IT’S BANGKOK ART MODE

see what we found in #BKKDW2018

STORY ― THAMATOUCH S.
PHOTOGRAPHY ― MM

Q – The question is among the hundred-thousand of people’s journeys through Bangkok Talad Noi, What makes us to go there?

A – snap – snap – snap 

The latest Bangkok Design Week 2018 took place across 5 creative districts, such as Charoenkrung, Klong San, 22 Karakkadakhom Circle, Rama I, and Sukhumvit, the design week #BKKDW2018 itself explored the theme of  “the NEW-ist Vibes” by inviting the Thai creative and design community to share fresh and insightful visions of Bangkok. Consisting of 6 major pillars of experimental design to co-creation: creative district, showcase, symposium, business, art market, and creative programme. Among these hundred creative projects, we wrapped up and selected 5 exhibitions to be the best choices.

Bangkok Inspires: Fashion – Art by BFS (Bangkok Fashion Society)
Venue: Stair Hall, 1st – 2nd Floor, Grand Postal Office

Seeing the exhibition roughly and briefly for the first time, it was like a traditional fashion showcase, surrounding by beautiful gowns on the group of mannequins. But when we contemplate on the finer details of this exhibition.It’s strongly raise Thai designers society’s voices over a vision of Bangkok. From the spectacular Siamese twins shirt designed by menswear brand Painkiller – Bangkok in a vivid orange-to-yellow graphic, parallel with bright blue tone illustrating a magic island from ancient Thai literature on the other side – to fuchsia gown wrapped with laundry plastic bag, screened with the word in social media or popular BNK48 lyrics, by Vickteerut. Plus with T and t’s  folksong spirit representing in neon tulles decorated on plastic chairs.

“Our style may differ but we share the same common goal… to see Thai fashion grow with grace, creativity, quality, and recognition by the world.” Said by the BFS.

Waste Side Story Pavilion by PTTGC 
Venue: Front Square, Grand Postal Office

Unlike the success of the legendary American musical film, “West Side Story,” that it was named after, the project played on word with a monophonic trick. Waste Side Story could be the big part for this Design Week, and not just only for its gigantic scale. The rusty red 180 m2 pavilion, bold, sharp yet modern structure located in front of the Grand Postal Office incredibly made of recycled plastic by Cloud-Floor. The exhibition raised the progression in order to find solutions to deal with plastic waste through creativities. Examples are the up-cycling clothes, synthetic textile mixed with plastic and cotton, polymer chandelier, SawBreaker guitar, biodegradable Benjarong cup, and Respawn mini factory that can reform used plastic into new shape.

Sounds good! But one big problem was the installation that seems like an old school world’s fair exhibition in 19th century, this made a little bit dry and savourless for 2018

Taste Test : The new way to eat 
Venue: Basement Hall, Grand Postal Office

Food has always been the main factor in human requisites, evolving in parallel with our lives since the very beginning. Different races have different tastes, from dining cuisines to local dishes. This exhibition was put together by the group of designers and scientists, cooperated to search the possibilities for food consumption. 3 highlight exhibitions were “What a water” by food scientist P. Yasurin turned the water into unexpected taste of northern Thai street food. You can mix 2 – 3 drops of water to make your own favourite Thai recipe like Som Tum or Lab. Another mini laboratory “Eat Art” played with the pigments that made of locally natural materials. It’s quite interesting that we can make special colours like mauve purple with sweet pea and roasted coconut shell or tangerine with turmeric. And The last “Precent Ice-Tim” brought traditional ice-cream through scientific process, created 7 new tastes and colours that incorporate your present mood and emotion. These 3 exhibitions played and improved the experiences of touch and taste that simply encountered in our daily life.

Design Plant 
Venue: Warehouse of No.1 House

Design Plant represented works of designers whose individually interested in many dimensions of Bangkok. Even if the exhibition was not well-known by its location and tiny scale, but this could hardly be concluded that it was not success! The exhibition gathered many creative graphic designs and products that re-defined the meaning of modern Thai. Papercraft inspired from the iron balustrade, Plastic chair covered by black velvet texture and decorated with yellow bees or “Bangkok Throne” from Mahasamut Studio, adapted the iron throne from the famous series Game of Thrones to hand  crafted wooden chair to raise ironic statement “Winter is coming…” with our upcoming election and political situation. These possible results of this exhibition was a big beginning step of an attempt to record a small piece of design history that is inspired from this capital city.

The Wall 
Venue: Talad Noi Community

The most famous exhibition in #BKKDW2018 was established by the group of leading lighting designers in Thailand. The works located in historical site AKA Talad Noi Community in Chinatown. 10 hidden lighting installations decorated around the opening space, from red fortune auto-machine in old Chinese temple to hide-and-seek fluorescent wall that unveiled with the blue flashlight. Or the beautiful yet exotic scenario at Chinese villa – So Heng Tai – the brightest full moon rose behind the main gate. Contrasted with a pair of raising red lanterns and the notable blue light on the wall, while the mirror-like floor reflected the shy moonlight above.

The phenomena at this community was over-expected and could be a representative of whole Design Week event by people and social influencer. But Why? The vital reason was because the exhibition adapted the history and identity of community wisely. Not just installed their works on the surface of space but they actually cooperated with the people who live their life in this area. The works were strongly represented daily life and cultural beliefs of people in community. It is beyond art or design, but light and life itself was unveiled.