Artistic nature at BACC

Hailed as the first large-scale exhibition of art brut in Southeast Asia, "Thailand And Japan Art Brut: Figure Of Unknown Beauty" will take place at the Main Gallery, 8th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Pathumwan intersection, from Friday until Nov 3. The opening reception is today at 6pm.

photo courtesy of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

Also known as outsider art, "art brut" is a term coined by French artist Jean Dubuffet in 1945 to describe works made by those outside the academic tradition of fine art. It roughly translates as "raw art".

Art brut serves as an important creative outlet, exposing hidden dialogues while giving art a naive, raw, free form, as envisioned by artists uninhibited by the strictures of art school and established traditions. It is especially valuable among groups that are traditionally isolated socially and culturally, including the disabled, prisoners and senior citizens.

These outsider artists employ creativity and express it for personal purposes. They do not consider themselves artists and neither do they designate their productions as art.

The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures, ceramics and photographs from 51 Thai and Japanese artists. The works are divided into five categories.

The first category highlights how expression naturally springs forth from the inside; the second looks at works made from materials found in everyday life; the third focuses on how the artists' desires became sources of creation; the fourth looks behind the scenes of production; and the last showcases collaborative works by contemporary artists and art brut artists.

There will be many activities held as part of the exhibition. The "Salsa Gum Tape & Zuiho Taiko" performance takes place in front of the art centre on Saturday and Sunday from 4.15pm; there will be a screening of the documentary Creations From The Obscure along with a talk with its executive producer Nozomu Makino on Aug 2 at 6.30pm; a curator tour by Suebsang Sangwachirapiban (Thailand) and Seina Kimoto (Japan) will be held on Aug 3 at 2pm; and an international forum on "Art Activities Of Disabled People In Asia" takes place on Oct 18 and 19, 10am-4pm.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs and the International Exchange Program Executive Committee for Disabled People's Culture and Arts and Thailand's Rainbow Room Foundation.

Visit or call 02-214-6630--8 ext 531.