Art exhibitions “to boost tourism’

PHUKET CITY: In an attempt to revitalize post-tsunami tourism, the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC) is organizing a series of art exhibitions in Phuket between July and December.

“Unique Andaman”, which will be held at Central Festival Phuket in July – the exact date has not yet been decided – will feature works entered in a contemporary art contest of the same name.

This will be followed by the “Andaman Blossom Flower” exhibition in August, which will feature works by artists who were asked to depict what they would like the Andaman region to look like as it recovers from the tsunami.

It will be staged in either Kamala or Patong. Again, the date has yet to be decided.

Patong will host “Arts on the Beach” in August or September, while in September, the old Phuket Thai Hua School building in Phuket City will be the venue for an exhibition of works inspired by Sino-Portuguese architecture. It will be complemented by an exhibition of pavement art.

Artists from abroad have been invited to take part in “Unique Andaman” and “Arts on the Beach”, and the organizers hope that these and the other events will attract tourists as well as artists to Phuket.

The director of the Art and Cultural Institute at the OCAC, Samart Chansoon said, “These [exhibitions] should be a great help to Phuket, as they feature rare works that can’t really be seen elsewhere in Thailand.

“We hope they will attract art-lovers, artists and their relatives, both Thai and foreign.”

K. Samart added that he is considering keeping some of the exhibitions open until December.

He said he had been contacted by people organizing a trip to Phuket in December by 2,000 Swedes who lost relatives and friends in the tsunami. The Swedes plan to hold a memorial event, but have also expressed an interest in seeing the art.

A series of exhibitions is due to take place in Krabi and Phang Nga as well.

K. Samart added that artists from all over Thailand are being invited to Phuket in July to discuss the development of the province’s new art gallery, proposed in April by Provincial Administration Organization President Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr.

Phuket News
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