Art in the city

Bangkok's newest galleries and exhibitions

As malls come up like mushrooms across the city, many of us can't help but wish for a similar explosion of thought-provoking and creative art spaces. Fear not, a handful of new galleries unveiled themselves recently, each with its own unique characteristics and different focus areas in the arts. Here's where to find them.


Moda

(Museum of Digital Art)

Moda, Thailand's first Museum of Digital Art, has been opened at River City Bangkok and will have an overload of digitally programmed artwork. The museum aims at providing a world of multidimensional interactive art. However, this isn't the first immersive multimedia exhibition River City Bangkok has organised. It has had several exhibitions since 2018, starting with "Up the River During Qingming", in collaboration with the National Palace Museum of Taiwan, followed by "From Monet to Kandinsky" in April last year and the "Italian Renaissance" in August last year, after which Moda was opened.

The museum has been separated into three zones: Moda Gallery for immersive exhibitions, Moda Space, which is a 3D virtual exhibition room, and Moda VR Studio, where visitors wear video screens and headsets to be transported to another reality.

Earlier this January, Moda made its debut with "Something Nouveau", a multimedia exhibition in celebration of Art Nouveau, the artistic movement that flourished between 1890-1910. The exhibition features a large multimedia room with a projector that displays works by legendary artists like Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley. This is supplemented by interactive digital installations and immersive 3D state-of-the-art technology, to enhance the virtual digital experience. There will also be film screenings (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Midnight In Paris and Shutter Island) on rotation throughout the event. The exhibition will take place until April 16.

Open daily 10am-8pm / Charoen Krung 24 / Call 02-237-0077, visit rivercitybangkok.com.

ATT 19

A 120-year-old building in Charoen Krung creative alley is home to ATT 19, a creative mixed-use compound that combines the arts, fashion and lifestyle. The building was a Chinese school called Arthorn Suksa, which has been transformed into an independent arts space, with the first floor being a retail area that displays a wide array of antiques, designer clothing and handmade goods, such as vintage ornaments and Japanese ware.

Head upstairs and you'll find a sun-filled space with various exhibitions focusing on contemporary and multidisciplinary arts, that are refreshed every one or two months.

The current exhibition, on until Feb 29, is "Survival Of Craft", is about furniture design from 1989-2020 by Suwan Kongkhunthian (founder of the furniture manufacturing company, Yothaka).

Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm / Charoen Krung 30 / Call 02-639-5871, visit fb.com/ATT19.BKK.

JWD Art Space

JWD Art Space is one of the very first art logistics businesses in Thailand to offer a full range of fine arts services, from transporting complicated installations to storing items in highly secured and protected spaces. Founded in 1979, the JWD Group started off as a general logistics business, specialising in document storing and relocating homes and offices. In recent years, it has moved into the fine arts space in the form of JWD Art Space. This company strives to be the most trusted art storage service provider for private collectors, museums and art institutes across the country.

JWD Art Space also displays art. Its debut exhibition, unveiled in November last year, is on display until Feb 29 and displays a considerable collection of historical artefacts, modern artworks and conversation-starting pieces from 22 private collectors in Thailand, under the theme, "In Search Of Other Times: Reminiscence Of Things Collected".

Another interesting exhibition is the "Character Me", an art project that shines a light on bronze sculptures crafted by 10 Thai artists, including Jitsing Somboon, Maythee Noijinda and Yuree Kensaku. The exhibition takes place until Feb 29.

Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm / Charas Muang Road / Call 02-710-4060, visit www.jwd-artspace.com.

Bangkok 1899

After being left unoccupied for about 13 years, this historic home built in 1899 (the former residence of Chao Phraya Thammasakmontri aka The Father Of Modern Education) has given up its space for non-commercial use. It now functions as a cultural-civic hub and a residency for artists via a project that's run by Creative Migration, with support of The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund and the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). The house is open for various events, workshops and art exhibitions, which change every month.

Visitors can also enjoy contemporary dance performances like the Landlocked, a collaborative dance piece by Jay Carlon, Bangkok City Ballet and DD Flection, to be held on Feb 8 and 9. Tickets are available at bit.ly/38s9fAx.

Open Tue-Sun 11am-9.30pm / Nakhon Sawan Road / Call 02-085-6669, visit bangkok1899.org.

Tang Contemporary Art

This newcomer to the arts & antiques hub of River City Bangkok is not new to the Bangkok's arts scene. It has had a presence in Bangkok since 1997 and has recently taken over 420m² of gallery space at River City and shines a spotlight on contemporary Chinese art, through dynamic and pioneering exhibitions -- mostly by China-based artists but also a few Southeast Asians. The gallery's past work includes collaborations with renowned Chinese artists like Liu Xiaodong, Ai Weiwei and Huang Yongping.

The latest exhibition will be held from Feb 12 to Mar 21 and is a solo exhibition of Roldan Manok Ventura, a Filipino visual artist whose works involve recreating European age-old paintings according to his interpretation and perspective.

Open Tue-Sun 11am-7pm / River City Bangkok, Charoen Krung 24 / Call 02-085-6669, visit www.tangcontemporary.com.


ART EXHIBITIONS TO SEE

Galleries Night Bangkok 2020

Every year, more than 70 galleries in Bangkok come together to encourage hip, young crowds and art connoisseurs to gallery-hop through an array of exhibitions at nightfall. This year, the event will take place on two nights. Each night sees exhibitions grouped into three areas: Silom, Sathon and Riverside on Feb 14 and Ari, Pathumwan and Sukhumvit on Feb 15. To tie in with St Valentine's Day, the two-day exhibition runs under the cloying theme "Love Is In The Art". Expect serious art with exclusive exhibitions, special projects and musical performances by 250 artists from Thailand and across the world. The event is from 5pm to midnight.

The event provides free tuk-tuk rides from one gallery to another and the entire event is free!

Visit fb.com/galleriesnight.

Bangkok Art Biennale

Bangkok Art Biennale, which kicks off in October and lasts until February 2021, will focus on art and sustainable development. This year's exhibitions are under the theme "Escape Routes", featuring art that deals with the uncertainties of natural disasters, climate change, the government politics related to them and so on.

The recently announced artist line-up sees big names such as Anish Kapoor from the UK, Bill Viola from the US, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Nipan Oranniwesna from Thailand, as well as renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic. Plus there will be other talented artists joining from around the world, selected by BAB through an open application process.

Visit www.bkkartbiennale.com

All Things Left Behind

Explore the idea of time and how its passing affects objects, structures and landscapes, through striking images captured by the lens of Carolina Sandretto, an Italian who has journeyed through Cuba, Svalbard and Antarctica to produce this work.

Sandretto's photographs play the role of narrators, illuminating traces and objects that humans have left behind, and their memories. It is a unique opportunity to look at what happens to places long after we leave them. The exhibition is on display until Mar 30 at River City Bangkok. Entry is free.

Visit rivercitybangkok.com.