Rise of street art in Bangkok

Rise of street art in Bangkok

Bangkok street artists, once rejected, now show their work in art shows, get commissions to paint hotel interiors & do brand name product designs.

Street artist Bon and his crew in their studio, wearing masks.


Bangkok City as a canvas

As underground art starts to surface, it has become a colourful trend


Adapted from Pornchai Sereemongkonpol's article in Guru found here .

Over the past six years, street art has communicated more and more with people who live in the city and provinces through its colourful appearance and characters. People now can find street art at malls, galleries and online locations as well as on brands and products. Hotels and restaurants have employed street artists to adorn their interiors while some companies have hired street artists to use their designs in products.

On Jun 12, a noted Thai street artist Danaiphat Lersputtitrakan, better known as Bon, will have his first solo exhibition after prolifically spraying his works both in and out of the country.  Following successful shows by other Thai street artists, Bon Solo Show 2014 will take place at Soy Sauce Factory [Charoen Krung Soi 24, 092-115-8696] from Jun 12-18. 

Born in 1982, Ball took “Bon” as his street moniker and as a teen when hip hop culture was first introduced in Thailand, Bon became fascinated by different aspects of it, especially graffiti. While studying painting at a fine arts faculty, he started spraying his graffiti fonts on the street... (continued after picture) 

“On the first night, I was so scared, fearing that the police would come after me or people passing by wouldn’t understand what I was trying to do,” he recalls. “I eventually realised doing tags all over the place wasn’t for me. I wanted to create works that can communicate with people more.”

He also wanted to show his works but then remembered the hassle that comes with putting together a show. “I came to the conclusion that I can finish 10 walls for hundreds of viewers at the same cost as one show that is seen by a smaller group of people,” he says. (continued after picture) 

A decade and hundreds of spray cans later, Bon has developed distinct human and animal characters that you may have seen in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket. ...Besides the colourful and quirky appearances of the characters he creates, Bon also tries to sell serious messages about our society and its changing culture.

For example, his masked characters represent our effort to project an image about ourselves we want others to see. He explains, “Tribesmen wear accessories or paint to distinguish themselves. The difference is that today we take things out of our body or inject something into it.” (continued after picture) 

Some of his creations are also in protest to society’s status quo. He recalls, “I snuck into an abandoned government building site once. Columns, which were paid for by taxpayers’ money, just stood there. Millions of baht were wasted so I sprayed fishbones on them. The big guys always take the flesh and leave the bones to the ordinary people.” (continued after picture) 

Another signature of his is a Mickey Mouse skull sticker that came to him while he was ordained as a monk. Bon was reading about death and had a small epiphany. “Peace is possible. When we all realise that we are going to die one day then we see no need to harm others. It is such a cool idea so I combined a skull with the peace sign.” The mouse ears are for sugar-coating. (continued after picture) 

Street art has also taken over hotels.  The new Beat Hotel Bangkok (5/5 Sukhumvit Road [between Sukhumvit Sois 69and 69/1], 02-178-0077, www.beathotelbangkok.com) features rooms painted with street art. 

The Beatnik B&B boasts 54 bright rooms designed and furnished artfully by six of Bangkok’s best-loved urban artists, graphic designers and illustrators — Lolay, P7, Oh Futon, Jeep Kongdechakul, Suntur and the late Mamafaka. The lobby features a well-curated collection of modern art. (continued after photo) 

These art hotels are part of a new artsy neighbourhood ,the W District in Phra Kanong. The W District dedicates 12-rai to being  an urban art playground with an active art space, art bazaar, soon-to-open art residency and gallery.

Since you can’t take home a chunk of wall with images by your favourite street artist, we suggest buying products from URFACE (Suriyasai House, 2/F, Surawong Road, 02-637-1283, fb.com/urfacestore). Co-founded by the dearly-missed Mamafaka, the shop offers bags, wallets, iPhone cases and other accessories that feature cool designs by Mamafaka and P7 as well as other Thai artists. 


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  • abandoned (adj): left and no longer used - ร้าง, ที่ถูกละทิ้ง
  • adorn: to make something/somebody look more attractive by decorating it or them with something - ตกแต่ง, ประดับ
  • appearance: the way that somebody/something looks on the outside - ลักษณะภายนอก, การปรากฏตัว
  • aspect: one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc - ด้าน,มุม
  • boast (verb): to have something that is impressive and that you can be proud of -
  • bone (noun): the hard inner structure of the body - กระดูก
  • brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
  • canvas: a piece of canvas used for painting on; a painting done on a piece of canvas, using oil paints - ผ้าใบ
  • character (noun): a person, animal, cartoon figure in a book, play, film etc - ผู้สวมบทบาท, ตัวแสดง
  • column: a tall thick post used for supporting a roof or decorating a building - เสา
  • communicate (verb): to express thoughts, feelings, or information to another person or animal, for example by speaking or writing - สื่อสาร, ติดต่อสื่อสาร
  • conclusion: a final decision - การสรุป การตกลงขั้นสุดท้าย
  • creation: a thing that somebody has made, especially something that shows ability or imagination - ผลงานประดิษฐ์
  • crew (noun): a group of people who work together to do a job - กลุ่มคนที่ทำงานร่วมกัน
  • culture (noun): the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม
  • curate: to build a valuable collection (of art) with a good mixture of different types of work -
  • curator: a person in charge of a museum, library, etc. - ภัณฑารักษ์
  • decade: a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ
  • design (verb): to think of and plan a system, a way of doing something, etc - ออกแบบ, วางแผน, กำหนด
  • employ: to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it - ว่าจ้าง, จ้าง
  • epiphany: a moment when you suddenly realise or understand something important - การรู้แจ้ง
  • eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด
  • exhibition: a public show where art or other interesting things are put so that people can go and look at them - นิทรรศการ งานแสดง
  • faculty: a group of departments in a college or university which specialise in a particular subject or group of subjects - คณะ
  • fascinated (adj): very interested or attracted by someone or something - ติดใจ, ชอบอกชอบใจ, หลงใหล
  • fine arts (noun): art activities in which people create beautiful things to look at such as paintings and drawings - วิจิตรศิลป์, งานช่างศิลป์
  • flesh (noun): the skin of the human body - ผิวเนื้อของคน
  • furnish: to provide; to give someone something that they want or need - จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้
  • furnishings: the furniture, carpets, curtains, etc. in a room or house - เครื่องเรือน,เครื่องตกแต่งบ้าน
  • gallery (noun): a room or building for showing works of art or other items of interest, especially to the public - ห้องแสดงผลงานศิลปะ, ห้องแสดงผลงาน
  • graffiti: words or pictures drawn on walls in public places - การวาดภาพหรือเขียนบนกำแพงในที่สาธารณะ
  • graphic design (noun): the art of designing pictures and text for magazines, books, advertisements, etc; visual communication through skillful combination of text and pictures - การออกแบบเลขนศิลป์
  • guy (noun): (informal) an older boy; a man, a person - ตา, คนนั้น
  • harm (verb): to cause damage to someone/something - ทำร้าย, ทำอันตราย, ทำลาย
  • hassle (verb): to annoy somebody or cause them trouble, especially by asking them to do something many times รบกวน, ก่อกวน - รบกวน
  • hire: to pay someone to work for you - จ้าง
  • illustrator: a person who draws or paints pictures for books, etc. - ผู้วาดภาพประกอบในหนังสือหรือนิตยสาร
  • interior: the inside of something - ภายใน
  • lobby: a large area inside the entrance of a public building where people can meet and wait - ห้องโถง,ทางเข้า, ซุ้มประตู, ห้องรับรอง
  • location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
  • mask: something that you wear to cover part or all of your face in order to hide who you are, for protection or for decoration - หน้ากาก, เครื่องปิดหน้า
  • moniker: a name; a nickname - ชื่อหรือชื่อเล่น
  • noted: famous, well-known -
  • online: controlled by or connected to a computer or to the Internet - ออนไลน์, การเชื่อมต่อผ่านระบบเครือข่ายทางคอมพิวเตอร์
  • ordain: to officially make someone a monk or priest in a religious ceremony - บวช อุปสมบท
  • ordinary: not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ
  • prolific: productive; producing a lot of something, in this case, goals - มีผลมาก
  • prolifically: producing a lot of something - มีผลมาก
  • protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
  • province: one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด
  • realise (verb): to know about - ตระหนัก  รู้
  • recall: to remember - จำได้ นึกทบทวน
  • scare: to make someone feel frightened or worried - ทำให้กลัว
  • signature (adj): something special or unique about someone or something; a particular quality that makes something different from other similar things and makes it easy to recognise - สัญลักษณ์
  • skull : the bones of the head - กระโหลกศีรษะ
  • sneak (verb): (past: snuck) to go somewhere secretly, trying to avoid being seen - เดินหลบ,เดินลับ ๆ ล่อ ๆ
  • society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม
  • solo: done alone - กระทำเพียงคนเดียว, กระทำเพียงฝ่ายเดียว
  • spray (verb): to cover somebody/something with very small drops of a liquid that are forced out of a container or sent through the air - ฉีด, พ่น
  • studio: an artist's studio, where they paint, draw, sculpt and create art works -
  • successful (adjective): achieved the goals you wanted to achieve or made a lot of money - มีผลสำเร็จ, ประสบผลสำเร็จ, ประสบชัยชนะ
  • sugar-costing: sugar on top of something to make it sweet and nicer to eat or something added to make something nicer and more acceptable -
  • surface: to become known or seen - เป็นที่รู้, ปรากฏ, เปิดเผย
  • taxpayer (noun): ordinary people and businesses who pay money to the government as taxes - ผู้เสียภาษี, ผู้ชำระภาษี
  • trend: a new development in clothing, make-up, etc - แนวโน้ม
  • underground: operating secretly and often illegally - ใต้ดิน
  • urban: of or in a city or town - ในเมือง
  • waste: the failure to use something valuable in an effective way, so that it does not produce the benefits that it could - การสูญเสียไปโดยเปล่าประโยชน์
  • works: art works; works of art such as paintings, drawings or photography -
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