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Conversation: Thai Art Needs and Deserves a Global Recognition

對談:泰國藝術值得世界關注

Laura Shen (LS) × Tang Fu Kuen (TFK)

申雁冰對話鄧富權

By Laura Shen

文/申雁冰

Tang Fu Kuen is an independent Bangkok-based curator and producer in contemporary visual art fields. He was the sole curator of Singaporean pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. A Singaporean though, he has spent his art life in Bangkok for over a decade. In this issue, he shares with me about his observation of Thai art as an optimistic and self-helping survival enduring tough challenges.

以曼谷為創作基地的獨立策展人和當代藝術家鄧富權曾是第53屆威尼斯雙年展新加坡展臺的策展人。身為新加坡人的他,已在曼谷做藝術工作十多年。這一次,他與我分享了他對泰國藝術的觀察思考。在他看來,即使面臨重重困難,泰國藝術依然心態樂觀、自力更生,從而經久不衰。

Tang Fu Kuen is an independent Bangkok-based curator and producer in contemporary visual art fields.

LS: As a Singaporean, you choose Bangkok to be the base of your art career. How do this city and this country motivate you? How has art scene here developed and what stage is it stationed now?

申雁冰:身為新加坡人的你,選擇曼谷作為自己藝術事業的根據地。這座城市與這個國家為你的創作帶來了怎樣的靈感?泰國藝術環境發展狀況如何,目前處於什麼階段?

TFK: With its well-connected airport, Bangkok is the perfect base for one who has to traverse much within the Southeast Asian region, to East Asia and to Europe. Thailand - poised between the extremes of contemporary aspirations and traditional mentality, between the disparities of rich and poor, urban and rural, spirituality and corruption - is naturally a fecund ground for creative development. It has the natural resources, the artisanal know-how, and a colorful and buoyant imagination to go very far internationally. Having based myself in Bangkok for over a decade, I observe, however, that there are big institutional lack-of in terms of artistic leadership, arts education and audience development. Many creative developments have evolved from independent and private initiatives, away from state intervention, and this can be paradoxically good and healthy. The next level of artistic growth depends much on the amount of political space given to the essential freedom of speech and critical ideas that contribute to a progressive society.

鄧富權: 曼谷的機場把這座城市與世界很好地連接起來,對我這樣經常在東南亞、東亞和歐洲穿行的人,曼谷是個完美的根據地。曼谷始終在當代的憧憬與傳統道德之間、貧富差距之間、城鄉對立之間、精神世界的靈性與腐朽之間維持平衡,它為創意提供了天然的肥沃土壤。泰國的自然資源、手工藝、豐富多彩的想象力為泰國藝術走向國際奠定基礎。不過,以我在曼谷十多年的經驗來看,在藝術領導力、藝術教育以及培養藝術受眾方面,泰國仍存在巨大的機構性缺陷。許多創意項目是在獨立和私人領域中發展出來的,遠離國家干預,這看似矛盾,卻是健康而良性的。泰國藝術的未來取決於政治空間的大小,這包括必要的言論自由和批判觀點,正是這些推動了一個社會的進步。

Many creative developments have evolved from independent and private initiatives, away from state intervention, and this can be paradoxically good and healthy.​

許多創意項目是在獨立和私人領域中發展出來的,遠離國家干預,這看似矛盾,卻是健康而良性的。

The project "Class of 6.3" is presented at the 15th La Biennale de Venezia in 2016.In 2010 Thailand was officially presented for the first time at the prestigious 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, by the Association of Siamese Architects. Picture here shows Baan Nong Bua School, designed by Jun Sekino, photo credit to THAILANDVENICEBIENNALE

建筑项目『震级6.3的课堂』代表泰国国家馆参展2016年第15届威尼斯双年展。暹罗建筑师联合会自2010年开始承担威尼斯双年展的泰国国家馆设计工作。圖片為Jun Sekino設計的Baan Nong Bua小學教學樓。

 

"Class of 6.3""reflects the process that brings about the rebuilding of 9 elementary schools destroyed by Thailand's first major earthquake with magnitude of 6.3 centered in rural Chiangrai, on May 4th 2014.Picture here shows Baan Nong Bua School, designed by Jun Sekino, photo credit to THAILANDVENICEBIENNALE. To read more, please click the picture to read more or visit thailandvenicebiennale.com.

『震级6.3的课堂』展示了泰北清萊省2014年6.3級大地震災後,建築師團隊分別對9所小學的災後重建工作。圖片為Jun Sekino設計的Baan Nong Bua小學教學樓。點擊圖片獲得關於2016年威尼斯雙年展泰國國家館更多內容,或訪問thailandvenicebiennale.com

Baan Hua Rin Child Development Center, By Jerave Hongsakul, IDIN ARCHITECTS

LS: How do Thai creative industries, especially visual art and its market, associate with the outside? Where shall we locate it in the region and world?

申雁冰:泰國創意產業,特別是視覺藝術及其市場,是如何與外界聯繫在一起的?在區域與全球藝術地理中處於怎樣的位置?

TFK: Given the recent phenomenon of the growing number of galleries, despite the current military government and economic downturn, the domestic art market is, at the end of the day, not big at all. There is not enough development towards cultivating art collectors. The directors of the big art fairs in Asia do not yet identify Thailand as a global player. Perhaps visitors to Thailand still see the country as a holiday destination than an artistic crucible. There are promising sparks in the Thai art scene every now and then, but unfortunately the overall momentum is not given the great push that the scene needs and deserves in order to impact a global recognition.

鄧富權: 泰國目前處軍政府控制之下,並面臨經濟下滑壓力,不過畫廊數量卻在不斷攀升。但根本上,泰國本土藝術市場一點都不大,這裡沒有成熟的藝術收藏家群體。亞洲各大藝術博覽會的總監們也並不把泰國藝術視為有國際影響力的角色。或許,到訪者更多視泰國為度假天堂,而非藝術聖地。儘管藝術界從不缺少大大小小的盛況,但不幸的是,這些並不能帶來全局性的根本改變,而這些根本改變才是泰國藝術獲得國際認可最需要也最應該得到的。

The directors of the big art fairs in Asia do not yet identify Thailand as a global player.

亞洲各大藝術博覽會的總監們也並不把泰國藝術視為有國際影響力的角色。

See Scape Gallery is a distinguished gallery located in Chiangmai. It has held many cultural activities participated by important artists such as Rirkrit Tiravanija. See Scape Galley, photo credit to BK Magazine​

See Scape Gallery​ in Chiangmai , photo credit to BEYONGTHEORDINARY, www.beyongtheordinary.de

http://www.beyondtheordinary.de/eat-see-scape-gallery-chiang-mai/

See Scape Gallery​ in Chiangmai , photo credit to BEYONGTHEORDINARY, www.beyongtheordinary.de

LS: What kinds of institutions facilitate Thai creativity and how do they achieve it?

申雁冰:推動泰國創意的機制有哪些,它們是如何成就創意的?

TFK: The setting up of the OTOP scheme and Thailand Creative Design Centre around the mid-2000s, under the mandate of the ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, did much to galvanize both the craft and design industries towards domestic excellence and import quality. The participation of Thailand in key platforms such as the Venice Biennale also raises the profile of contemporary art of the country. However, these platforms have suffered internal organizational problems and always struggle to find legitimacy within the bureaucratic structures and the domestic communities. Nevertheless, the Thai spirit in being optimistic and self-helping in one's own survival makes the overall production of contemporary art and creativity endure.

鄧富權: 前總理他信·西納瓦在2000年中旬創立的「一鎮一品」項目和「泰國創意設計中心」極大幫助了手工藝與設計業振興國內市場、樹立國際品牌。參與到像威尼斯雙年展這樣重量級的國際平台中,也為泰國當代藝術增加了曝光率。但是,這些平台都遭遇了國內的組織性危機。在泰國的官僚結構與社會環境下,藝術為尋找合法性而苦苦掙扎。但在艱難的生存環境下,泰國藝術仍然保持了樂觀積極、自力更生的可貴品質,讓當代藝術與設計經久不衰。

However, these platforms have suffered internal organizational problems and always struggle to find legitimacy within the bureaucratic structures and the domestic communities.

但是,這些平台都遭遇了國內的組織性危機。在泰國的官僚結構與社會環境下,藝術為尋找合法性而苦苦掙扎。

出生於1979年的泰國藝術家 Jittagarn Kaewtinkoy擅於政治諷刺畫。Freedom and Justice, ​by Jittagarn Kaewtinkoy | © Courtesy of Widewalls

C.A.P Studio. Credit: Ded Chongmankong, from BK Magazine Online,

Think Park in Nimmana Road has become to new resort destination for young Chinese tourists. Thai culture and art is still constrained by the traditional stereotype of "Tourism Resort".

寧曼路的Think Park是極受中國遊客歡迎的新興『小清新』旅行地。泰國的文化與藝術依然受限於『度假旅遊目的地』的傳統偏見中。

First published on a.m.post, June 2016, Hong Kong.

首次發表于香港《a.m.post》雜誌2016年6月刊

Abbey Laura San is a creative writer on city, architecture, contemporary art and society of Asia. She reflects on how to improve life quality through aesthetic, literary, and philosophical way.

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