Proposed by

Simon Soon


Bangkok, Thailand

About the project

The Reading Room is a contemporary art library, activity space, and project platform. One of its main obligations is a direct response to severe socio-political climate in Thailand, especially the realisation that there is a lack of public and independent space in the country. Therefore, it has focused on providing an open space for broader public discourse through diverse programmes including seminars, lectures, screenings, workshops, and politico-cultural projects, in order to create dialogue and discussion among people from various fields of knowledge and communities in Thailand. It does this through collaborating with diverse practitioners; from human rights organisations, activist groups, digital rights advocacy, independent arts and cultural collectives, academic institutions, literacy and literary initiatives, etc.

Under intense monitoring and censorship from the military government toward social and political oppositions, academics, journalists and activists have been primary targets. As one of the initiatives under surveillance and suppression, The Reading Room has adapted to simultaneously battling and evading these abusive powers through instrumentalising diversification, deviation, and subversion in producing events and programmes. This includes Sleepover project (a six-month project in which six diverse cultural individuals from Thailand and SEA takeover the space and produce series of public program that reflect socio-political stances); Night School (an eight-month alternative school programme on online culture), Rereading Group ( who reread and reinterpret classic works in sociocultural fields), Right Here, Right Now (a talk series exploring keywords from right wing ideology); and this year, the main series will focus on student movement in SEA and civic education.

External links

Project website

About the artist

Narawan Pathomvat (Kyo) is founder and director of contemporary art library and non-profit platform, The Reading Room, Bangkok. She is also lecturer at the Department of Art History, Faculty of Archaeology at Silpakorn University, Bangkok. She studied at Pratt Institute, New York, and previously worked for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, and Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Kyo is also an independent curator, writer, and translator. She is currently a researcher-in-residence at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, where she is working on a project to map and analyse Southeast Asian contemporary art writings.