Thai art scene goes solar with new exhibition

Thailand leads Southeast Asia when it comes to producing solar power for energy. Now, Thailand is leading the region in using solar power for art.

Twelve Thai artists premiered works and installations that rely on solar cells at the Jaras Light Festival, an outdoor art festival that raises awareness about the energy crisis and the environment. It features 11 installations of artworks using electric lights powered by solar cells.

Hosted by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center and sponsored by the Energy Regulatory Commission, a government agency, the groundbreaking exhibition opened on 19 December 2019 and will run through 2 February 2020.

“As the world dramatically changes, the energy crisis is more relevant and close to home than ever,” the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC) wrote on its website about the show.

“In this outdoor light art festival, you will experience alternative energy first-handed and learn more about clean and renewable energy, especially solar power. All curated pieces will feature electric light generated by solar panels as the main element of the work,” the BACC wrote.

The BACC invited four invited artists and allowed eight other artists who submitted proposals to participate in the show. The invited artists were: Krit Ngamsom, Nopchai Ungkavatanapon, Pongsatat Uaiklang, and Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch.

“They have impressed visitors with a variety of designs and multicolored lights. The solar panels of artworks have stored energy from the Sun during daytime. As a result, the exhibition is illuminated at night,” the Bangkok Post wrote of the exhibition. “Before creating their works, artists received a crash course in how solar cells work, so they had ideas on how to apply solar energy to their artworks.”

Krit Ngamson, who also is an instructor at the faculty of architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, created a large heart from red lights.

“I would like to talk about this area and make people realize that there is a lot of fuel waste,” Krit said.

Open-call artist Eakchayong Pornkajornkijkul created a work named Wheel of Enlightenment.

“At first, it was difficult to create a project because I studied art, not science, but I learned a lot of new techniques and electric devices. Some people are really into spirit and ignore science. In contrast, some people believe strongly in science. Yet, I think we should believe in them equally,” Eakchayong said.

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