A vibrant art environment not only stimulates the economy but also boosts innovation, community engagement, and attracts cultural tourists
PASSIONATE about empowering through art, Madam Astrid Amaya – wife of H.E. Andelfo García González, Colombian Ambassador to Thailand, established AOTA Art 29 years ago to discover and enable talented artists from around the world to reach greater audiences and to empower corporations in the USA with effective diversity and inclusion initiatives through the power of art.
“Given my passion for art and seeing how much potential Bangkok has to become a leading art city in Asia, I just couldn’t stay a passive observer. I aim to apply my experience in producing creative art initiatives to brand Bangkok as an international and domestic art city. We need to attract the support of the public sector to serve as an umbrella organisation to attract the sponsorship of the private sector in Bangkok,” said Madam Astrid in an interview with The BigChilli.
‘La Femme’ international art exhibition held at River City Bangkok was organised by AOTA to celebrate the International Women’s Day in Bangkok – and what better way to celebrate the occasion than through art.
“Art helps us express our values, builds bridges between cultures, and brings us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age.
“The event received a marvellous response. This is a clear sign that there are many curious Bangkokian minds who are longing to experience art and cultural events in the city.
“Leading international schools such as Wells, Harrow and KIS were prompt to seize the opportunity to organise groups of students to visit the exhibition. Their enthusiasm led us to organise workshops with more than 100 selected high school students from top art programs. The students absolutely loved the experience. As Michael Case of Harrow International School said, ‘We greatly enjoyed our visit to La Femme and students came back brimming with ideas.’”
The opening day saw over 300 VIP guests attending the event; over 20 ambassadors, honorary consuls, and presidents and members of the Chamber of Commerce from Mexico and India whose countries were exhibited. Leading women’s organisations also attended the event, among them were: IWC, YWCA, Soroptimist International, National Council of Women of Thailand (NCWT), Global Federation of Chinese Business Women, and more.
The event was considered the stepping stone of an enormous goal to convert Bangkok into a leading art and culture city in the ASEAN region and to promote aesthetic excellence and innovation available in Bangkok. This art exhibition is part of a greater campaign called ‘Art in Public Spaces’ taking place in many leading cities and aiming to attract groups of higher-spending visitors to bolster the tourism industry in the long run.
“Art in Public Spaces will stimulate direct and indirect revenue for all parties involved. It will help increase innovation, cultural diversity, and community engagement, and encourage youth to develop creative skills that are crucial in today’s job market.”
When inquired regarding AOTA’s upcoming projects, Madam Astrid said: “In Bangkok, we are calling upon leading shopping centres to host cultural events through art, and TAT and BMA to engage Bangkok with a light or interactive festival for the region.
"Some of the most successful art festivals today are Hong Kong Art Festival, Singapore Art Week, Dubai Canvas, and many light festivals happening around the world.
“Take Vivid Sydney as an example. The event garnered over 460% growth in visitors from 2012 to 2016; from 500,000 visitors to 2.31 million visitors. Sharjah Light Festival reported 650,000 visitors in 10 days versus 55,000 visitors in 2015 – according to H.E. Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce & Tourism.
“As for the future plans here in Bangkok, Central Embassy will host in November a HiE-D Human Interface installation, the latest interactive technology to track people’s movements. ‘Save the Arctic’ will feature four cute arctic animals driven to extinction that will interact in real time with the visitors.”
This top-notch and fun installation will not only take you to the Arctic but will also raise awareness of the effects of global warming on all living creatures. It aims to makes us question what can we do or not do to help to keep our environment safe for future generations.
Bangkok has the opportunity to shine in this booming Asian art scene. Madam Astrid is in action to engage all parts as she tells us that it will take the whole society to embrace art education in daily lives. As a result, all sectors of the society will benefit from an ‘Art in Public Spaces’ campaign.