Author Archives: Adam Bryan-Brown



Zen-erQi is the unusual title of a new exhibition by Danish artist, Marianne Hvass Kure, that opened on February 2nd at Hof Art in Bangkok. The exhibition features oil and mixed media works from the last year, merging East and West perceptions of art and life.


Marianne Hvass Kure works beside the sea in Pha La, a small fishing village near Sattahip.

She creates mainly abstract art, inspired by nature, people and the essential themes of life and death.

Zen-erQi reflects on the synergies between East and West.

The artist has been influenced by modern Eastern methods of “ink and wash”, together with traditional Chinese brush painting and calligraphy.

This has enabled her to experiment with Western abstract techniques, using the blue and metal colors of her Scandinavian background, in combination with the simplicity of Eastern artwork.


While synergy might be the correct technical term for the fusion of Eastern and Western art, the artist preferred to use a more spiritual and philosophical word.

Zen-erQi sounds like synergy but it has greater meaning too.

Zen is a fundamental facet of Buddhism. Qi, pronounced Chi in English, is the energy flowing through everything in Taoist and classical Chinese thought.

For more pictures from the exhibition, click on Zen-erQi.

Marianne Hvass Kure can be contacted at

Her website is The site is worth a look.

There is a particularly interesting series called “Cross Culture Icons”.

HoF is also host to a second exhibition, Land Art: from the Golden Triangle to the great river Khong, by Pin Sasao.

The artist spent more than six months travelling between Thailand and Laos along the Khong River.

His medium is photographic but the style is very unusual and somewhat compelling. This is much more than taking pictures. Khun Pin creates interesting imagery to express his landscapes.

I would love to talk more about Pin Sasao. Unfortunately, all the literature I have about him is in Thai and my reading of Thai is limited.

All I can really say is that he is young, has a beard and appears to have made his trip by bicycle!

It is also very difficult to take photographs of photographs, so I don’t have much of his work to show but you can find some examples at Land Art.

HoF has a good reputation for encouraging photographic art and usually runs a photo exhibition together with more traditional media.

For those who live in Bangkok and have time, I recommend a visit to HoF, which stands for “Highly Optimistic & Friendly Art”. They can be found close to the Ratchada MRT, next to a 7/11 store. The building alone is worth investigation.

Hof’s website is Unfortunately, the site is currently available in the Thai language only.

Photos by Suttida Kanchanapiphat

How to destroy a building, Thai style………..


Some of you may remember that I reported on a new project we are investing in, the Warehouse Bangkok, early in December — The Warehouse: a new arts center for Bangkok. A month has gone by and we have had some fun. A serviceable, habitable building has been deconstructed, a polite way of saying that we destroyed it! For the photographs and the story, read on.


The Warehouse is part of a 3,000 sqare meter development we have purchased that will house a new signature contemporary art gallery, a new restaurant and bar, and two or three high quality retail outlets.

The common link between all these businesses is what we term an “affluent, contemporary lifestyle”. We will be targeting consumers with high levels of discretionary income who want to have a premium, fun but relaxing and quality shopping experience at prices that make sense.

The gallery promises to be exciting. With wide open spaces, and huge concrete walls and flooring we are going to be able to significantly expand our offering to artists and art lovers.

At the same time, we will be much more radical and innovative in terms of both content and presentation. We intend to offer performance as well as visual art. We will put a high emphasis on graffiti, sculpture and many different types of installation.

We will offer art workshops, in-residence artists, as well as work from artists both Thai and non-Thai.

We will continue to put emphasis on developing new Thai talent across all arts media.

We will also begin to sell specialist art products such as quality oils and acrylics, brushes, papers, canvases and picture hanging equipment.

For a full set of photographs of the original site, click on Beginning.


A month later and — well look for yourself — there is not much left!

The “destruction” team moved in on Christmas Day and clearly had a lot of fun!

I arrived on the site that morning and was told by the foreman to get myself a hard hat. I asked him why, pointing out that none of his team were wearing hats, most had no shoes and many were hanging precariously from beams and poles and wires.

“Ah Khun Adam” the foreman says, “You don’t understand. We have already made merit at the Spirit House, so we don’t need safety. It is all in the hands of the Buddha.”

Sure enough there were selections of food, joss sticks and various other weird and wonderful things surrounding the Spirit House. Comfortably outmanoeuvered, I went to buy a hard hat.

To see these people at work is an experience. A Health& Safety Officer would have a heart attack if he were ever to get near the site, yet they get the job done.

We cut a deal, paying almost nothing for the work but giving all reclaim to the contractor.

They saved everything. Nothing was allowed to go to waste, not even the smallest piece of rubber lining.


Now we have little more than empty shell. The space seems huge and the challenge a little scary.

The clock is ticking, rent is being paid and we are in a race to finish construction as soon as possible.

There have been some sleepless nights, and there will be more to come, but we are now seeing the birth of what we believe will be an innovative and exciting gallery and retail space.

Doing business in Thailand is rarely easy but it can be fun and it is always different!

For a full set of photographs of the site as it looks now, click on Destruction.

New exhibition by Pilaiporn Pethrith


A new exhibition by Pilaiporn Pethrith is running at the On Art Gallery close to Rama 6 for the next 2 weeks. Pilaiporn works across a variety of media and genres and has had more international exposure than many Thai artists.


The new exhibition is entitled SOS#3 (Series of Situations) . The medium is INKJET PRINT ON CANVAS with painted details. The main inspiration behind this work is the mythological character “ELF” combined with Pilaiporn’s past experience of living in Nepal. The gods there only have one eye, therefore her “ELF” character has been projected as an one-eyed cat which has been placed against a background of political turmoil and war; thus producing a distinct contrast in the minds of the viewers.

For some pictures from the exhibition please click on SOS#3.

For further information about Pilaiporn and a fuller selection of her work, go to her homepage on our website.


Pilaiporn has been using Elf imagery for some years now. On the left you can see a cashmere carpet made in Nepal in 2004.

The elf is a mythical/magical being with the power to change events.

Pilaiporn’s elf, as represented in SOS#3 is first an observer of controversial moments in history but also, second, a being with the non-human power to transform.

The elf represents human desire to end war and to eliminate political, sexual and social discrimination, thereby creating genuine harmony amongst mankind.

One could argue, therefore, that although the Elf is an observer of despair, it is also a symbol of hope.

We have talked in previous posts about contemporary art and “message”. See for example In Your Face.

Pilaiporn’s message is beautifully presented and subtle in its expression. This is art with thought and we highly recommend a viewing.

Two Boobs and a Bra…..

1_1_strip.jpgIf the title is reminiscent of “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, so it should be for we just returned from a visit to one of Thailand’s more surreal vacation spots. The great surrealist, Dali, would be proud of this one. Imagine a room key hanging on the end of a bra. Imagine a room with the exotic name of “No Bra”. Imagine also a remote, deserted landscape of intense beauty and peace. The Cozy Hotel at Brassiere Beach is a must for lovers of the eccentric, high quality and beautiful.

For once I decided to spend New Year away from the alcohol crazed nightspots of Bangkok and seek a few days quiet at the beach.


Finding somewhere to stay at this time of year is rarely easy. Hotels are full, premiums are charged and deposits demanded. I wanted to avoid the usual hotspots of Phuket, Samui, Samet and so on and settled for Hua Hin.

It’s a drivable distance from Bangkok (3-4 hours depending on traffic), it is less frenetic than most places and has a charm all of its own. It also happens to be the favorite resting spot of His Majesty the King, which is no mean recommendation.

We chose to stay at the Cozy Hotel on Brassiere Beach, about 20 minutes southeast of Pranburi and 45 minutes south of Hua Hin. A unique collection of Mediterranean inspired cottages, each designed in distinctive style provides luxurious comfort coupled with genuine privacy. There are just nine cottages so you will rarely find more than 20 people on site.

The web address of the hotel is Cozy Hotel.


The setting is truly gorgeous. You find a deserted surrounded to the back by luscious greenery and mountains. The sand is hard packed, convenient because the main access to the hotel is by the beach, except at high tide when you might find your car in some distress!

There are no other hotels close by, no shops, no restaurants, just nothing. If excitement and entertainment is what you are seeking then Brassiere Beach is not for you. The hotel restaurant closes at 7pm and the bar at 8pm, so this is a place where you make your own entertainment.

If solitude, beauty, peace and rest are your thing then go to this place. You will find yourself in an idyllic paradise.


The scenery is breathtaking. The whole area is part of a national park, accessible only by boat. Unfortunately the sea was not calm enough for us to land so we were not able to visit the park but we are assured it is worth the trip.

The hotel itself has been open less than two years. It’s not cheap. We paid about 8,000 baht a night for 3 nights, which included a modest New Year premium. For this we got a very quaint, nicely decorated room, and two sun terraces, one with the most spectacular views.


We also had what can only be described as an eccentric bathroom! A number of the rooms also have their own private pool.

The service is good, verging on very good. The staff are polite and friendly. They do their very best to make you feel welcome and included. The whole experience is casual. You eat by the beach and the food is good, especially the seafood barbecue. The sea air is wonderful and sleep inducing, together with the gentle crash of the waves. I slept more in 3 days than I would normally manage in three weeks!

So why the rather unusual name of Brassiere Beach?


There are two islands just off the beach called Nom Sao. Literally this means “young breasts” and, when u look at the picture you do get a sense of female breasts!

The owner of the hotel has a sense of humor. When she saw Nom Sao she decided to build the hotel around the theme of breasts and bras! Lest you think this means we have a hotel for sex fantasists, well no, that is not what it is all about.


As I said the owner has a sense of humor so, for example, she has named her rooms after lingerie. One room is Victoria’s. Another is Secret, hence Victoria’s Secret. Another room has the rather wonderful name of No Bra!

As you can see here, she has also made her room keys into bras and it is rather funny watching people walking around the hotel dangling their bras! In fact you will find bras aplenty here, whether it be in the rest rooms, in paintings, cocktail descriptions and so on.

Ok it is a little bit kitsch but good fun nevertheless!


The highlight of our stay was the lantern festival on New Year’s Eve. All of us gathered together after dinner and lit lanterns which we let go into the darkness.

It was a lot of fun but also a seemingly fitting way to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new.

For all the photographs from Brassiere Beach please go Two Boobs. They are well worth a look.


Naked art…….


We recently attended an exhibition at HOF Art, on Ratchada Road. It was a fun night with a lot of people, some great reggae, high quality paintings and — the highlight for me — a body art show. Yes, you are about to see some pictures of people naked but, no, it is not really what I would term erotic art, more an expression of alternative art. It was very interesting to see and I would love to put on similar shows at our new Warehouse gallery when it opens next year.


Founded by a group of Thai artists that graduated at various Art faculties in Bangkok (Silpakorn, Por Chang, Chang Silpa, Chulalongkorn University, Lad Krabang University), Hof Art Center endeavors to support and promote the new generation of emerging Thai artists.

HoF has a website, HofArt but the English language version does not appear to work.

Located very close to the Ratchada MRT HoF’s gallery is a five storey semi-derelict building. It’s a cool place. I love run down sites for showing art, perhaps because the very fact that they are run down let’s the art do the talking.

The new exhibition features work by four Thai artists — Nipob Threechum, Kanok Jitsinthonpiron, Chana Kuanleing and Vichian Booneemak. These four guys first met many years ago when they were living in Samui and they exhibit together quite often.


Forgive the quality of the picture (this and others). Trying to photograph in terrible light is not easy and my camera was not cooperating!

I have featured Vichian previously on artThailand in Road to Petchabun. He is a very talented man and has exhibited a lot in America and Europe.

He is currently exploring different types of media and has been trying to persuade me to work with him on a laser project. Right now I don’t really know what he is planning but I like alternative media so I guess I will cooperate.

Of course, I am also working on him to show his work at artThailand which I am confident he will do!

I highly recommend this HoF exhibition which runs for the next month. Some will think me crazy for advertising my competition but I think it’s important to promote Thai contemporary art in general, not just the work that artThailand presents.

Ok, so let’s talk about body art. I don’t pretend to know much about it and have rarely seen it but it takes various forms — tattoo being perhaps the best known, but what we saw at HoF falls more into the category of performance art, a mixture of dance, rhythm and paint. Sound a bit weird? Well yes, it is unusual but strangely satisfying too.


I am not going to show all the pictures here but you can see them at Body Art.

The lights are dimmed and music begins playing. Two artists come and start throwing a combination of mud and paint over the canvas, then spreading it with their hands.

No one is quite sure what happens next but my camera hand is vaguely trembling (can’t be alcohol as the only sell juices!).

There is a sense of anticipation until as if by magic a woman appears. I don’t realize at the time but she is naked. It is not erotic, in the sense of arousing, but fascinating nevertheless. She walks slowly onto the canvas and beings a very slow but rhythmic dance.

At first she is rolling herself along and beside the canvas, covering her body in the paint/mud mixture. Then she kneels and, moving slowly to the rhythm of the music, she allows the artists to sculpt her body, creating color and shape.

We watch, not knowing quite what is happening, but appreciating the subtlety and beauty of what we see.


Not everyone will “get” this form of art and some will consider it nothing less than pornographic. All I can say is that it was an unusual but satsifying experience and, for me, very much the highlight of the show.

While some consider art to be the classical media of painting, sculpture, ceramics and so on, I have a fascination for alternative and, especially, mixed media. What I saw this night was a combination of music, rhythm, a visually sensory experience and a vague feeling of mysticism. It was almost as if I was transported back to ancient times, watching Aztec religious ceremonies, for this kind of “performance” is as ancient as art itself.

All told, it was a fun and interesting evening and I commend HoF and the artists who were presenting for their efforts. I hope very much to be able to do more to encourage performance art of this type. It is not remotely commercial….how can one sell such a thing, but it is rich in its symbolism, elegance and style.

So it will not surprise you when I say that I loved every minute of the experience.