Bangkok, 13 January 2021—French–born but Thai at heart, Valérie Goutard’s bronze treasures grace public spaces in Bangkok and beyond.
Auguste Rodin, Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp. Any list of significant French sculptors certainly includes these names. But are you familiar with Valérie Goutard?
According to Artsper Magazine’s list of “10 French Sculptors you should know,” Goutard – familiarly known as “Val” – sits up there among those giants.
And if you live in Bangkok, you’re in luck: A number of Val’s landmark pieces grace the city and are easy to access. (And if you venture further, to Kao Tao, you can see one of her most extraordinary works of all – more on that later.)
Although born in France, it was Bangkok that Val considered home. Before her untimely death in 2016, Val built up her international reputation here, showing her art for the first time (2004), and creating her art with a local team and foundries.
In January of 2021, Subhashok The Arts Center (S.A.C) will salute Val and her impact on the international art world by mounting a career-spanning solo exhibition of her works, some of which have never been shown to the public before.
But before then, you can explore the vision of this unique artist on your own in an easy afternoon, via this tour of Val’s Bangkok works.
Site 1: Benjasiri Park: Ville fantastique II. Perhaps seen as an homage to her beloved Bangkok, this monumental work was donated to the city by Val and is engraved with a message from the artist: “Surreal vision of the city, crossed destinies, doors and windows opened to the horizon to foster dreams and free thinking.” The Park is located on Sukhumvit Road, next to the Emporium shopping mall
Site 2: Alliance Française: Attraction II. This large 2015 bronze, located in the forecourt of the building, symbolizes fraternity and a spirit of cultural exchange between France and Thailand at 179 Wireless Rd, Lumphini, Pathumwan. Phone: 02 670 4200
Site 3: Sofitel Sukhumvit: Here you can see two works, the large-scale Inle Balance III (located outside, near hotel entrance) and the more intimate Hide & Seek II (in hotel lobby). 189 Sukhumvit Rd, Klong Toei Nuea. Phone: 02 126 9999
If you’d like to see more of Val’s work in Thailand, journey further south – to the west of Koh Tao island– where you’ll be treated to one of Val’s most magnificent works, named Ocean Utopia. But you’ll have to be comfortable in the water, as the installation is viewable only to scuba divers and snorkelers.
Ocean Utopia was painstakingly installed on the ocean floor in 2016, and entrances undersea visitors with its towering humanlike figures that now have taken on colorful coats of shells, algae and coral shoots – just as Val envisioned. The artwork is at a depth of 12 meters, making it accessible for novice and experienced divers alike.
For more information about Val and her work, visit: www.sculptureval.com
And to learn about visiting the Koh Tao site (and to learn about diving lessons and tours), see both www.oceanutopia.com and www.newheavenreefconservation.org
Val’s upcoming retrospective will be at SAC (Subhashok The Art Center) starting on January 20, 2021 to March 14, 2021. Follow them further announcements: https://www.facebook.com/sacbangkok/
For high resolution images, please access them here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1j8qrG6gxGFjFAdNxwvwPaZ8j6CQ4vkOC
Tom Van Blarcom | Warin Pattarapatumthong
Tel: 0 2260 5820 /Fax: 0 2260 5847-8
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