Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 set to go ahead as planned


The 2nd edition of this city-wide artistic event will welcome international artists such as Anish Kapoor, Marina Abramović, Bill Viola, Andres Serrano and Yoko Ono.

The fate of the Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) 2020 has been confirmed and, barring unforeseen circumstances, will run as planned – from October 29, 2020 until January 31, 2021.

This will be the 2nd edition of the massive city-wide arts event, and the theme this year is “Escape Routes”. So far, 56 of the 82 selected artists have been revealed, including big names in the art world like Anish Kapoor, Marina Abramović, Bill Viola, Andres Serrano, Yoko Ono, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Leandro Erlich, Dinh Q. Lê, Lu Yang, Rachel Maclean, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsuk, Choy Ka Fai, Christian Jankowski, Elina Brotherus, Massimo Bartolini and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Meanwhile, the international advisory board for the 2020 edition includes David Stuart Elliott, Alexandra Munroe, Nanjo Fumio, Marina Abramović and Wang Chen.

The 2020 Biennale will welcome artists from 34 countries to Thailand, who will exhibit alongside 31 Thai artists, along with well-known figures from the local art scene such as Yuree Kensaku, Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew and Nipan Oranniwesna. The works will be shown in several venues, such as the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC), Museum Siam, BAB Box, The Parq, The Prelude and Lhong 1919. Other art installation venues include historic temples such as Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Wat Prayoon (each of these temples having been used during the inaugural 2018 edition of the BAB, which welcomed more than 2 million visitors during its 4 months of operation).

Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Managing Director and Artistic Director of the Bangkok Art Biennale, said: “In the grave and fragile world of the ‘new normal’ we live in, cracks are appearing everywhere. In recent months, we have been immersed in fear and despair over the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused unprecedented calamities and disruption around the world. The pandemic is a component of the desire to escape. Migration, unemployment, racism, discrimination, terrorism, pollution and climate change are pressing issues that drive the human desire to escape despair and despair. It brings out our overriding instinct as humans to react under repression and threat.

“We announced Escape Routes in November 2019,” he added, “at the premises of the“ old normal. ”Escape Routes is the theme that will challenge the issues arising from the current situation. With many occurrences international and biennial artistic events disrupted due to postponements and cancellations, art viewing has relied on digital and social media. The challenge now, however, is how to represent works of art physically as well as online. Escape from despair and unhappiness are our common goals, but the ways and means may differ. By experiencing art in the new era of pandemic and protests, art is a form of sympathy, of liberation and hope. We remain resilient in times of uncertainty and we will fight to keep our industry showing work. The world of the Biennale was once crowded. Now heavily entrenched, we present this show in a different context and will be one of the few [biennales] This year.”

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), added that “the return of the Bangkok Art Biennale, which showcases an exceptional range of internationally renowned artists, will bring together art enthusiasts from around the world to the world’s favorite destination for art and culture. Marking the country’s recovery after COVID-19, the inauguration of BAB 2020 will attest to Thailand’s proven capabilities and its willingness to welcome every traveler with a smile and safety. “

The second edition of the Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB 2020) is organized by the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, co-founded in 2017 by the CEO and President of ThaiBev, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi and the former Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Culture, the professor Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, the general manager and artistic director of BAB.

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