Thai art graces state assembly building


(From left) H’ng, Lim, Law, Raschada, Chirathep and Chalah at the opening ceremony. — Buletin Mutiara

INSTEAD of witnessing political debates, the Penang Legislative Assembly building in Light Street is now an attraction for art lovers following the opening of the Thai Contemporary Arts Exhibition in Penang 2024.

The exhibition, showcasing 40 art pieces ― 20 created by four Thai artists and the rest contributed by a renowned art collector ― is open until Feb 29 from 10.30am to 5pm.

The showing at the historic building built over 200 years ago is made possible by state assembly Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang and Thai consul-general in Penang Raschada Jiwalai.

Law said Raschada acted swiftly upon his proposal to showcase talented Thai artwork within the assembly building.

“While we believe art is cross-cultural, beyond borders, as well as creative and multifaceted, we also believe that the beauty of art needs to be shared.

“And today, the Thai Contemporary Art exhibition got it just right.

“Thanks to His Excellency Raschada Jiwalai for choosing the Penang Legislative Assembly house for this historic exhibition, the first-ever Thailand art exhibition in this historic building,” Law said in his speech.

“I strongly believe and suggest that many more such exhibitions should be arranged, and the House is ready to welcome our guests and artists.”

Raschada said the project was a new dimension in promoting people-to-people connectivity through cultural diplomacy.

“It also further enhances the networking of our friends in Thailand who have always played an important role in strengthening cordial relations between Thailand and Malaysia, especially Thailand and Penang.

“I look forward to the opportunity to strengthen people-to-people connectivity through cultural diplomacy,” Rashada was quoted by Buletin Mutiara as saying.

He also expressed special acknowledgement to Chirathep Senivongs, art collector and prominent figure in the Thailand stock exchange, for bringing the collection to Penang.

With art galleries and exhibitions mostly located in big cities, Chirathep has advocated for the promotion of art activities by artists in smaller towns.

Accompanying Chirathep were artists Jome Munpolsri, Tanupon En-on, Chalah Chaveesuk and Pranai Kasemtavornisilpa.

Among dignitaries present were state executive councillors Lim Siew Khim and Jason H’ng Mooi Lye; consul-general of Japan in Penang Kawaguchi Yoshiyasu; vice-consul general of China in Penang Ding Qiao; Norway and Denmark honorary consul in Penang Datuk Lio Chee Yeong; honorary consul of Belgium in Penang Michael van Crombrugge and deputy consul-general of Thailand in Penang Suratchaya Palawongse.

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