Things to know about Thailand’s first-ever digital art festival at ICONSIAM

Photo: ICONSIAM
Photo: ICONSIAM
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NFTs are the “it” thing in the art world right now, with seemingly everyone from established artists to big brands and sports leagues jumping on the trend. The word “NFT” was even named the “World of the Year 2021” by Collins Dictionary. 

If for the very unlikely reason that you don’t know what an NFT is, they are essentially crypto tokens attached to pieces of digital media that verify the uniqueness and ownership of the item — they are “non-fungible”, meaning it is not possible to make a copy. While they are most often used for jpegs of static digital art, NFTs can technically be anything. 

Once the world realized that digital assets could be made unique by minting NFTs, a massive windfall of auctions and trades created a now-booming market. For instance, the first-ever tweet of Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder, was sold for US$2.9 million and Zoë Roth earned US$473,000 for selling her original digital photograph used to make the “Disaster Girl” meme.

Photo: ICONSIAM

Now, Bangkok is getting its first-ever digital art festival, aptly named the “Thailand Digital Arts Festival 2022” — a big component of which will be NFTs that can be bought at auction. It is Asia’s first and largest digital art showcase, with over 1,400 works from a wide range of art categories including paintings, sculptures, graphic art, graphic design, street art, art toys photographs, tattoo patterns, and fashion design, and you can buy many of these things through the event’s own NFT art platform. All of the pieces will be physically exhibited across Charoennakorn Hall (M Floor) and ICON Art and Culture Space (8th Floor) of ICONSIAM and displayed through 850 Plan B media screens countrywide until Mar 20. ›

Photo: ICONSIAM

The actual marketplace app is called Coral, which is a platform by KASIKORN X and was introduced to the public for the first time at the opening ceremony. The platform connects NFT creators with collectors and creates the basic infrastructure for them to sell these items on an open market — which was previously not so easy as it required people to make crypto purchases offshore. 

All in all, there are over 140 artists taking part in the large-scale event, some of them celebrities and some of them relatively unknown. 

Things to Do

Apart from physical artwork on display, you can lay down on a chair and appreciate the digital format of these 1,400 masterpieces displayed on the semi-dome-shaped NFT Immersive Technology screen located at ICON Art and Culture Space on the 8th Floor. 

If you want to actually buy one of the NFTs, the process just involves scanning a QR code on the screens presenting the work (that will take you to the app and help you understand how to buy them. 

There will also be artist talks with creators on Mar 12-13  and 19-20. 

Thailand national artists

Works from the late Thawan Duchanee, founder of Baandam Museum in Chiang Rai and known as “the Emperor of Canvas Painting” will make an appearance. Most of his painting works are influenced by Buddhist philosophy and have received a lot of attention worldwide. 

Pricha Thaothong, a national artist in the fine art (painting) will showcase six freshly created works, including Wat Phra Chetuphon, and are available to buy through Coral. One of them will also be showcased at the highlighted zone at ICON Art and Culture Space.

Other national artists showing work at the exhibition include Prathuang Emcharoen and Chuang Moolpinit, national artists in the fine art (painting); Inson Wongsam, national artist in the fine art (sculpture); Prayat Pongdam, national artist in the fine art (graphic art); and Woranan Chachawalthipakorn, national artist in the fine art (photography).

Photo:  ICONSIAM. ‘The Trinity’ by Thawan Duchanee

Photo: ICONSIAM. ‘Falling Down,1970’ by Prathuang Emcharoen

The Celebrities

Famous singer Thanachai Ujjin (also known to many as Pod Moderndog) will showcase 10 “visual diary” pieces, available on Coral, that are named by the date he created them and portray his feelings on that day. His bandmate, Methi Noichinda, will also have some works to show. 

Other celebrities with presences at the show include Jirayu “Got” Tantrakul and Arikantha “Gypso” Mahaphruekpong. 

Photo: ICONSIAM

The contemporary artists

Prasong Luemuang, prominent artist from Lamphun province will show a collection of works that are mostly inspired by the Buddhist dharma, rural way of life and Chinese culture.

Thongchai Srisukprasert, who is notable for his ultramarine blue paintings, including Pisue Samutr (female sea giant) will show a collection of pieces.

Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch is an acclaimed ceramic artist and third generation of Tao Hong Tai Ceramics and Pottery Factory in Ratchaburi. For this exhibition, however, he will be showcasing a photograph named Mudburi and not pottery. 

Photo: ICONSIAM. MUDBURI by Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch

The young bloods

Lampu Kansanoh is renowned for her caricature paintings in which the characters always have big heads. The Cool Ticket Boy painting is her highlighted work here.

Pairoj Pichetmetakul is well known for his “The Positivity Scrolls”, which chronicle the life of homeless people in New York City and across America. 

Wanda Chaima is a 23-year-old artist who uses a wide range of styles in her work, from Buddhist philosophy, social issues to drastic surrealism.

Thailand Digital Arts Festival 2022 opens now until 20 March at ICONSIAM

Photo: ICONSIAM. by Lampu Kansanoh

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