In April of this year, the first-ever Mango Art Festival
was a massive success. The event gave me a much-needed opportunity to interact with art lovers in Thailand. There was amazing art, wonderful people, and a feeling of togetherness we'd all been missing.
I had the opportunity to showcase my series Crossing Boundaries
at the event, and many other talented artists showed their work in what was an incredible art festival and exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand.
And now, the theme for Mango Art Festival 2022
has been announced: A Vision for a Better Tomorrow.
Despite the immense challenges from the pandemic and rising international tensions, the environment is still the most important crisis to solve. If we cannot rise to the challenge, we are facing a future without dignity. Too many people take breathable air and clean water for granted. They take the idea that there will be a future for our children as a given. But these all depend on an environment fit for human life -- and we are rapidly destroying it.
In 2022, artists will gather at the Mango Art Festival to bring groundbreaking aesthetic developments to bear on this central issue. Through art, we can generate more interest and care for the environment, and in our own way, we can shape the world to come.
To celebrate the announcement of the event's theme, I thought I'd dedicate some space to talk about upcycle art and some artists who are leading the way in this exciting new medium.
is a way to create works with sustainable practices, looking at the immense amount of waste generated every day as resources to make art -- not just trash to throw away. This work will be heavily featured at Mango Art Festival 2022, in line with its theme promoting action to save the environment.
Upcycling is different from recycling because it is a process of making even more value out of already used resources. Whereas recycling returns something to its original use, upcycling enhances the use of discarded material. Upcycle art takes the refuse of modern life and turns it into beautiful art, all while not damaging the environment in the process.
This does two things. Of course, it saves material from ending up in the landfill and oceans, but it also, through the very process that creates it, highlights critical ecological issues.
There are a number of amazing artists already working in upcycle art, including:Edward Burtynysky -
This photographer documents the damage caused to the environment from human activity. In Rice Terraces #2 (2012)
, he shows us an aerial view from the Yunnan Province in China, capturing in painterly colours the effect of overfarming.Marina Abramovic -
The renowned performance artist created a virtual reality experience in 2018 called Rising
. In this 360-degree panorama, audiences can directly witness the coming impact of rising sea waters from melting polar ice.Ploenchan Winyarat -
Ploenchan creates art using littered items found in nature. In The Sea Ghost and Beyond (2020)
, the artist used everything from waste paper, plastic ribbons, and marine waste in an upcycle process.Ae Witchulada Pantaranuwong -
This is another artist who uses waste items like plastic caps and bottles to create in a variety of forms, including installations and fashion. She held a fashion show at this year's Mango Art Festival.Thanawat Maninawa -
Under the brand name TAM:DA, this artist upcycles materials to create fashion while also reducing the amount of resources used in the process. His work is both stunning and sustainable
All of these artists are helping to pave the way to a new, more sustainable form of creation. They've managed to produce upcycle art without sacrificing their aesthetic goals.
About River City Bangkok
River City Bangkok
is a shopping centre sitting on the Chao Phraya River on the Si Phraya Pier. Accessible by both car and boat, it stands tall at four storeys, providing visitors with antiques, jewellery and collectables. It's waterfront flaunts many spectacular restaurants offering some of the best cuisine in the city. And while you're there, you can always join one of the many cruises that take you out onto the river.
What makes it even better? My latest abstract photographic exhibition Saving Face
is showing there right now.
On both a general and personal level, I'm excited that the Mango Art Festival 2022 is taking place at River City Bangkok. The location is the perfect place to show artwork that confronts the biggest challenge of our time.I had a fantastic time at the Mango Art Festival this April
, and I know next year will build on the success. I'm proud to have been a part of it, and I'm itching to get started on new photography to present at the next one.