The first edition of Bangkok Biennial (July to Sept of 2018) was created by well more than 200 artists from at least 26 different countries within almost 70 Pavilions, many of which were presented in non-traditional spaces, included architectural interventions and made use of historically significant sites.
The autonomous pavilions which made up the 2018 Bangkok Biennial included a wide variety of representation formats prevalent in contemporary art, from ‘artist curated’ and ‘non-curated’ to more conventional curatorial models. All were self-instigated, organized and directed.
Many of the top galleries & formal art spaces in Bangkok were active participants. Large scale exhibitions were also mounted in other provinces, expanding this notion of decentralization; Khon Kaen Manifesto (in North-East Thailand and RE/ FORM/ING Pattani (in Thailand’s troubled ‘deep south’ region) are notable examples of in-depth involvement and production in pavilion-making.
The 2018 edition of Bangkok Biennial gathered a groundswell of enthusiasm & participation from the arts and culture community and was acclaimed by the press. We were dubbed a Guerilla Biennial, the Darkhorse Biennial, etc. but in fact the Bangkok Biennial is an enabler for a great number of people to produce/organize exhibitions and events according to the model they decided as best suited to their undertaking. And through these combined efforts, a truly unique large-scale biennial was born in 2018.
For a look back at BB2018: