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Essential Desires

Contemporary Art in Thailand

Essential Desires: Contemporary Art in Thailand is the first major, fully illustrated survey of Thai art in thirty years. Brian Curtin shows how Thai artists negotiated their emergence on the global art stage while dealing with pan-Asian regionalism and nationalism at home. This book traces the influences on contemporary Thai artists, from the impact of consumerism in Bangkok in the 1990s to the waning legacies of tradition, and their relationship to the nation’s often-volatile political stage. Curtin, in his exploration of Thailand’s fascinating art scene, shows how Thai artists are generating new ideas about their country.

256 pages | 90 color plates, 15 halftones | 7 1/4 x 9 3/4

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

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“A fine overview of contemporary Thai art in its historical context by a knowledgeable and sensitive critic who has lived and worked in Thailand for two decades.”

Thanavi Chotpradit, Silpakorn University, Thailand

Essential Desires serves as a valuable handbook to contemporary Thai art, providing an effective survey of recent developments, carefully and clearly placed in the context of Thailand’s complicated cultural-political milieu.”

Pamela Corey, SOAS, University of London

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