By PHATARAWADEE PHATARANAWIK
The Culture Ministry and Krabi province will spend Bt40 million to bring more than 60 international and Thai artists to create outdoor contemporary artworks harmonised with the beach city’s setting.
“The Culture Ministry’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture is gearing up to implement the national policy of Thailand 4.0 by adding value to the famous tourist destination Krabi with the contemporary art biennale,” said Culture Ministry Vira Rojpojchanarat.
Thailand Biennale 2018 will be held from November 2, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
The Culture Ministry has commissioned Chinese curator Jiang Jiehong to select artists to explore the theme of “Edge of the Wonderland”.
“Thailand Biennale, Krabi 2018 is not curated to present traditional forms of artwork, but rather, it encourage creative strategies and innovative practices for site-specific installations beyond the venues of art museums and galleries. The ‘spaces’ of this Biennale … are blessed among many sites of natural beauty,” said curator Jiehong at a press conference yesterday.
The organisers invited a group of 30 artists to the city for the first site visit to allow them to research potential projects.
The locations included areas of natural, historical and cultural significance such as Hat Nopparat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi Island, Than Bol Khorani National Park and other public places in and around the town.
Krabi Governor Pol Lt-Colonel Kitibodee Pravitra said Krabi had a lot of potential to host an international art festival.
“The province has plenty of beautiful natural resources. Known as the ‘art city’, the town is filled with a variety of art. It’s easy to access with comfortable transportation especially by plane with 48 flights jetting into town per day. These include local, international and charter flights carrying 36,000 visitors per day. Last but not least, the city is safe and our people are so kind and hospitable,” Kitibodee said.
Vira said the biennale was intended to boost both the local art scene and tourism by introducing Thailand as a global art destination. After Krabi, the biennale will be hosted by other “art cities” such as Chiang Rai and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Bangkok will also host the first Bangkok Art Biennale 2019 (BAB) during the same peak tourism period.
Professor Apinan Poshayananda, artistic director of the Bangkok Art Biennale, will announce at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre today some of the artists who will participate.
While Thailand Biennale is co-hosted by the government, Bangkok Art Biennale is mainly funded by the private sector.
ThaiBev and Bangkok shopping centres including Siam Discovery, Siam Centre, Siam Paragon and EmQuartier are spending Bt150 million for this first biennale, with plans to hold the event three consecutive times. The BAB is parts of the “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” campaign conducted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
More than 70 international and Thai artists will show their works at the art centre, galleries and department stores along with unconventional art spaces such as Lumpini Park, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Wat Prayoon.