Virtual meanderings

The Painting Exhibition

    When I am not sure what to do next, I just make a list of things that I think ought to be done and go after it. It creates the illusion that I know what I am doing and, more importantly, that I am in charge of the situation. Then something happens and changes the plan mid-way.

    As I went around the area – just a hundred meters from Khao San Rd – I crashed into the Bangkok Museum of Art. A poster announced that it was the last day of the 12thPanasonic Contemporary Painting Exhibition. I quit my research on neighboring hotels, the next day tour booking, the eating and the river taxi riding (all of these were on my list) and went to see the exhibition.

12th Panasonic Contemporary Art Exhibition

12th Panasonic Contemporary Art Exhibition

And here is a painting that won the top award at one of the previous exhibitions

Panasonic Contemporary Art Exhibition Painting

Take that, American abstract expressionists and European decadents!


NOTE: You can learn more about this annual exhibition from its official website.

Contemporary Art Museum Bangkok Inner Yard Statue

Contemporary Art Museum Bangkok Inner Yard Statue

This statue sat in the museum’s inner yard. Four true-size female bodies with, maybe, their true inner personalities exposed (?). Had the artist gone through a sequnence of unhappy relationships with attractive women?  Did he want to solidify his memories? Was this some kind of Terminator 4 proposal? Whatever the inspiration, the museum showed me a whole new side to Thailand that I suspect few people actually bother to see.  Then, as a possible antithesis to the beautiful but deadly women hidden inside, at one of the entrances otuside was a lone male head, which had clearly transcended all things mundane.

Contemporary Art Museum Bangkok Entrance Statue

Contemporary Art Museum Bangkok Entrance Statue

I then got back to researching housing options at the hotels hidden in the soi around the museum. There I came across yet another of the Sabaddee chain hotels – and this one featured a transparent offering rooms for as little as B300 ($10). I do not know what this B300 looked like (as it turned out to be, of course, unavailable), but for the slightly higher B350 they showed me a small clean room, with a small TV and a small squat toilet. Note the word “small” here.

While the B350 room was clean, the hotel building itself was quite old and worn out. I decided to stay at my present hotel, at least until I had the chance to talk to Isaac. I had no idea where I was to go next, and hence I did not know when I wanted to leave Bangkok.

NOTE: In Thailand it is customary to ask to have a look at the room before you rent it. They will either give you the key and you would go and check it yourself, or someone will join you and show you the room. I do not know if the same rule applies in the Bangkok Hilton, but for the kind of places backpackers stay at it was the norm.

A quick note on squat toilets – this is the type of toilet prevalent in Thailand and much of Asia ( The topic “toilets in South-East Asia” has tempted many a traveler to share and meditate. Looking it up online will bring you hours of fun, so there is little I can add myself. Interestinly enough, my Traditional Thai hotel room (which I eventually chose to stick to for the whole duration of my Bangkok stay) had a European-style toilet :).

My Traidional Thai room with integrated bathroom

My Traidional Thai room with integrated bathroom

Courtesy: author


2 responses to “The Painting Exhibition

  1. Alya September 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    interesting exhibit with women! perhaps, the author tried to show that there can be nothing behind standard looking beauty.

  2. mastercopycat September 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Well, if the author wanted to show “nothing” he could have left those statues empty, that is – hollow.
    What we see coming out from the outer shell is… different 🙂

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