International art festival set to return amid coronavirus

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many events have been forced online. Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) is about to become the exception, with the organizer deciding to make it a physical reality albeit one that conforms to strict public health measures to avoid spreading Covid-19 while hoping that the overall situation here will have improved by the time the festival begins.


Organized by the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, the international contemporary art festival, now in its second edition, will take place from 29 October, 2020 through 31 January 2021 in Thailand’s capital Bangkok and will display artworks by 82 artists from 35 countries as well as Thailand.


The line-up of participating artists includes Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramovic, Anish Kapoor, Bill Viola, Yoko Ono, Elina Brotherus, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.


Altogether, there will be over 200 works of art themed around the challenging concept “Escape Routes”, making Bangkok a truly world-class city of arts and culture.


“The theme ‘Escape Routes’ allows artists to explore many topics including migration, unemployment, racism, discrimination, terrorism, pollution and climate change. It also suits a new reality like the Covid-19 era in which we are living,” said Prof Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Bangkok Art Biennale.


He added that BAB 2020 would bring splendor and greatness to the Thai art scene with works by the world’s most renowned artists displayed at locations that include both Thailand’s cultural heritage sites or those that are at the heart of the country’s tourism.


The international art event will take place at 9 important locations in the center of Bangkok, namely The Parq, BAB BOX, The Prelude One Bangkok project, Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangklararam Ratchaworamahawihan, Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan, Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan, Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Lhong 1919 and Museum of Siam.


“Hopefully, by the time the festival gets underway, the coronavirus situation will have improved. We’ll hold the event with all the measures demanded by the new normal including checking the temperature of visitors and observing social distancing,” said Prof Apinan.


Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation was co-founded in 2017 by CEO and President of ThaiBev, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi and Prof Dr  Apinan Poshyananda, the former permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Culture.


Another special addition this year is the opening of BAB Café” on the 3rd floor of The Parq, which was created in collaboration with the mixed-use development in the adjoining Art Gallery and offers a cozy and relaxing vibe. Here the visitor will be treated to rotating exhibitions and activities by BAB along with over 25 artworks by 16 artists exhibited on the 15th floor of The Parq.


The “DEK BAB” program returns for this second edition. An important initiative set up to develop more personnel for the arts, it doesn’t require prior experience or education but brings together a group of trainees, from university students to the general public, who will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge about contemporary art in a world-class setting that cannot be found in any textbook.


Dek BAB apprentices act like ambassadors who connect the artists with the audiences, their ideas, feelings, and aspirations with the artists’, as well as connect the artworks within the context of Bangkok.


Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said the Bangkok Art Biennale 2020 is a contemporary art festival that will mark Bangkok as an art and cultural hub. The collaborations between different sectors that have made this event possible are admirable, especially the commitment from the private sector who sees the importance of supporting cultural tourism, and is working closely with the organizer to make the biennale a success.



Participating Artists

  • Marina Abramović
  • Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina
  • Ai Weiwei
  • John Akomfrah
  • Ruangsak Anuwatwimon
  • Rushdi Anwar
  • Martha Atienza
  • Thanet Awsinsiri
  • Massimo Bartolini
  • Baatarzorig Batjargal
  • Nomin Bold
  • Elina Brotherus
  • Carlos Casas
  • Choy Ka Fai
  • Venzha Christ and Indonesia Space Science Society
  • Maisie Cousins
  • Frank Hallam Day
  • Nezaket Ekici
  • Leandro Erlich
  • Julia Fullerton-Batten
  • Miles Greenberg
  • Tada Hengsapkul
  • Maria Stamenković Herranz
  • Ho Rui An
  • Christian Jankowski
  • Reena Saini Kallat
  • Lampu Kansanoh
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Kaung Swan Thar
  • Yuree Kensaku
  • Kubra Khademi
  • Naiza Khan
  • Khvay Samnang
  • Ga Ram Kim
  • Elena Knox
  • Tan Kositpipat
  • Note Kritsada
  • Dinh Q. Lê
  • Haevan Lee
  • Lolay
  • Lu Yang
  • Rachel Maclean
  • Taus Makhacheva
  • Rania Matar
  • Dane Mitchell
  • Sarah Naqvi
  • New-Territories, with…
  • Uttaporn Nimmalaikeaw
  • Yoko Ono
  • Nipan Oranniwesna
  • P7
  • Jureeporn Pedking
  • Samer Peerachai
  • Buchachon Petthanya
  • Souliya Phoumivong
  • I-na Phuyuthanon
  • Ana Prvački
  • Thaiwijit Puengkasemsomboon
  • Charit Pusiri
  • Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
  • Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
  • Marinella Senatore
  • Andres Serrano
  • Michael Shaowanasai
  • Yanakorn Sinvatcharaporn
  • Rungruang Sittirerk
  • Minah Son
  • Dansoung Sungvoraveshapan
  • Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch
  • Melati Suryodarmo
  • Prateep Suthatongthai
  • Farhana Islam Tani
  • Yuken Teruya
  • Bussaraporn Thongchai
  • Narongyot Thongyu
  • Chantana Tiprachart
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija
  • Ubatsat
  • Bill Viola
  • Tawan Wattuya
  • Zhang Kechun
  • Zhou Xiao Hu





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