Landing in Bangkok, I assumed the streets would be covered, wall to wall in art. Almost every street artist I admire has done a stint in this city. However, outside of the occasional throw-up tag or wheat paste, the art I was craving seemed to be lacking. Then on day 2 maybe, while on the Chao Phraya river boat, I spotted a building sized piece of and elephant balancing on another elephant doing a head stand. My trigger finger was too slow to grab a snap of it, but I knew at that point that I just wasnt looking hard enough. That same evening we met up with a friend-of-a-friend from back home for drinks and she invited us to the closing night of a street art festival that had taken over the streets of Bangkok, "Bukruk", and there was no way in hell I was going to miss it. I spent a few minutes googling the term, and sure enough, the first image that popped up was of the elephant balancing act we saw from the boat, done by Belgium artist ROA.
I'm not sure what I was expecting on the walk to what I assumed was a collection of small works by random artists around the city. But I can say for certain, that what we came upon was far from anything I had anticipated. The building was enormous, granted, but what was being projected on the Grand Postal Building of Bangkok seemed to make the pyramid sized bricks quake beneath it. And the sound that seemed to blanket a two block radius was indescribable. We walked through the gates of the Postal building, sat on the ground, front and center, and tried to soak in what was happening. After a few minutes I snapped out of what seemed to be an external LSD trip and realized that I need to capture some of what was taking place. And the best part? As I got closer to the scene to get some good shots, I realized that everything I was watching was happening in real time. This "visual assault on architecture" was being collaborated on, live, by six different people, headed up by multimedia artist Motomichi Nakamura with music performed by Jean-David Caillouet and Stylish Nonsense.
I came for street art, maybe a few beers, but what I got in return for my attendance was one of the most incredible showings of creativity I have ever seen. Kudos to the Bukruk team for making something like this happen and to the artists for portraying beauty in the strange and unexpected.