Featuring 73 artists from 35 countries, and over 200 artworks exhibited in 12 different venues, the third edition of the prestigious Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) promises to be a groundbreaking event.
The curatorial team behind the Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) 2022 epitomises the Eurasian dialogue that this art event has established since its inception. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of BAB, Jirat Ratthanawongjirakul, Director of Gallery VER, and Chomwan Weeraworawit, Founder of Mysterious Ordinary, this illustrious team includes Italian curator Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani and British art consultant Nigel Hurst. Add to that Mori Art Museum Director Mami Kataoka, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Curator Alexandra Monroe, among other international advisors, and the whole organigramme of the biennale becomes a blend of East and West.
Supported by ThaiBev, along with other private sponsors, BAB 2022 will start on October 22, and continue for four months. Entitled ‘CHAOS : CALM’, this year’s biennale completes the two previous editions – ‘Beyond Bliss’ (2018) and ‘Escape Routes’ (2020) – as a trilogy to showcase an artistic assessment of our contemporary era; between apocalypse and redemption.
The 2022 biennale should benefit from an increased budget (200 million Baht), as well as closer institutional partnerships with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). In addition to its usual venues, the renovated Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) will become its new gravity centre, displaying about half of the artworks over a space of 2,000 square metres. BAB Virtual Venue, an online platform featuring digital artworks, completes the 11 physical venues, while allowing art enthusiasts from all over the world to participate virtually in the event.
Shown at the QSNCC, the work of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) stands as one of the main highlights of this year’s biennale. In partnership with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York, BAB will display iconic images from the American photographer, who’s most known for his sexual symbolism and formalist style. Endorsing and challenging simultaneously classical aesthetics, Mapplethorpe’s trailblazing work should unleash the inner tension contained in the biennale’s title: from “chaos” for his unapologetic rawness and controversial iconography, to the “calm” of his technical mastery and artistic sublimation.