Art 101: Exploring Bangkok’s Street Art
A Different Kind of Graffiti
When I finally got over the excitement of being somewhere genuinely “cool,” I braved talking to a few of the artists. There were several Europeans, usually alone, who couldn’t pass up the chance to practice their art in a sanctioned space. They told me how it changed their art to be able to sit back and have a coffee in the tropical weather while critiquing their progress.
The first floor seemed to be reserved for artists with more clout, and when I got to the top floor it was almost entirely empty. Anything sprayed on the upper floors looked to have come from unpracticed visitors wanting to experience the thrill of making their mark on something so permanent.
I went back to the first floor and spent some time in one of the larger rooms where a group of Thais were working on a wall together. I was apprehensive about talking to them. They looked as cool as this event, and I was just the farang kid who used formal pronouns and obnoxiously rigid syntax in their language. They started speaking to me in English, and were so excited when I responded in Thai that they invited me to take a seat and have a beer with them. They talked about why they love art and what it means to them. They told me that watching an artist work tells you a lot about them and their motivations.