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Apinan Poshyananda

Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Bangkok Art Biennale


Professor Dr. Apinan Poshyananda was born in 1956. He received his Bachelor and Master Degree in Fine Arts from Edinburgh University, Scotland, and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in History of Art from Cornell University, USA. As an artist, he won three medals at the National Exhibition of Art, Thailand, and has held solo exhibitions at the Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Bhirasri Institute of Modern Art, and the National Gallery, Thailand. Between 1981-2002, Poshyananda taught at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, and held position of Director at The Art Centre of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He was awarded outstanding researcher from the National Research Council, Bangkok, and was a recipient of the Bellagio Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation. He served as the Director-General of the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (2003-2009), Director-General of Cultural Promotion Department (2010-2011), and the Permanent Secretary, the Ministry of Culture, Thailand (2014-2016). During his time at the Ministry, Poshyananda was the commissioner of the Thai Pavilion at the 50th, 51st, 52nd Venice Biennale (2003, 2005 and 2008).

Poshyananda has curated works by Thai and international artists exhibitions across Asia, Europe, USA and Oceania including The 9th Sydney Biennale (1992); The 1st and 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial (1993 and 1996, Australia), The 1st Johannesburg Biennale (1995); Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/Tensions (1996-1998, Grey Art Gallery, Queens Museum of Art, and Asia Society Galleries, New York, Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Western Australia Art Gallery, Perth, Taipei Fine Arts Museum); major retrospective show Montien Boonma: Temple of the Mind (2003, 2004, Asia Society and Museum, New York, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco and the National Gallery of Australia); Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politic + Love (2008, the inaugural exhibition of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)); Thai Transience (2013, Singapore Art Museum); Thailand Eye (2015, Saatchi Gallery, London and BACC); and most recently three editions of Bangkok Art Biennale (2018, 2020, 2022).

Poshyananda is the author to several seminal books on Thai and Asian art including Modern Art in Thailand in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1992); Western-style Painting and Sculpture in the Royal Thai Court (1993); Behind Thai Smiles Selected Writings: 1991-2007 (2007); Playing with Slippery Lubricants Selected Writings: 1993-2004 (2010), among others.

He is a committee member of the Asian Art Council, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Research committee of the National Gallery Singapore; and Advisor to the President and CEO of Thai Beverage Plc. He was conferred Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, Thailand; Knight First Class of Royal Order of the Polar Star, Sweden; Knight, Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, Italy and Officer of the French Arts and Letters Order, France.


(From press information. Image courtesy of Bangkok Art Biennale)


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