Arts & Entertainment

Bangkok Art Biennale brings chaos, calm to city of angels

By Nayara Batschke

Bangkok, Oct 22 (EFE).- The dichotomy between chaos and calm will set the tone for the Bangkok Art Biennale, which in its third edition seeks to revive one of the most vibrant cities in the world, after two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic “has pushed us to think that there is a lot of chaos but there is also calm (…). Between the two there are many possibilities and between those two extremes we can try to create new things, it is where artists can explore what is can find between chaos and calm,” said Loredana Pazzini, one of the curators of the event, which opened Saturday, in an interview with EFE.

Under the premise “Chaos : Calm,” the Bangkok Biennale returns to the city of angels after two years marked by widespread “uncertainties, fears and despair” with a scathing proposal to bring together apparently polar concepts and create bridges between the traditional and the modern, old and new and trauma and hope.

Likewise, it exposes the “circumstances and conditions” that lead human beings to oscillate between moments of chaos and calm, as well as the gaps that pass between the two points -precisely the key moments that allow the emergence of new narratives and a sea of possibilities.

The more than 200 works and 35 artists that make up the exhibition reflect the “turbulence, trauma and anguish” that expose human “fragility and weakness,” although they also provide viewers with “glitters of hope, perseverance and determination to recover and prosper,” according to organizers.

One of these artists is the Spaniard Alicia Framis, who with her work “Leave your fears here” – two stainless steel pyramids – intends the public to strip off their fears and leave behind once and for all for all the open wounds in recent years.

“The most important thing is that the papers remain inside those sculptures and they are not removed, that is, deep down the fears of many people are there,” she told EFE.

In addition to Framis, the exhibition includes both renowned names in world art, such as the Serbia’s Marina Abramovic, the Briton Antony Gormley or Thailand’s Montien Boonma and Aor Nopawan Sirivejkul, as well as some of the main referents of Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia’s Yee I-lann.

In the next three months, Thai capital will host more than 200 works of art distributed in a dozen places, ranging from temples to convention centers, through museums, shopping centers and cultural spaces.

The strategy of hosting the exhibition in various venues seeks not only to bring the public closer to art, but also to break stereotypes by mixing the contemporary with the classic and, in this way, highlight that, despite all the contrasts and ” chaos,” the opposites can coexist in “calm.”

Thus, works that use new technologies, such as the metaverse, come to life in some of the most traditional temples in Bangkok, such as Wat Pho or Wat Prayoon, while cockroaches invade the iconic Museum of Siam to exhibit “ambiguity” of those “disgusting but resilient” beings through the eyes of the Pakistani artist Tazeen Qayyum.

“Chaos and calm are a kind of episode that one follows the other” and express “how we respond to the challenges that we have to deal with in society every day”, the curator said. EFE


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