Dr. Disaphol Chansiri
Dr. Wudhipong Kittitanasuan
Dr. Somratch Hiranyawasit
It is widely known that several major works have been lost from the history of Thai art; however, there are also some other works which have been well preserved by individual collectors, private patrons, educational institutions, financial institutions and private organizations. These works are not only considered as valuable assets for personal appreciation, but also artifacts and documents in art history. This group of individuals and organizations is often overlooked by the academic world in spite of the fact that their collections interestingly reflect changes and movements in Thai art history. Artists and their works are closely connected to social circumstances, and individual or corporate collectors have selected these works due to different reasons, including personal taste, value of the works and their historical importance. Therefore, to ensure these collected works are systematically recorded and thoroughly examined is one of the essential tasks in the study of Thai art history.
This exhibition consists of the three steps of exploration: exploration of works, exploration of collecting methods, and exploration of collectors’ perspectives. The scope of works ranges from masterpieces by distinguished artists to quality works by relatively unknown artists, which might be previously unseen by the general public. As for collectors’ perspectives, collectors from all walks of life have been interviewed to share their opinions towards works of art in an informal, non-academic approach. This helps to complete the overall picture of Thai art history and is a way to gather useful information for the development of art community, including details on art dealing and the collectors’ general perceptions towards history of art, which is different from art scholars’. Collectors’ tastes and preferences are also examined as another important factor in artists’ creative direction apart from influence of art institutions. The information from private collectors is one of the tools that hopefully will reveal Thai art history in a new light since it is undeniable that academic researchers in art history still need information from individuals or organizations who involve in exhibiting, collecting, buying and selling works of art.
This exhibition aims to complete historical records with findings from this new exploration; to select interesting artists and works of arts from private collections for the public to appreciate; and most importantly, to discover the role of art collectors, as well as their perspectives and opinions on the “aesthetics” of the works. The definitions of “artistic value” and “economic value” have been explored together with the relationship between the artist’s creation and the patron’s collecting method. Changes in time, circumstances and contexts have also been studied. All these explorations are carried out under the notion that the art scene is not only the representation of artists’ identities; it also includes the existence of art collectors, which should be reflected in the history of art.
Crossover: The Unveiled Collection shows evidence of the “overlap” between the development of art and the collecting practice in Thai art scene. It depicts a concrete picture of the art community which has been dynamically driven by Thai artists with the support of art collectors. The project also presents supporting evidence from the time when leading Thai artists created and strengthened the identity of Thai art from “modern art” to “contemporary art”, along with conflicts and compromises among traditions, local culture and modernity.
Apart from economic aspect, the value of art collecting lies in the aesthetics of the works in connection with time, events and places. Collectors should therefore be considered as one of the key components of the art world. They spend tremendous amount of time exploring works and participating in art events, as well as devote considerable financial resources. Collectors’ comments and feedbacks can also be useful for the improvement of art management, especially in shipping, handling and keeping systematic records of artworks. This corresponds with one of the objectives of this exhibition to develop sustainability of artworks and enhance effectiveness in organizing future exhibitions.
This exhibition is intended to provide insights into the ever-changing relationship between society and the art world, and to raise the recognition of Thai collectors’ indispensable roles, including their influence in terms of aesthetic perspective. To achieve this goal, collectors are invited to provide useful information and share historical works of art from their collections for the educational benefits of the public.
An exhibition by BACC Exhibition Department
For inquiry on the exhibition:
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
939 Rama I Rd., Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel. 02 214 6630 – 8 Fax. 02 214 6639