The Top 10 Attractions at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

Yayoi Kusama is one of the artists who will feature at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Yayoi Kusama is one of the artists who will feature at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 | © Susanne Nilsson / Flickr
Sarah Williams

The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 will be held between the 19th of October 2018 and the 3rd of February 2019. Coming together to showcase works related to the theme of ‘Beyond Bliss’, there will be 75 artists from more than 30 countries around the world. The contemporary pieces will be exhibited at a range of sites around the city.

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‘Beyond Bliss’: What does it mean?

The theme for the contemporary art exhibition is ‘Beyond Bliss’. Bliss, or a state of immense joy or happiness, is temporary. Today, various factors work to reduce bliss in the world, including environmental concerns, political tensions, and sickness. The artists at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 will provide their commentaries and interpretations on the lack of bliss across the planet. The exhibitions will also look at what makes people happy, from the small everyday things that put a smile on someone’s face to larger global issues. Art displays will be held along the Chao Phraya River as well as at several historic and cultural sites. Among the artists, some are known for particularly impressive displays.

Is this baby in bliss?

Performance art

Marina Abramovic, from former Yugoslavia, is renowned for her performance art. Her performance art at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 is sure to be interesting, and she will be inviting selected artists to perform with her throughout the event.

Performance art by Marina Abramović

Thai-Laotian murals

Sang Sinxay is a group of artists from Laos and Northeast Thailand. There are many similarities between the two areas, including a belief in a legend after which their group is named; Sang Sinxay is also the name of a Laotian epic poem. Together, the artists will create thought-provoking and attractive murals across the City of Angels.

East Asiatic Company

The East Asiatic Company building is a historic building alongside the river. Artwork here will show the relationships over the years between Thailand and Europe. Thai artists will produce a short film that compares Bangkok and the Danish capital of Copenhagen, with a focus on how each city has developed on the back of its waterways. Other pieces will highlight cross-continental intercultural links.

The East Asiatic Company building in Bangkok


Set to take place primarily at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, BAB TALK will allow members of the public listen to eminent speakers from the world of art. Covering different topics that are related to the overall theme and art in general, the talks will certainly be stimulating and enlightening.


Several featured artists are known for their large and interesting art installations. Elmgreen and Dragset, from Denmark and Norway, are celebrated for their innovation and unusual installation art. They often produce thought-provoking pieces at art festivals around the world. Huang Yong Ping from China is also famous for his art installations, with one of the most memorable being a piece called Empires that appeared in Paris.

A previous installation by Elmgreen and Dragset

Thai-Muslim art

Bringing the struggles, hopes, and everyday lives of Thailand’s troubled southern provinces to Bangkok, the Muslimah is a collective of female artists from Southern Thailand’s provinces of Songkhla, Pattani, and Narathiwat. Their pieces will offer a fascinating window into this part of Thailand and the lives of the minority group that calls the area home.

Pop art

Pop art will be displayed at several sites. Japan’s Yayoi Kusama, famous for her polka-dot designs, is now a major name on the New York pop-art scene. Also from Japan, Yoshitomo Nara is another big name in pop art that will appear at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018.

Art by Yoshitomo Nara

Recycled items

Korea’s Choi Jeong Hwa often uses recycled waste items to produce artistic conversation pieces. His art is often large scale too. Previously, the artist covered the whole surface of Seoul’s Olympic Stadium with plastic bottle, creating both an unusual sight and sparking conversations about waste, recycling, the planet, pollution, and consumption. It will be interesting to see what building(s) will be transformed during Bangkok’s art event.

The Jam Factory

Located in Khlong San, close to Sala Daeng BTS station, The Jam Factory is a multi-purpuse space in Bangkok that attracts creatives, hipsters, youthful people, families, and others looking for a place to hangout that’s a bit different from the norm. With an industrial vibe, the former factory building has huge glass walls and lots of metal, along with a large grassy area outside. It boasts a restaurant, bookshop-cum-café, household goods store, and more. It is one of Bangkok’s modern art-focused leisure spots that will host displays throughout The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018.

Inside The Jam Factory, Bangkok

Historic temples

Three of Bangkok’s ancient temples have been listed to host displays and events during the forthcoming art festival. Wat Pho, famous for its large reclining Buddha statue, and the riverside Wat Arun, which is also known as the Temple of the Dawn, are already popular tourist sites. For several months, visitors will also be able to appreciate art as well as history, architecture, and culture. Wat Prayoon, also known as the Temple of the Iron Fence, is a smaller and lesser-visited temple that will host exhibitions and art events.

Wat Pho is already filled with artistic elements

From paintings, sculptures, and photography to dance, poetry, and video art, the attractions at The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 will be diverse.

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