their ability to resist exposure to a range of weather conditions, from moisture to bacterial and fungal contamination. These unfavorable conditions can have negative effects on consumers. To avoid problems, polyester fabrics are recommended because they are made of plastic fibers that do not absorb moisture. Unlike natural fibers, polyester does not accumulate humidity, which reduces the chance of bacterial and fungal contamination in fabrics.
MOOD AND TONE
The tropical decorating style evokes the image of bright sunlight and cool temperatures that accompany every rainfall. That sounds like a first good impression that most people have. To create interior design that will ring the bell, materials that provide a decorative and textured surface are of great significance. That’s not all. Materials for furniture upholstery and curtains in complementing colors and design are important, too. Together, they combine to make the interior living space feel warm and welcoming. There are plenty of ways to match colors. Whether it’s visual harmony or outstanding visual contrast, the choice is yours.
Humidity in the air is among factors contributing to fungal and bacterial growth. Hence, it makes perfect sense to go for polyester when it comes to interior decorating. Polyester is great for curtains, furniture upholstery, blankets and throw pillows. It’s undergone testing to prove its worth. Thanks to its many outstanding attributes, polyester has remained a popular material of choice in a variety of applications. Its benefits are not limited to just interior décor or furniture. Some polyester fabrics are capable of serving multiple purposes. For information about polyester usage, consult the product catalog and label that comes with the fabrics.
Polyester Material of Choice for Modern Tropical Décor
01 Design No. 9554/05: width 110″ (280 cm)
02 Design No. 8072/03: width 54″ (137 cm)
03 Design No. 3151/07: width 60″ (150 cm)
04 Design No. 10056/103: width 55″ (140 cm)
05 Design No. 10051/105: width 55″ (140 cm)
06 Design No. DANE/104: width 54″ (137 cm)
Note: 100% polyester fabrics are material of choice for curtains, throw pillows, and furniture upholstery.
Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, (BAB) is an art fair which will transform Bangkok into a city for art lovers. Famous artists from many corners of the world have brought their works here to be shown at 20 landmark sites.
/// THAILAND /// Story: Favforward.com /// Photography: Rithirong Chanthongsuk, Methee Samantong, Anupong Chaisukkasem, Singhanart Nakpongphun, Soopakorn Srisakul, Media Hub, Courtesy of the Artist
The show spreads over two zones: 1) the Chao Phraya riverside and 2) the heart of the city. Shows in the urban zone are easily accessible by public transport such as BTS or MRT. The Chao Phraya riverside zone is also easy to get to, but for comfortable travel, easy on the physical body and with no worry about getting lost, we’ve prepared a guide – including parking suggestions – for getting around to see that great art down by the riverside.
BTS Saphan Taksin Station is the perfect connecting point between urban and riverside zones, so if going by BTS or other public transport you’ll want to make this your destination for catching the Chao Phraya Express Boat. Arriving on BTS, take Exit 2 and it’s a quick walk to the pier where the Chao Phraya Express Boats, which you’ll recognize by their orange flags, dock. Fare is 15 baht per person.
Going by private car? There’s a parking lot close by the BTS Saphan Taksin, next to Wat Yannawa at the end of Charoen Krung Soi 52, a very convenient walk to the Express Boat. From 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. the charge is 60 baht per day; every hour after 5 p.m. costs an additional 10 baht.
The East Asia Building
We recommend taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat from Taksin Station and getting off at Oriental Pier (Tha Oriental). Just a short walk from there brings you to the beautiful Renaissance Revival architecture of that venerable old building.
It’s less convenient to drive your car here, as the East Asia Building has no parking lot. Leaving the car at the Soi Charoenkrung 52 lot and going by boat is a much better idea.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
This is quite close to the first destination, so if your plan is to admire the fantastic art work at the East Asia Building, you should stop by the Oriental as well.
Taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat, get off at the Oriental Pier just as for the East Asia Building. The Mandarin Oriental also has its own boats that can be hired for pickup and drop-off.
Parking? The Oriental’s parking garage is free for guests only, so those using it for convenient access to the art show have to pay the Hotel’s standard service charge. Remember, it has limited space, and so might be full.
An old trade center and a fixture in the Phra Nakhon locality since 1908, O.P Place is one more BAB art venue that’s accessible by Chao Phraya Express Boat and the Oriental Pier. You’ll find it by walking just 270 meters from Tha Oriental, and, of course, it’s convenient to the BAB exhibitions at the Mandarin Oriental and the East Asia building.
O.P. Place has a parking lot which is free for three hours with a parking ticket stamped by one of the shops, services, or restaurants in the trade center. Without a stamp it is 200 baht per hour.
The Peninsula Bangkok
With the Express Boat, again you get off at the Oriental Pier. This time, since the Peninsula Hotel is on the opposite bank, you should take the free boat service between the Mandarin Oriental and the Peninsula.
For those of our readers who must take your own cars, the Peninsula Hotel provides free parking for art lovers. Simply tell the parking official that you’ve come for the BAB art fair, and there’s no charge. We’re keeping this a bit on the Q.T., because the BAB fair lasts a full 4 months and we anticipate that this special service may change before long.
Wat Prayurawongsawas Warawihan
This is one of the three temple locations chosen for BAB art exhibitions: take the Express Boat to the Memorial Bridge/Saphan Phut Pier and it’s right across the bridge, a short pleasant walk with some great river views.
For the automobile-bound, Wat Prayurawongsawas Warawihan has its own parking lot, free for pilgrims and worshippers. Others need to pay 20 baht per hour, but we have no information for our readers on parking there specifically for Bangkok Art Biennale viewing.
Very close by, on the Chao Phraya riverside, there is also the Municipal Sanitation Officials’ parking lot, or on Thesakit Soi 1, where there’s free public parking but it’s rather limited, so a bit chancy. Cars may also be left at Wat Kallayanamitr Woramahawiharan (Wat Kanlayanamit): to get to BAB from there you’ll have to walk through the Kudeejeen District.
Another choice would be to drop the car at the Pak Klong Market parking lot behind Yodpiman River Walk. There’s an automatic system here which can hold as many as 360 cars. Service charge for 4 hours is 40 baht, and it’s open 24 hours. From there you’ll have to cut through to the Chao Phraya and cross Memorial Bridge to reach Wat Prayurawongsawas Warawihan. It’s a bit of a hike, but definitely a secure and easy place to leave your car.
Phra Chetupon Vimol Mongkolam (Wat Pho)
Coming from Wat Prayurawongsawas Warawihan you’ll have to cross back over and catch the Chao Phraya Express Boat at either Memorial Bridge/Saphan Phut or Yodpiman Pier, and go to the Wat Arun/Tha Tian Pier, where there is also a boat crossing to the next destination of Wat Arun.
To go straight to Wat Pho by private car, there’s the “Soi by Wat Pho” parking lot at the Chetuphon Street fork, which charges 20 baht per hour, but there’s so little space there you won’t be able to count on it, so make sure you have a backup plan.
Nearby is also the Tha Maharaj Pier parking lot, but this also has limited space and is always full. There’s sometimes also parking at the Navy Club, if there is no event scheduled there.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan
When you’ve viewed the art work at Wat Pho to your heart’s content, take the boat back across the river to Wat Arun.
Driving in on Arun Amarin Road, it’s pretty hard to find parking by Wat Arun. It’s common to park on the side of the soi by the Temple (Soi Wang Derm), but we don’t recommend it because 1) space is limited, and 2) it’s not very safe. Our suggestion is to leave the car elsewhere, e.g. back at the Pak Klong Market, Soi by Wat Pho, or the Navy Club, and just take the Chao Phraya Express Boat and/or a boat that crosses to the other side.
Bank of Thailand Learning Center
Going by Chao Phraya Express Boat, we recommend getting off at Thewet Pier.
If bringing your car here, just use the Bank of Thailand Learning Center parking lot. The Learning Center has free parking for 4 hours with a stamped parking ticket. If you’re staying longer, or don’t get your ticket stamped, it’s 20 baht per hour.
This is just a rough plan for readers interested in visiting the Chao Phraya River Zone exhibitions of Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, an international festival of contemporary art held from October 19, 2018 until February 3, 2019 at 20 important Bangkok locations.