Thursday, September 9
In the mid-20th century, an American named Jim Thompson lived in Bangkok and became a Thai art collector, and a Thai silk magnate. He mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands in 1967, but his house lives on as a museum of Thai furniture and art. I stopped by to check it out, but no cameras are allowed, you have to take a guided tour and leave your bags at the front desk. That's way too many rules for me, so I decided to pass. Ha-ha. Instead, I wandered around and chanced upon the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, a giant eight-story museum next to Siam Square.
Ascending up a series of escalators, I proceeded through several floors of small art galleries, book shops and the like, followed by a huge, curved walkway reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York that provided access to the top floors. The current show was called the 56th National Exhibition of Art, featuring very recent paintings, sculptures and installations all made by Thai artists over the past year. As you can tell by the photos, a lot of vivid, colorful stuff was on display. Art is looking up in Thailand! On the way back to my room, I was stoked to see street musician Uddy at it again. I recorded a song and watched him flirt with a couple of neo-hippie tourist girls. That charmer got a kiss on the cheek from both of them. Oh, and a friend of Uddy's wearing nothing but a pair of shorts was passed out in the gutter.