Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
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|Former name||Art Centre|
|Established||Opened 29 July 2008|
|Location||939 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330|
|Type||Contemporary Art, museum|
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC; Thai: หอศิลปวัฒนธรรมแห่งกรุงเทพมหานคร) is a contemporary arts centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Art, music, theatre, film, design and cultural/educational events take place in its exhibition and performance spaces. The centre includes cafes, commercial art galleries, bookshops, craft shops, and an art library. It is intended as a venue for cultural exchange, giving Bangkok an operational base on the international art scene. The number of visitors has risen from 300,000 in BACC's first year in 2007 to 1.7 million visitors in 2017.
In 1995, Bangkok Governor Dr. Bhichit Rattakul began a project called "the art centre". After agreement that The Bangkok Contemporary Art Centre should be near Pathumwan junction, the project was stopped in 2001 when Samak Sundaravej became the new governor. He wanted a commercial retail space and private investors. Cultural organizations, artists, students, and media joined together to oppose the suspension. In 2004, Apirak Kosayodhin became Bangkok Governor. The project was presented again and the governor agreed to the original project that the art centre should be designed following the original plan.
On 19 August 2005 a "Declaration of Cooperation in the Fields of Art and Culture by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration [BMA] and Allied Organizations in the Fields of Art and Culture" was signed at Benjasiri Park. On 29 July 2008 the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre opened after many delays.
The BACC aims to create a meeting place for artists and the public, to provide cultural programmes for the community giving importance to cultural continuity from past to present. It aims to blaze new paths for cultural dialogue, networking, and to create new cultural resources from both the public and the private sectors. The main aim of BAAC is to become a place for cultural exchange.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) under Governor Apirak Kosayodhin started the BACC project with a 509 million baht construction budget in 2005. The goal was to make Bangkok a city of culture. The BMA continues to support the BACC with a 40 million baht allocation yearly (except for the years 2009, 2010, and 2017 when the BMA failed to assign funds to the BACC). Forty million baht falls far short of BACC's operating budget, which ranges from 75 million baht to 90 million a year. The shortfall is raised from donors and corporate sponsors. In 2018, the ongoing 40 million baht expenditure displeases Bangkok Governor Police General Aswin Kwanmuang, who says, "Each year the city supports the BACC with 40 million baht. If we could manage this money ourselves, we could develop the center in appropriate ways." He want on to say, "As the BMA annually provides Bt40 million in funding to the foundation, it is better that BMA officials operate the city centre,...We will lease the ground floor area in order to earn more money so as to cut the losses. We will convert the exhibition floors into a new learning centre." Aswin was installed as Bangkok governor by the NCPO after his elected predecessor was tainted by a corruption scandal. Apparent moves by the Bangkok governor to take control of the BACC for financial reasons has drawn criticism. Some question the ability of the BMA to manage a cultural venue given its poor performance maintaining Bangkok infrastructure. Many believe the BMA want to make a profit from the space. The BACC is in one of the Bangkok's prime shopping areas, near the MBK Center and Siam Square shopping complexes.
After protests from the art and cultural community, the governor deferred any changes to BACC's governance structure until 2021 when the current BMA–BACC Foundation contract expires.
The BACC building was designed by Robert G. Boughey and Associates around four criteria:
- Flexible space
- Honor Thai architecture and culture
- High, airy spaces
- Natural, but controlled, lighting
- "BMA to decide on cultural centre's management fate". Bangkok Post. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "BMA must keep hands off art centre" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- Phataranawik, Phatarawadee (13 May 2018). "Thai artists see red over Bangkok governor's plan to take over art centre". The Nation. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Background". Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC). Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "ความเป็นมาของหอศิลปวัฒนธรรมแห่งกรุงเทพมหานคร - bacc.or.th".
- "Declaration of Cooperation in the Fields of Art and Culture". Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC). Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "ปฏิญญา". bacc.or.th.
- Wancharoen, Supoj (19 May 2018). "Art space: the final frontier". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- "Mission". Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Thaitrakulpanich, Asaree (12 May 2018). "THE CITY ACTUALLY WANTS TO TURN BACC INTO A 'COWORKING SPACE'". Khaosod English. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Mokkhasen, Sasiwan (2016-10-30). "MEET BANGKOK'S NEW GOVERNOR: ASWIN KWANMUANG". Khaosod English. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Achakulwisut, Atiya (15 May 2018). "Bureaucrats and artists no bedfellows" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- Kongrut, Anchalee (18 May 2018). "Backtrack on cultural centre is far from convincing". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Architecture Main Concept". Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). Retrieved 14 May 2018.
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