Studio Blog

Inspiring Visit to Happening 101 in Bangkok

I recently attended Happening 101 at Seacon Mall in Bangkok, an art event held in June 2024 that left me both inspired and reflective. Spanning five days, this event was a seamless blend of art showcases and daily performances by various indie singers, each attracting different crowds and creating a vibrant, dynamic atmosphere.

A Perfect Venue: Seacon Mall’s MMAD

Seacon Mall, with its dedicated art space called MMAD, hosted multiple levels of art exhibitions. The mall has shown consistent support for art events like Happening 101, which I believe plays a significant role in the Thai public’s acceptance and appreciation of art, even to the untrained eye. The frequent and accessible nature of these events allows art to become a part of everyday life for many people.

Unique Concepts at Happening 101

Happening 101 featured several unique concepts that truly stood out. One of the highlights was the “Secret Room,” where visitors could have a 15-minute one-on-one session with any artist. During these sessions, artists might doodle or write something personal for the visitor, creating a memorable and intimate experience.

Another innovative idea was “My First Art,” where each artist provided an original artwork valued at around RM300 for sale. This initiative offered the public an opportunity to own their very first original piece of art, fostering a culture of art buying and appreciation.

The “Free Gift” campaign was also a hit, allowing every visitor to draw a free gift from any showcased artist. These gifts varied from stickers to pins, depending on the artist’s preference. This initiative not only broke the ice between visitors and artists but also led to deeper conversations and additional purchases, making it a highly successful engagement strategy.

Reflections on Attendance and Execution

Despite the excellent execution of Happening 101, I noticed that the attendance was still lacking. This could be due to the ticketed nature of the event, even though it was held in a mall, or perhaps it wasn’t attractive enough to regular people. As the organizer of the KL Illustration Fair, this observation made me ponder: should we strive for a well-planned, meticulously executed event, or should we aim for maximum visitors?

Well-planned events often come with higher costs, necessitating ticket prices to cover expenses. On the other hand, aiming for maximum visitors usually means offering free entrance, which can attract more people but might compromise on the quality and exclusivity of the event.

Looking Forward

This experience has given me much to think about for future events. While the balance between quality and quantity is a challenging one to strike, I remain hopeful for the future of art events in Malaysia. The success of initiatives like Happening 101 in Bangkok shows that with the right mix of creativity, accessibility, and support, art can truly thrive and resonate with the public.

As we continue to plan and execute art events, I believe we can draw valuable lessons from such experiences, striving to create events that are not only well-executed but also widely accessible and deeply impactful.

Lai 2024

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