Bangkok hosts largest-ever LGBTQ art show in the region

Thailand’s arts community is promoting regional tolerance with a landmark exhibition of more than 50 Asian artists who are either LGBTQ or focus on LGBTQ issues in their work.

More than 6,000 people, including school classes, have visited the exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center since it opened two weeks ago. It is the largest LGBTQ-themed art show ever held in the region, with organizers saying it highlights Thailand’s role in building tolerance.

“For the wider region, our neighbors in Southeast Asia will see that Bangkok is doing a major art exhibition on the LGBT theme, signifying its acceptance,” said Chatvichai Promadhattavedi, who led the show’s team of curators, in comments to Artnet News. “Hopefully, our neighbors might then consider it safe for them to venture into it, too.”

Chatvichai said that tolerance has benefits for the bottom line. He hopes that governments will recognize that projecting acceptance will boost the economy, especially in sectors such as tourism, banking, and finance.

The show is entitled “Spectrosynthesis II—Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia.” It presents works by more than 50 artists from Thailand, India, China, and other countries.

Artnet News said the exhibition emphasizes shifting social frameworks and challenges to established norms while promoting tolerance and conversations that are sometimes taboo in the region.

Sunpride Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the creative history of the LGBTQ community, is the chief sponsor of the show.

“I look forward to seeing how the exhibition will encourage greater discussion and foster a more equitable world for the LGBTQ community and their allies,” the foundation’s executive director, Patrick Sun, said in a statement.

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