Art show out of the shadows

Nestled on the ground floor of a condominium complex in Pathum Thani, Condo Art Space is among newly opened venues for the production and exhibition of contemporary art in the greater Bangkok area. Just in time for the Bangkok Biennial, of which it is a pavilion, the apartment-turned-studio-turned-gallery was founded by four fine arts students at Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi between the ages of 21 and 26.

1000 degrees. Photo courtesy of Condo Art Space

Worawut Changthong, Thanathep Noyrod, Apiwat Yokyong and Chutiphong Peajier first rented the condominium as a production space, which they could use to create new works in the context of their university studies. "Quickly, we realised that we didn't necessarily have to wait until we complete our degree and obtain a diploma to start holding exhibitions," they say. "It's good practice. Some of us make art, others curate, write."

Three of the four students have interned at galleries in Bangkok's popular "art hub" on Soi Narathiwas 22, at Gallery VER and Tentacles, where they were in contact with various forms of contemporary art. No longer wishing to be confined to one discipline -- all four students major in painting -- they explore new mediums, from installation art to photography and film, inviting young artists from other universities or graduates to take part in the exhibition or in talks held at the space. "Our goal is to create a community for young artists, where each and everyone can share their works as well as professional experiences."

Last Saturday, they opened a new group show titled "1000 Degrees Celsius" as part of the Bangkok Biennial. The mixed-media installation includes works by Virinsire Chomchey, Atipat Pooksrisuk, Suthathip Uppasuk and Bontika Pokpong and runs for the entire length of the Biennial -- until September.

Both in a physical and metaphorical sense, the works explore Thailand's boiling temperature as well as citizens' preference to stand under the towering shadow of surrounding trees or buildings rather than out in the sun.

Having received praise from Thai artists as well as mixed reactions from faculty members, the Condo Art Space founders hope to follow the path of other popular artist-run spaces in Bangkok and engage with the local community in Pathum Thani, which isn't often exposed to contemporary art but has expressed interest in the project.

Condo Art Space is located at SP CONDO, Village No.1, Khlong Hok, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani. 1000 Degrees Celsius is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4pm to 8pm.