Art event focuses on ‘Escape routes’

BANGKOK, 14 November 2019: The 2nd Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB 2020) returns 10 October 2020 through to 21 February 2021.

It will follow on from the critically acclaimed inaugural edition hosted in 2018 that attracted more than 2 million visitors from around the world.

BAB 2020 confirmed this week the curatorial team and the event’s theme; ‘Escape Routes’.

The event is organised by the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, in collaboration of Thai Beverage Company Limited (ThaiBev) and other sponsors from both the public and private sectors.

Prof Dr Apinan Poshyanada, chief executive and artistic director, said the theme “Escape Routes” addresses the fact that “millions of people wake up to realise that they are facing inescapable situations trapped in a dilemma.

“The fantasy paradise of a land of plenty where wine, milk and honey flowed as people partied, sunbathed and slept around as an escape from earthly suffering has turned bitter and sour.”

Yet he talked of how technology has developed miraculously to the point that miracles seem normal. “In one way or another, artists create ‘escape routes’ to make us aware of the paths of sufficiency, sustainability and inclusivity.”

Led by Prof Dr Apinan Poshyananda, the curatorial team consists of Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, senior curator, international Aat (Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational) at Tate Modern, UK; Dow Wasiksiri, president, the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand; Asst Prof Wutigorn Kongka, assistant professor, King’s Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Faculty of Architecture, Fine Art Department; Ong Puay Khim, former deputy director, curatorial programmes at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Also, the event can call on international advisors such as the performance artist Marina Abramović and acclaimed curators and art historians, Fumio Nanjo, Alexandra Munroe and David Elliott.

“When I presented my work at the first edition of BAB, I also spent three weeks in Bangkok, living with the people, understanding their way of life. It is an honour to be part of the advisory team for this next edition. Under the theme ‘Escape Routes’, we, artists, will become a mirror for the audience; our work will become a ‘case study’ for society,” Marina Abramović said.

The event has the backing of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited president and CEO, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi.

Commenting on the project, he said: “Arts and culture promotion is one of our company’s core missions which will share the Thai talent to the international stage.”

During its four months, BAB2018 boosted economy and tourism in Thailand by generating an estimated THB8,000 million in tourist receipts with over 2 million visitors including domestic and international tourists joining the event.

Artists confirmed for BAB2020

1. Anish Kapoor, UK

2. Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Thailand

3. Bill Viola, USA

4. Julia Fullerton-Batten, Germany

5. Leandro Erlich, Argentina

6. Melati Suryodarmo, Indonesia

7. Dinh Q. Le, Vietnam

8. Rirkrit Tiravanija, Thailand

9. Lu Yang, China

10. Zhang Kechun, China

11. Nipan Oranniwesna, Thailand

12. Ana Prvački, Serbia

13.Thanet Aowsinsiri, Thailand

14. Baatarzorig Batjargal, Mongolia

15. Yuree Kensaku, Thailand

16. Ho Rui An, Singapore

The inaugural edition broke boundaries by presenting contemporary works in historical and religious sites in Thailand.

Following the success and positive responses from visitors and monks, the second edition will once again take place at Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan (Temple of Dawn), Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihan (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawihan (Temple of Iron Fences),

Also, other venues around the city, include BAB Box @One Bangkok, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), Museum Siam, Lhong 1919 and leading Department Stores.

 An open invitation to artists worldwide has also been extended since mid-year offering them an opportunity to be part of BAB 2020.

Open call application is now available until 25 December 2019, download application at

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