World’s Best Awards: Islands
The annual T+L poll results revealed your favorite islands, with Asia scoring top honors.
The Thai capital has transformed into a citywide gallery, with the inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) setting world-class artworks in the city’s temples, malls, museums and heritage buildings. We sent Bangkok-based photographer Leigh Griffiths to capture some of the striking installations, from pieces that take on taboo topics of religion, sex and death to playful sculptures inspired by cultural traditions.
1. In his series National Road
No. 5 at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC), Cambodian photographer Lim Sokchanlina documents the transitioning architectural landscape of the main road connecting Phnom Penh to the Thai border as it expands into a busy trade route.
2. A painting by British artist Andrew Stahl hangs in the riverside East Asiatic Company Building, the century-old structure that was reopened especially for the BAB. In the foreground, mechanical angels, made by Indonesian artist Heri Dono, dangle from the ceiling.
3. Perfectly framing The Peninsula Hotel on the other side of the Chao Phraya River,
Zero by Elmgreen & Dragset was created specifically for this site outside the East Asiatic Company Building. The eight-meter-high sculpture depicts the Berlin-based duo's favored swimming pool motif.
4. Another robotic set from Yogyakarta-based Heri Dono, Genetic Manipulation gathers a pack of half-human, halfdragon machines at the BACC. Viewers can push a button to start the fans on the robots' undersides, an engaging act that intends to playfully comment on global censorship and regimented policies.
5. South Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa's Basket Tower descends across five levels in the BACC atrium. Inspired by everyday objects, Hwa selected an array of colorful plastic baskets from the city's Chinatown market. He aims to generate happiness with his kaleidoscopic tower, fitting the BAB's theme, Beyond Bliss.
6. The iconic work of
Japanese sculptor Yayoi Kusama continues to draw crowds for selfies with her famous pumpkins. This threedimensional, glittering tiled piece, I Carry On Living with the Pumpkins (Silver), is in Paragon shopping mall.
7. Across the river in Wat Prayoon, Thai artist Nino Sarabutra has tiled the temple's floor with 125,000 tiny porcelain skulls. What Will You Leave Behind? invites vistors to walk barefoot along the deathly path, encouraging us to contemplate life and human existence.
8. The East Asiatic Company Building's artworks are prime subjects for photographers, including silver room Diluvium by Korean artist Lee Bul, the taxidermic river animals in 2562++ by Patipat Chaiwitesh, and this mini metropolis,
City Flow, by Andrew Stahl.
9. Peeking out from the BACC frontage is an enigmatic portrait from German photographer Ralf Tooten's Asian Workers Covered series. Tooten shot laborers across Southeast Asia, who cover up from the sun as they work.