Top events in Bangkok this month
Australian interior designer Ashley Sutton took the concept of the secret speakeasy bar to the next level when he created Maggie Choo’s. Inspired by Shanghai in the 1950s, the bar is a visual spectacle of stone sculptures, dungeon-like smoking rooms and heavy steel doors. If the qipao-clad ladies aren’t ushering you to your table, they’re lounging on swings hanging on chains from the ceiling. The drinks list, created by celebrity mixologist Joseph Boroski, offers swanky choices that hype up local fresh ingredients. Entertainment varies on a nightly basis. Expect DJs spinning upbeat hip hop tunes one night and a velvet-voiced crooner singing jazz and blues in another. Maggie Choo’s is always a reliable venue for impressing first-time visitors to Bangkok.
After wielding design magic on Maggie Choo’s and Iron Fairies, Australian designer Ashley Sutton is back with Sing Sing Theater. Decorated with metalwork, wood, lanterns and neon lights, the place combines inspirations from Shanghai in the ′30s with futuristic Blade Runner-esque elements. The dance floor is the heart of the place and is sometimes used as a stage for many a gimmicky performance. The balcony on the second floor is the best spot for enjoying the shows. The drinks list includes specials like the Cabinet Escape, a gin-based cocktail served in a birdcage (interesting) and Bank in Lemon, another gin-based drink. The music is always pumping and spans house, hip-hop and hit standards.
The historic neighbourhood of Charoenkrung has welcomed yet another creative space, ATT 19. This new art and lifestyle hub is actually an endeavor of the Attakanwongs to gather the passions—from art to antiques to fashion—of each family member under one roof. (They are the same family behind the long-running and much-respected Lek Gallery, located in the same hood.) Set in what used to be Arthorn Suksa Chinese School, the multidisciplinary art space displays items that have been carefully handpicked by the new generation of a family with deep roots in the antiques scene. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to expect aesthetics that blend modern ideals and stylish eclecticism. Gigantic ancient wooden doors open up to an airy and inviting space with art pieces adorning white walls, raw concrete flooring, and an exposed teakwood ceiling. The entire ground floor acts as a shop that sells collector’s pieces and rare bric-a-brac. Don’t be surprised if you spot a carved wooden chair from the Ming Dynasty or a massive piece of embroidered fabric from the 19th century. One corner displays ceramic pieces that will start conversations but won’t empty out your pocket, including uniquely-shaped, almost distorted, handcrafted pieces from Japan, where the art of imperfection is valued. Another corner flaunts a selection of gorgeous vintage clothing from around the globe, many of them rare and hard-to-find. The second floor is a gallery, exhibiting art pieces by acclaimed contemporary art
The former grandma’s house was turned into an non-benefit art gallery named after ‘ar-ma’ (granny in Thai) as RMA offering a non-profit creative space featuring art exhibitions like photography as well as other media. RMA also provides regular creative workshops, artist talks, screenings, performances, and exhibition openings. Keep an eye on their website for the upcoming events.
Located on the grounds of the former Wang Na Palace (Front Palace), Bangkok National Museum is Thailand’s largest historical museum, showcasing priceless historical artifacts from around the country.
Hoping to integrate a piece of her childhood into what she loves doing best, art teacher and integrative arts therapist Prachayaporn “Pat” Vorananta, converted an under-appreciated rooftop area of a 30-year-old building into Studio Persona, a space where individuals can explore their artistic inclinations without fear of judgment. Pat, an only child, spent most of her childhood with art and books. The idea of Studio Persona was planted in her mind when she was only eight years old, and got to experience a sense of comfort and her first taste of self-expression at a homey and welcoming art school. Pat determined since then to put up something similar, where people can come, feel safe and be themselves, one day. The art lover strongly believes in the healing powers of creative therapy. At Studio Persona, Pat hopes participants can address and reflect on experiences, memories or even trauma by creating art. A bit of positive psychology at the end of each session, given by Pat herself, may even help them find a solution to personal issues. Participants can also come for nothing else but to have a good time. “People may not necessarily want to reflect on anything. They can just come and have a great time and carry that good feeling back home with them,” Pat says. She wants Studio Persona to be a space for both art expression and play. “Play in terms of exploring and experimenting with art. Somehow, being an adult distances one from the creative experience, so I want them to reconn
Tucked at the end of the main alley is a renovated wooden structure that houses a cafe (featuring lovely Azulejos tiles) on the ground floor. The place is known for serving a savory treat called Sappayak Bun (B50), a traditional Portuguese bun stuffed with minced pork, potatoes and chili. Get your fill while enjoying a view of the small garden before making your way up to the upper floor where a small museum showcases the relationship between the Kingdom of Siam and Portugal. The museum also displays a wide collection of photos and tools used by the early residents of Kudeejeen. You can also climb up to the rooftop for picturesque panoramas of the neighborhood and the river.
Warehouse 30 is the brainchild of The Jam Factory’s Duangrit Bunnag, who’s been gearing up full speed in revitalizing Charoenkrung. Duangrit is turning seven old warehouses built during the mid-40s into a 600-square-meter mixed-use creative complex. Product design facility FabCafe looks to convert Warehouse 1 and 2 into a co-working space. Warehouse 3 houses design studio P. Tendercool’s inventory. Duangrit has reserved Warehouse 4 for his new clothing line Lonely Two Legged Creature. Warehouse No.5 is a dining room, with food and drinks provided by The Neverending Summer, coffee by The Library Café and light bites by Moontastes. Warehouse 6 and 7 are be home to the air-conditioned Warehouse 30 Market where you can shop for handmade products, watch movies curated by The Documentary Club, drink healthy juice from Raw & Real, and buy books from Candide. The latter two warehouses will also have a multi-purpose space for art exhibitions, workshops and events.
This modern, minimalist yet functional space projects artwork in various forms including installation art, illustrations, sculptures, paintings, live performances and films.
This relaxed pottery studio, located at The Racquet Club, offers various classes in pottery- making, including hand building, wheel throwing, painting glazing. All the instructors are very experienced and hands-on, not to mention very friendly, so newbies can feel free to ask away. There’s even a full-day course designed especially for kids bring your little ones here to get their hands dirty and to help them discover their artistic side.