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  • LIFESTYLE

    How Very Thai gave rise to 'Thai Thai'

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 19/12/2013

    » Which cultural idiosyncrasies stick when you visit a foreign country? And what value do you accord them? Slightly amusing or perhaps just annoying? Indicative of some deep-rooted essence of that culture or merely a weird aberration? A challenge to your own vocabulary or a means of extending it? And why do some idiosyncrasies persist while others disappear or transform?

  • LIFESTYLE

    Looking Awry

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 27/11/2013

    » The challenge for artists to create new or innovative images about contemporary Thailand is the challenge of responding to the fact that this country lacks a singularly dominant, or characteristic, image to react against.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Utopia's debris

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 25/09/2013

    » The future may have already arrived; well, for those of us who live in Asia's cities. As is regularly and widely reported, the rapid rate of urban growth and change in this part of the world leaves most of us reeling. As soon as we begin to understand the present, it is usually already past.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Go Thai, Be Free?

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 05/06/2013

    » A new campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) that targets foreign gay and lesbian travellers is so tactful in its methods that any criticism of its rhetoric could seem churlish.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Embedded Images

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 15/05/2013

    » Tim Hetherington was a photographer, artist and filmmaker who was murdered as the result of a mortar attack in Libya while covering the civil war there in 2011, the year his co-directed film Restrepo was nominated for an Academy Award. He was 40. This exhibition at WTF has been organised by his friend Chris Wise, the Bangkok-based photographer who also co-runs WTF, and comprises installations of photographs from Hetherington's book Infidel and screenings. Infidel covers the year he spent with a US battalion in northeast Afghanistan, described as "the deadliest place on Earth", as they fought against the Taliban, the same subject as Restrepo.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The freedom of the city

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 11/04/2013

    » 'This is the city where people come to live," the novelist Gary Indiana wrote about New York City, but, he sarcastically added, "You'd think they were here to die." Indiana's novel, titled Do Everything In The Dark, explored the petty neuroses of a group of artists and writers who are living out a post-success purgatory in the city that never weeps. Doubt and resentment consumes them.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Strange things

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 28/11/2012

    » All the artworks in the inaugural exhibition for a very promising new space _ 338 Oida Gallery _ reflect light: Mit Jai Inn's series of translucent, encrusted pole forms, the silver surfaces of Nim Kruasaeng's paintings and Rirkrit Tiravanija's steel and glass table. Pier Luigi Tazzi created the text-work Sublime Riuscito accompanied by Chinese characters (riuscito is the Italian word for success) at the entrance. To describe the experience of this exhibition as sublime would be an overstatement, but the artworks certainly carry a pronounced sense of intangible significance.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Queering the pitch, deliberately

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 18/10/2012

    » The US academic Rosalind Morris once praised a book on Thai studies by noting that "it offers a relentless repudiation of those saccharine tropes through which Thailand has mainly been read". This is a rousing comment and one that suggests great critical insight on behalf of the volume in question. But, taken by itself, we might wonder why those saccharine tropes were used in the first instance. Why would Thai studies employ sweetened ways of thinking about this country?

  • LIFESTYLE

    Beyond the Fray

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 24/10/2012

    » This is Pornpraseart Yamazaki's third solo exhibition in Bangkok since laudable shows at the now defunct Whitespace Gallery during 2007 and 2009. A dexterous artist who pilfers from a variety of trends and precedents in a manner that is not lazy emulation, Pornpraseart's works are distinctly his own and they carry a robust and ambitious sensibility. While awkwardly titled "Mistaken Gear Wheel For Lotus" _ Thai galleries, please start employing copywriters or grammar-check _ this exhibition is another important note on how local artists are responding to the critical legacy of the bloody protests of 2010.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Regarding Chitti

    Life, Brian Curtin, Published on 02/05/2012

    » A history of the experimental art scenes in Bangkok has yet to be written. If it's a book, the work of Chitti Kasemkitvatana deserves a chapter. Active as a curator, artist and lecturer in the '90s, Chitti set precedents that survived his eight year hiatus as a monk in the forest monasteries of Chiang Mai. Since 2010 he has held regular exhibitions of beautifully arranged objects that blur distinctions between art and practical function, organised public lecture programmes and become involved in publishing.

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