Bangkok’s street art scene occasionally invites artists from around the world to join the best of Thai talent to leave their colorful messages across the city. Not everyone likes graffiti, but this is a popular art open to all and there is no doubt that the artists involved are extremely talented. Unlike museums, street art is visible to all and will remain so for as long as the ancient walls serve as a canvas stand. As construction reclaims more and more of Bangkok, this work of art will one day disappear. but for now, it’s here for us to enjoy. Several places in Bangkok have these large paintings on display – we’ll show you some of the city’s most impressive pieces of street art.
Street art might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Bangkok. But if you look closely, you’ll see that the city is covered in urban graffiti, from professionally painted murals to bold and vibrant tags. Street art has grown in popularity in Bangkok in recent years, largely due to social media and the Bukruk Urban Arts Festival in 2013 and 2016, a project that invited Thai and international artists to create urban masterpieces across Bangkok.
StreetArt Exhibition at Alliance Francaise Bangkok
Before Alliance Francaise Bangkok moved to its new location in Lumpini Park in late 2013, it regularly presented its street art exhibition series in its building on Sathorn Road (located there since 1912). There they presented the colorful collaborative works of Thai and French graffiti artists unusually and creatively. An entire floor of the building would have been emptied of all desks, filing cabinets, and furniture, with every space, offered to artists to express themselves. Now the legacy of street art continues at Alliance. The new Française Bangkok building in Lumpini, with the support of the French Embassy in Thailand, the Goethe-Institut Thailand, and the Deutsch-Französischer Kulturfonds. It highlights the graffiti artists presenting their works on the exterior walls of the building.
Bukruk Festival murals on Phaya Thai Road
The Bukruk Urban Arts Festival (Bukruk means ‘invasion’) for the first time in February 2013 brought together 16 European and 11 Thai artists for a month for a wall art frenzy right in the heart of Bangkok. The most eye-catching pieces were painted on a series of derelict buildings on Phaya Thai Road, below Ratchatewi BTS station, just a hundred meters from the famous MBK mall. The festival returned in 2016 as Bukruk II, a 10-day feast not only for the eyes through public murals and art exhibitions, but also for the ears with multi-tiered music festivals. Comebacks or other incarnations of the festival can be expected in the coming years. Other murals can usually be seen at nearby Saen Saeb Canal, Siam Square, or Rama 6 Road, behind the famous Jim Thompson House. Everything is extraordinary and shows that Bangkok also contributes to the contemporary art scene.