Video #5 | September 26, 2017
In this video we’re going to take a look at a very under-explored highlight of Bangkok, the ‘Bangkok Art and Culture Center‘, also known as the BACC.
The video is broken into the following sections.
– A brief background on the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre.
– What the BACC looks like.
– How to get to the BACC.
– What’s inside the BACC [other than art!] – Some footage of the exhibitions I checked out on my last visit.
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Alrighty then! Welcome to the fifth video of Bangkok Unmasked! Today we’re going to take a look at a very under-explored highlight of Bangkok, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, also known as the BACC.
Before I begin, this video will be broken down into 5 sections:
Section 1. A brief background on the BACC.
Section 2. What the BACC looks like.
Section 3. How to get to the BACC.
Section 4. What’s inside the BACC [other than art!] and finally Section 5. Some footage of the exhibitions I checked out on my last visit.
Let’s get started!
The BACC is the beating heart of Bangkok’s flourishing art scene, and offers the best range of contemporary art, design, music, theater and film in the city. The BACC hosts a selection of exhibitions, which change on a fairly regular basis, from both Thai and International artists. The best part is that entry is free, and the centre is open from 10 AM through to 9 PM every day, with the exception of Mondays. Whilst it’s not yet comparable with the top art galleries in London and New York, it’s absolutely worth visiting for a couple of hours!
While I haven’t been there myself, I have been told that both inside, and outside, the building is reminiscent of the Guggenheim in New York, with its huge white curving facade and spiral walkways. Let’s take a look at the inside of the building!
The BACC is located on the corner of the Pathumwan intersection, and is located very close to the main shopping district of Bangkok i.e. Siam Square area. [This makes the BACC a perfect spot to have a break from shopping!] From Siam Square BTS station, it’s no more than about 10 minutes walk. That said, if you take the BTS to the “National Stadium” station it’s only 2 minutes walk! One thing to note; it’s easy to find the BACC building; apart from the building standing out, they often display some very interesting sculptures in the front square. Let’s see how to get there!
The BACC was finally opened in 2008, 13 years after the idea was first suggested. [Things rarely move fast in Thailand…] From what I’ve heard, it was political issues, changes in government and funding problems which prolonged the process. [According to Wikipedia, when Samak became new governor in 2001 he wanted to change the project to become a commercial retail space].
As well as having over 4000 square meters of exhibition space, the BACC also houses shops, an art library and a couple of cafes serving coffee and snacks. Let’s take a look at some of the footage I shot on my last visit.
The exhibitions on display vary quite a bit. One thing that I personally appreciate is that the BACC has an international feel, as there are generally explanations on the pieces in English [as well as Thai], and there are also bilingual staff on hand to enhance the experience. The curators do a great job to make sure that there’s always something exciting, and challenging, to see. Over the past few years this has included new Asian photography, the Young Thai Artist Award, contemporary Japanese crafts and The Mekong River Art Project. On my last trip there were a handful of exhibitions which I checked out:
– A photo exhibition by the late king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.
– An exhibition in remembrance of the late king called “King in the Heart”.
– And the “India @ 70 Art Exhibition”. This exhibition is part of the Festival of India to mark 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Thailand. It showcases 70 works of 36 of India’s most well-known artists.
Let’s take a look at some of what I saw on my last trip.
Before I close, a tip! It’s worth picking up ‘the Bangkok Art Map’ during your visit if you’re interested in exploring some of the smaller galleries dotted throughout the city. Partly sponsored by the BACC, it provides a monthly update on the current exhibitions, and their locations throughout the city.
Anyway…That’s it for this video. Expect a new video shortly. It should be posted in about a week, or so.
For all you techies out there, this video was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, and edited using HitFilm Express.
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