Discovering Art Brut at the BACC

I am not an articulate art enthusiast; I like what I like and often can’t tell you why. I don’t always know or understand the artist’s intent, or the technical aspects of a work, but simply respond on an emotive level.  Having said this, I have learnt that discovering some background and context does help frame a piece of work and helps me to unpack it, and ultimately to appreciate it better.

It is with this intellectual intention that I approach many concerts and exhibitions. And every now and then, I am rewarded with the discovery that blows my mind and captures my imagination beyond a cursory stroll through the work. Last year, I was piqued by Minimalism whom I encountered at the National Gallery of Singapore. A few years before that, I met Arte Povera at the Tate Modern in London. This week, I was enchanted and captivated by Art Brut at the BACC.

We visited the Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre (BACC) over the weekend to catch “Thailand and Japan Art Brut: Figure of Unknown Beauty”.  We found this to be a vibrant & upbeat venue where the creative arts is encouraged and fostered. There are spaces where artists can display their work, as well as galleries where young talent is showcased. We enjoyed our time there very much; it will certainly be a regular feature in our future visits to Bangkok.

One of the features of Art Brut as a genre is that the artists are typically socially & culturally isolated persons, such as persons with disabilities, prisoners, senior citizens. They employ the creative process to express themselves and do not necessarily consider themselves to be “artists” nor designate their work as “art”.

Here are some of my favourite works from the exhibition.

“Untitled” by Noriko Higashimoto, 2018, water-based marker, oil based marker on cushioning material (bubblewrap), 121.5 x 2542cm

“Untitled” by Shota Katsube, twist ties, small nails, fabric, toothpick, rubber band,  2011-2013

Feature Photo: Desire, the Source, What Makes them create: a Septych by Worawan Nilmalee, 1974. From Left: ” Colorful” Mixed media on canvas. “Pink as Warmless” Mixed media on paper (37.5x55cm). “Red as Enthusiasm” Mixed media on paper. “Orange as Any Attention” Mixed media on paper. “Yellow as Creativity” Mixed media on Paper. “Green as Tranquility” Mixed media on paper. “Blue as Imagination” Mixed media on paper.

“Blue as Imagination” as part of “Desire, the Source, What Makes them create” by Worawan Nilmalee, who is hearing-impaired. She creates mixed media art using yarn in her paintings.

This my contribution to One Word Sunday: Sense by Debbie.

11 Replies to “Discovering Art Brut at the BACC”

  1. What an awesome place and concept! It’s interesting to learn more about the intentions of the artist but most of the time it’s not really necessary when a piece of art has impact on your soul. In this case however it’s fascinating to learn that the artists in this exhibition don’t call themselves artists. I always wonder about the point when you finally begin to see yourself as such.


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