Thai Pavilion 54th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale 2011

Exhibition Date: June 4 to November 27, 2011
Closed on Mondays (except 6 June, 15 August and 21 November, 2011)
Venue: Paradiso Gallery
Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260 (Vaporetto stop: Giardini)


Commissioner: Prisna Pongtadsirikul
Curators: Pandit Chanrochanakit & Steven Pettifor


Opening event: June 2 at 4:00 p.m.


Marking Thailand’s fifth occasion at La Biennale di Venezia, the Thai Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC) has taken the initiative of inviting artist Navin Rawanchaikul to establish the para-pavilion of Paradiso di Navin as the inaugural convening point to endorse global recognition for Navinland. In what is Thailand’s most ambitious national presentation to date, the Navinland Pavilion is site-responsive to the historic and entertaining locale of the Paradiso along the Giardini’s splendid waterfront.


Conscious to both the exhibition’s theme of ILLUMInations and Thailand’s ongoing fractious political landscape, Navinland is a multifaceted situational environment that challenges perceptions of identity and nationhood, through the trajectory of a borderless community. An extension of the Navin Party, a previously established network to connect Navins of the world, Navinland acknowledges the historical framework of kingdoms, republics, unions, micronations, and transnations, while extricating itself from geographic, theological or ideological containment.


At Paradiso di Navin, the public is asked to consider and register support for the fledgling non- nation of Navinland. At the transit area for the burgeoning collective of Navins and friends of Navin, Chairman Navin satirically subverts utopian idealism in extant art agendas.


Typically approached from a site-specific geo-cultural viewpoint, Navin Rawanchaikul is renowned for dynamic art works that involve direct interventions, social commentary, and an innovative style of integrating community or individual experiences into eccentric fictional tales. Incorporating everyday culture relevant and current to the chosen environment, Navin explores the negotiation between local circumstances and trends of globalisation. His oeuvre encompasses a broad array of media including installation, film, performance, mobile galleries, billboards, comics, games, merchandise and cocktails.


At Paradiso di Navin, the artist collaborates with Jim Thompson, to style the Paradiso restaurant and bar with indigenous Pha Khao Mar textile motifs. A leading Thai brand of fine fabrics and a dedicated promoter of art from Thailand, Jim Thompson also teams up with Rawanchaikul to produce associated memorabilia toward the greater recognition of Navinland.


Paradiso di Navin is organised by Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Thailand, in collaboration with Concilio Europeo dell'Arte. The project is made possible through the support of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited; Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong; Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm; Double A (1991) Public Company Limited; and Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company Limited.


About the Curators


Pandit Chanrochanakit is a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science, Ramkhamhaeng University. He holds the position of Deputy Dean for Policy and Planning. Chanrochanakit received a BA in Economics (1992), an MA in Political Science (1998) from Thammasat University in Bangkok, and a doctoral degree from the University of Hawaii at Mãnoa (2006). He has been a collaborative consultant to Navin Rawanchaikul on numerous art projects since 1997. He is the editor of Vibhasa magazine, which has published articles on the social sciences, humanities, arts and culture since 2006. He also contributes articles on the politics of art and visual culture including “Deforming Thai Politics: A Reading through Thai Contemporary Art” (2011).


British writer-curator-artist Steven Pettifor studied Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University, graduating with a BFA in 1990. Migrating to Asia in 1992, he lives and works in Bangkok. Contributing to several international and regional newspapers and journals, since 1999 he has been the Thailand Contributing Editor for the international bi-monthly publication Asian Art News and the quarterly World Sculpture News. In 2004 he published one of the only English language books on Thai art, Flavours - Thai Contemporary Art. Since 2004, Pettifor has undertaken numerous curatorial commissions. Since 2007, he has been the Chief Editor of the free monthly art resource Bangkok Art Map (BAM).


About the Commissioner


Headed by current Director-General Prisna Pongtadsirikul, the Office of Contemporary Art & Culture (OCAC), under the Ministry of Culture, was formed in 2002, and is tasked with supporting and promoting contemporary art and culture in Thailand. Orchestrating and mobilising public and private networks; research and knowledge programmes, as well as generating funding, grants, and awards, the OCAC is committed to the sustainable development of contemporary art. The OCAC has been responsible for the establishment of a Thai Pavilion at Venice Biennale since 2003.


For more information and press inquiries contact:


Thai and Italian: Amara Pangnamkam (Office of Contemporary Art & Culture)
Tel: +66(0)2-422-8828 Email:
English: Steven Pettifor (curator)
Tel: +66(0)81-903-6065 Email:


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