Thailand Biennale, art shows promoted as soft power

Thailand Biennale, art shows promoted as soft power

Chiang Rai art event expected to draw one million visitors by the time it ends in April

Members of the foreign diplomatic corps from 40 countries gather for a group photo in front of the Chiang Rai International Art Museum after a trip to Thailand Biennale Chiang Rai 2023, which will run until April 30. (Photo: Poramet Tangasathaporn)
Members of the foreign diplomatic corps from 40 countries gather for a group photo in front of the Chiang Rai International Art Museum after a trip to Thailand Biennale Chiang Rai 2023, which will run until April 30. (Photo: Poramet Tangasathaporn)

CHIANG RAI - The Ministry of Culture will promote art shows and similar events as a form of soft power to spur tourism and generate more income for people working in related industries.

Vice Minister Phonpoom Vipattipumiprates said the government would promote international art exhibitions like the Thailand Biennale, which opened in Chiang Rai on Dec 9 and will run until April 30, to add economic value to art and culture while inspiring the creativity of emerging artists.

The ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently organised a trip to the Thailand Biennale for diplomats from 40 countries. They also visited royal projects in Northern Thailand to learn about the sufficiency economy philosophy, Mr Phonpoom said.

The Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art initiated by the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture under the Ministry of Culture. The event in Chiang Rai is the third edition following the success of events in Krabi in 2018 and Nakhon Ratchasima in 2021.

The next biennale will be held in Phuket in 2025, Mr Phonpoom said, adding that it would be much bigger than this year’s.

He said that almost 500,000 people have visited the exhibition venues at the Thailand Biennale Chiang Rai so far. The ministry expects double this number by the time the event ends.

“Inviting ambassadors to visit art exhibitions will create economic value because they will inform their nationals, boosting the chance their people will visit our country,” Mr Phonpoom said.

“As such, international art events will create more jobs for Thais and help their communities grow. When the Thailand Biennale is organised in Phuket in the next two years, it could make twice as much revenue.”

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