bangkok part 2

artist-run, tentacles, cartel, n22

apparently here, angkrit was sharing about the upcoming show at artist-run gallery with a group of university students, but i thought they were in high school. I was a little surprised the students were still wearing uniforms at a tertiary level, but it also seemed they have relaxed rules about the lengths of skirts. angkrit said he went through university without wearing uniforms and it was not really necessary, but they wore it anyway, so I supposed it could be a kind of fashion statement. i did find a boutique later in the week at the scala theatre (more than four decades old, it is one of the two remaining classic movie houses in Bangkok) which specialised in customised school uniforms. you could find anything from skinny-fit to bell-bottom trousers, knee-length to extreme mini skirts, it was rather fascinating to discover the individualistic expression of youthful energies transformed into a viable commercial venture.

Artist-run is a gallery housed within a huge warehouse facility called n22, it is located nearest to the chong nonsi bts station and from there you can take the btr to get yourself within walking distance. in n22, apart from artist-run gallery there are a few other art spaces based within it, notably tentacles, gallery VER and cartel. Overall, n22 looked new as an establishment, i heard from angkrit it had been around for only two years or so. I encountered many young artists and practitioners during my few hours visit, it is perhaps where whoever is up and coming would hang out. 

tentacles has a communal working space, an exhibition area and an on-going artist-in-residence programme. I was told there were two singaporean young artists in residence during the time i was there, so it seemed their programme is gaining traction within the region into Singapore too. i loved the energy there, everyone was eager to show me around, but at the same time they were busy rearranging the space, something they had been working on for many days. then you have gallery ver which is an initiative by renowned artist rikrit tiravanija to give emerging artists a platform to present their works. i saw the paintings of Latthapon Korkiatarkul, who is based in bangkok, while i was visiting gallery ver. his paintings feel extremely delicate, while being ironic at the same time because he allows for traces of the hair of his brushes, dust and other contaminants to dwell on the surface of his paintings. he embraces and encases the moments of casualness, incidents and other oddities under thick clear varnish, layered tenderly, a kind of reverence to the simplicity of gestures.