Thai contemporary art

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Thailands contemporary art encompasses some of the most diverse and versatile art in Southeast Asia. Thailand is well positioned in the global world of contemporary art with its international and liberal outlook and almost lack of censorship, which plague many countries in the region. Modern painting in the western sense started late in Thailand, with Professor Silpa Bhirasri and the establishment of Silpakorn University, but Thai artists are now expressing themselves in a variety of media such as installations, photographs, prints, video art and performance art.

Contemporary Thai art often combines traditional Thai elements with modern techniques. Notable artists in the classical tradition include Chakrapan Posayakrit, Chalermchai Kositpipat and Tawan Dachanee.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Vasan Sitthiket, Montien Boonma and others have represented Thailand at the Venice Biennale. Vasan Sitthiket is one of the few Thai contemporary artist with work represented in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. His most recent show is called Capitalism is Dying! at Thavibu Gallery, 2009.

Chatchai Puipia exhibited at the Asia-Pacific Triennal (1996), the Shanghai Biennale (2002), the Singapore Biennale (2006) and the exhibition Traditions/Tension Southeast Asian Art at the Asia Society in New York. Panya Vijinthanasarn is the Dean of Silpakorn’s Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art.

Younger and up-and-coming artists include Porntaweesak Rimsakul, Yuree Kensaku, Jirapat Tatsanasomboon, Kritsana Chaikitwattana and Thaweesak Srithongdee.

Since 2003 Thailand has participated in the Venice Biennale. The Ministry of Culture leads this project, while the private sector also works to put Thailand on the art map by proposing interesting works and artists to Documenta, organized every 5 years in Kassel, Germany. In 2007 there were two Thai artists in Documenta, while an Asian art show was held in ZKM, Germany at the same time, in June 1987.