MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Thailand Creative & Design Center

The Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) was on my list to visit in Bangkok, since my work is design-based. It was on the 6th floor of the Emporium Shopping Complex located at Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station, so easy to find.

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It seems the centre is of most benefit to Thais, since it was set up by their government as part of an economic initiative to provide capital to enable designers to realise and develop their ideas and creativity to improve and add value to their products.

The TCDC also aims to create opportunities for Thai people to access a source of knowledge for their inspirations including exposure to famous artists and designers worldwide.

For day visitors like us, the TCDC was worth visiting as they have a shop that sold "designer" products and space for two exhibitions. The shop actually sold alot of stuff that we've already seen elsewhere in Asia and also the UK, but also sold some local ranges of products such as crafted leather stationary and accessories.

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One of the exhibitions we saw was in an open space behind the TCDC foyer called "Baht & Brains". Displaying exhibits in perspex-topped crates, this exhibition examined the value of the world's exports of creative goods and services and in particular, highlighted case studies of Creative Industries in Thailand.

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In a larger, separate gallery space, there was an exhibition called "How I See It: Sketches, Drawings, and Paintings by HRH Princess Sirivannavari".

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To be honest, the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the initial pieces of work - simple, colour sketches created by the Princess as a child - was whether it was a show that pandered to the whims of an ambitiously artistic royal. So far in Bangkok, I had begun to see various displays and billboards showing the affection the Thai public had towards their King and so the exhibition follow this sense.

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However, the more I saw, the more I felt that the vast output the Princess seemed capable of, together with a painterly style that seemed to develop over time, more than justified her own exhibition.

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I was particularly fascinated by the themes she worked to, including "Self-searching", "Illusions" and "Free Spirits" which were described and annotated with references to the way the Princess perceived the world. The blog Pop Wuping also saw the same exhibition and if you're interested, you might want to pop over for their take on it.

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Once we left the Thailand Creative & Design Center, we stopped for an expensive smoothie at a café several floors down in the Emporium Shopping Complex, purely because I liked their large typographic menus.

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This entry posted in : Art. Culture. Thailand.

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