Published - Champion Seekers

At the 2009 Venice Biennale, Att Poomtangon’s interactive artwork, Keep Something for a Rainy Day, attracted attention with its colourful structure and encouraged passersby to consider environmental issues. As one person operated a pump, the installation filtered and then distributed clean water to others via a visually stimulating system of pumps, jets, muzzles and buckets.

The work was part of Making Worlds, the central international exhibition curated by Daniel Birnbaum, who had also asked another Thai artist, Rirkrit Tiravanija, to conceive a library and reading room for the visitor centre. The 2004 winner of the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize, a biennial award given out for achievement in contemporary art, Tiravanija is best known for his interactive projects and is considered a “father” of sorts for many young contemporary artists in Thailand.

Over the past 10 years, a number of contemporary Thai artists have been making a name for themselves around the world. For example, Sakarin Krue-On, who played a key role in setting up the media department at Bangkok’s Silpakorn University, famously planted a terraced rice field with a team of Thai farmers at 2007’s documenta, a reputable contemporary art exhibition that occurs every five years in Kassel, Germany.

But back home, artists and galleries feel they’re still not getting the support they need: that of a genuine collector base.  Read more in Fah Thai magazine: