Thursday, 27 May 2010

WTF



I was clicking around as usual on the net recently and noticed a new bar/restaurant/gallery in town called WTF (Wonderful Thai Friendship). No shit, but I felt an immediate sharp stab of cold creative jealousy that I hadn't realised what an insanely great name our internet acronym could be till someone else had snapped it up.

Anway WTF is the new hip hangout in town on Sukhumvit 51, Alley 7. I knew it was gathering steam when I was invited to join their Facebook group by P Tik who I interviewed earlier at WTF but ran over the 10 minutes that Youtube permits. I'll be splitting that later to post up here too.

As ever with these things, I also learned that I knew Som & Chris the owners of WTF and was really delighted to find that the art was good and provocative so I took advantage of the opportunity to interview Som about their new anti-establishment with a video installation in the background that was made by Jim Brewer on the topic of Yellow in Thailand. I was aware of his idea because I know Jim and he shared it with me some time back as out of nowhere (sort of), the wearing of yellow in support of his Majesty became ubiquitous every Monday. I explained it all back here in 2007 with what seems like a slightly prescient post though it isn't rocket science if you think about it.

Anyway this gusto for the colour diminished somewhat as over time the colour polarization of politics in Thailand became very sensitive with the now widely understood association of Red for the rural  impoverished classes.

The recording is a crap unfortunately because first I'm rubbish at thinking about sound, and as it's an art gallery on the 2nd and 3rd floor, it echoes too much to hear my questions so turn down the base and play with the treble if you can. I hope though that you can pickup Som sharing her new tapas, bar and art gallery concept and also talking a little bit about art in Bangkok and specifically Jim's work which is going on the background. Most interesting was the revelation that Yellow trainers were banned in Thailand as the feet are considered the most lowly part of the body to associate with anything let alone anything Royal.

She also talks about the stiff reaction that many of her Thai gallery visitors had about the video installation and their demands to know which farang (Westerner) artist was responsible for it. Anyway WTF is the kind of place that supports art as stimulus to discussion and is to be applauded loudly and embraced heartily for that alone, though the owners, clientèle I met, (Hi Andrew that was mad, call you soon) bar and tapas menu are enough reason to go and check them out. 

Unless you wish to avoid me in which case that's all very understandable. 

This Bangkok Post article covers the art much better than I have done here.