Bangkok has a vibrant and exciting art scene with plenty of interesting emerging artists. Check out our list of the best contemporary art galleries that Thailand’s capital has to offer, covering everything from photography and paintings to textiles and design.
The Kathmandu Photo Gallery is owned by photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom. Sriwanichpoom’s vision was to open a photographic gallery that mimicked a traditional photo print shop, including quirky features such as antique-green walls. Many of his fascinating black-and-white prints from his travels are on display here. The first floor hosts temporary exhibitions by local and international photographers. The gallery is housed in a restored pre-war shophouse located near the Indian Temple (Sri Mariamman) in Bangkok’s financial district. This gallery is perfect for those who want a personalised art experience with a distinctly local flavour.
Bangkok CityCity Gallery in the Sathorn district is one of the only custom-designed galleries in the city. The modern, minimalist structure stands strong within its surroundings, and the galleries inside host the works of local emerging artists. The gallery has regular events and an on-site café. The Bangkok CityCity Gallery opened its doors with a very successful exhibition from Thai cartoonist Wisut Ponnimit, and in the past has also hosted graffiti artist Alex Face’s exhibition, which included his famous three-eyed boy in a rabbit costume.
The Bangkok University Art Gallery is a private gallery that exhibits the work of young and emerging artists alongside seasoned Thai creatives and designers. The gallery is located close to Bangkok’s Khlong Toei Port and hosts between six and eight different multidisciplinary exhibitions each year. Bangkok University Gallery also organises art projects at other locations across the city.
Owned by H Ernest Lee from the USA, the H Gallery specialises in contemporary art forms, including painting, photography and textiles. Established in 2002, the gallery focusses on emerging Thai and Asian artists and also hosts famous international artists. All the exhibitions are curated by Irish-born art writer, lecturer and freelance curator Brian Curtin, who has been published extensively on contemporary art in magazines such as Frieze and Art Asia Pacific. H Gallery is set in a 125-year-old colonial-style mansion and houses two separate exhibition spaces.
Housed in a striking granite building in the north of Bangkok, the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA Bangkok, is dedicated to the new era of non-traditional Thai art inspired by Buddhism. Spread out across five floors, the large exhibition space makes it the biggest art museum in Bangkok. The museum exhibits paintings by national artists including Chalermchai Kositpipat, Panya Vijinthanasarn and the late Thawan Duchanee. The admission fee is 250 baht (£6.50) for adults and 100 baht (£2.50) for students with ID.
The Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) acts as a learning centre for design and creativity. It provides support for Thai designers and entrepreneurs to compete internationally. First opened in 2005, TCDC operates under the support of the Office of Knowledge Management and Development (OKMD) within the Office of the Prime Minister. Its sole aim is to promote creative thinking in Thai society and encourage Thai people to recognise the value of art and design. The centre runs a programme of exhibitions, lectures and workshops and also provides research facilities.
The Queen’s Gallery displays the works of emerging Thai artists and senior local artists. The gallery opened in 2003 in a renovated Bangkok Bank, Phanfa Bridge branch, which was formerly the Bangkok Bank’s Musical Art Centre. Opened through Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s initiative to create a permanent public space to exhibit and promote the works of both established and up-and-coming Thai artists, the gallery was named in her honour. While four of its floors are used as exhibition spaces, the fifth floor is used for art-related activities and projects.
La Lanta is a well-established gallery located in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district of Watthana. The gallery showcases contemporary art by internationally acclaimed artists and local up-and-coming creatives. Many projects take place here, including working in collaboration with artists from Argentina, Australia, China, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, the UK, the US and Vietnam. Its Young Program initiative enables the gallery to identify and embrace new ideas undertaken by promising young artists from the Asia region. The name ‘Lalanta’ is translated from the Thai word meaning ‘beauty in abundance’.
This article is an updated version of a story by Eleanor Cunningham.