Intimate portraits of friends created by a Chinese artist before he took his own life. An Indian painter's depiction of life before and after gay sex was decriminalised. These are some of the images on display at an Asian contemporary art show that opens in the Thai capital Bangkok on Saturday, seeking to fight LGBT+ discrimination in a region where same-sex behaviour is still criminalised in many nations.
The exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), which runs until March 1, features the works of nearly 60 Asian artists, and is the second such exhibition after a show in Taipei two years ago. It is aimed at engaging with people who may have differing views on LGBT+ people and art, said Patrick Sun, founder of the Sunpride Foundation, whose collection is the foundation of the show.
"Art is less confrontational - it's perhaps more palatable to the general public who may not go to a Pride march, or support marriage equality," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Bangkok. "This is why it is in a public gallery, because we want the general public to come and see the art, think about it, talk about it, and perhaps change their minds," he said. Sun said he picked Taipei and Bangkok as venues because of their more liberal attitudes toward homosexuality.
Earlier this year, Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalise marriage equality, and lawmakers in Thailand are drafting a Civil Partnership Bill to give more rights to same-sex couples.
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