Michael Shaowanasai

Michael Shaowanasai (Thai: ไมเคิล เชาวนาศัย) (born 1964) is a Thai-American artist and actor who lives in Bangkok. His works includes performance art, photography, video, film and installations.

Michael Shaowanasai
Michael Shaowanasai cropped.jpg
Michael Shaowanasai presents his film, The Adventure of Iron Pussy, at the Amersterdam Asian Film Festival.
Born1964 (1964) (age 57)
Alma materChulalongkorn University
San Francisco Art Institute
Art Institute of Chicago
OccupationArtist, actor

Early life and educationEdit

Shaowanasai was born in 1964[1] in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He graduated from School of Law at Chulalongkorn University in 1985, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 and a Master of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996.


Shaowanasai is a founding member of Project 304, a Bangkok-based contemporary art group.

His solo shows include MS@OAS, a photography installation at Open Art Space in Bangkok; Thailand, as well as shows at the Fujikawa Gallery in Osaka, Japan, Gallery 4A in Sydney, Australia, and Ottawa Art Gallery, Canada.

Among his more provocative works are Welcome to My Land... Come and Taste the Paradise, an installation and performance by Project 304 in Bangkok and Fresh Young Boys' Semen for Sale, a performance on Patpong in Bangkok.

Shaowanasai, who is openly gay, ran the inaugural Gay and Lesbian Video Festival in Thailand in 2002.[1]

Among his film and video works is the 2003 feature film, The Adventure of Iron Pussy, which he co-directed with Apichatpong Weerasethakul. A spoof of Thai movie musicals and melodramas of the 1960s and '70s (especially those of Petchara Chaowarat), Michael portrayed the title character, a transvestite Thai secret agent whose alter ego is a gay male 7-Eleven clerk. The film was screened at several festivals, including the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, as well as a limited commercial run in a Bangkok cinema and a DVD release in Thailand.

He had a featured role in the 2006 romantic-comedy Metrosexual and portrays a soccer referee in Lucky Loser.

In 2008 he curated the exhibition Lifeboat #2551 as part of the Sydney Biennale projects in Gallery 4A (now 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art). The exhibition also included video and film works by artists Wit Pimkanchanapong, Sakarin Krue-on, Tin Tin Cooper, Momokomotion, Manit Sriwanichpoom and others.[2]

In 2012 he starred a role in a Philippine-Thai Film entitled Suddenly It's Magic produced by Star Cinema.


  1. ^ a b "Michael Shaowanasai", Noorderlicht Photofestival 2006, archived from the original on 14 November 2007, retrieved 8 September 2007
  2. ^ "Lifeboat #2551: Contemporary Media Art from Thailand". 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2021.

External linksEdit