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250 × 190 mm
192 pages
105 illustrations, 90 in colour
16 Nov 2020
  • £30.00

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Essential Desires Contemporary Art in Thailand Brian Curtin

Essential Desires: Contemporary Art in Thailand is the first major, fully illustrated survey of Thai art in thirty years. Brian Curtin shows how Thai artists negotiated their emergence on the global art stage while dealing with pan-Asian regionalism and nationalism at home.

This book traces the influences on contemporary Thai artists, from the impact of consumerism in Bangkok in the 1990s to the legacies of tradition, and their relationship to the nation’s often-volatile political stage. Curtin, in his exploration of Thailand’s fascinating art scene, shows how Thai artists are generating new ideas about their country.

‘A fine overview of contemporary Thai art in its historical context by a knowledgeable and sensitive critic who has lived and worked in Thailand for decades.’ — Thanavi Chotpradit, lecturer in modern and contemporary Thai art history, Silpakorn University, Thailand

Essential Desires serves as a valuable handbook to contemporary Thai art, providing an effective survey of recent developments, carefully and clearly placed in the context of Thailand’s complicated cultural-political milieu.’ — Pamela Corey, SOAS, University of London

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Brian Curtin is an art critic based in Bangkok. He lectures in art history and visual culture at the Department of Communication Design, Chulalongkorn University.

Note on Transliteration

1 Reimagining Communities: The 1990s
2 Traditions/Tensions: The New Century
3 Post-national Impulses: The Continuing Century

Chronology of Art and Political History in Thailand, Twentieth to Twenty-first Centuries
Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements