I am a big fan of street art. It can be the size of a stamp or covering a whole building – when I see something I like, I stop and get my camera out. Street art manages to surprise me, amaze me, make me laugh, make me think – and I appreciate that.
I find that the grey uniform concrete jungles in the west often benefit from these colourful creations, but what about Thailand? Here we have a country that is already full of bright colours; it’s a country where people anarchically plant flowers and place pots with lavish leafy green stuff everywhere; it’s a country where the impressive and countless temples emit their glory with an abundance of gold and red; where the fruits at the market put every rainbow to shame and where a variety of colourful religious emblems are a part of every building.
Thailand is such a visual place that one couldn’t really argue that it is in need of any further decoration.
It is also a place where people feel differently about public and private property than they do in the Western world. The bright white walls surrounding a temple or a government building might look like open invitations to Western folk, but I think in Thailand it would be regarded as very disrespectful to say the least to use this space to express yourself.
In fact, and this is interesting: if you find awesome graffiti, it will most likely be on the crumbly walls of an abandoned building. Choosing an inoffensive location is part of Thai manners, I guess!
In addition to this, we discovered street art mainly in the cities with a lot of foreigners living or vacationing there, like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Mind you, finding it wasn’t easy. But here’s the deal: once you start asking the right questions…
…you‘ll begin to see the signs.
After that, it’s all about lifting some veils…
…put your heart into it….
…until you find… THE ANGRY TOMATO!
THE ANGRY TREES!
THE MIGHTY GARAGE DOOR DRAGON!
…and possibly a cheeky fish that might have seen better days:
Oh wait, there’s more fish! We discovered the artist behind the fish, Bon Mue. Check out more of his work here.
Has all the fish provoked any of the following expressions on your face?
Or is part of your brain melting while the other one looks upon it like Little Red Ridinghood? (I think I found another fish…)
Don’t worry about it, though – look, we found you a Space Invader in Phuket:
Phuket is also the place where we saw this gem:
The artist’s name is Noé Two and there’s a pretty awesome video about his “Thailand Graffiti Trip” in 2012 (length: just under six minutes), where you can also see him working on this particular piece!
So this was the street art we found during our time in Thailand. Unfortunately we went back to Europe right before a rather special event: in spring this year Bangkok hosted Bukruk, a street art festival and a collaboration between European and Thai street artists…! At least I found a little slideshow of some of the artists and their work. Apparently it was quite a success and might be back next year – fingers crossed!