BANGKOK ART SCENE NOW

The thriving art scene of today’s Bangkok has seen new galleries opening up since early last year, adding a welcoming touch and fresh artistic vibe to the already saturated plethora of department stores. A good sign showing that, Bangkok is trying to pin itself onto the worldwide destination city for art and culture.

With artistic initiatives such as the first PhotoBangkok Festival 2015 (July 29th – Oct. 4th, 2015), let’s all hope that the city will be back into the highlights but this time not for its political turmoil and economic instability.

Adler Subhashok Gallery

Hard to find upon the first visit and tucked in a small alley off Sukhumvit soi 33, Adler Subhashok Gallery will impress visitors with its modern design building spread across four floors with over 1,000 square meters of space dedicated to Art.

With an international and highly professional team, including collector Subhashok Angkasuwansiri (owner of Subhashok Art Center), French couple Armelle and Joel Cohen of Adler gallery Paris, and Subhashok’s French art dealer, Laurent de Pass, the gallery aims to market Thai contemporary art around the world as well as introducing more Western art to Thai collectors.

Expect artworks and installations by upcoming young Thai artists or by international artists whose works has never or rarely been exhibited in Bangkok.

Their next exhibition titled “Wu Jin”「凝視 無盡」, by Taiwanese master of modern photography Ko Si-Chi, is an ‘Exhibition of Timelessness’ (Sept. 11th – Oct. 18th, 2015).

*This exhibition is part of Photo Bangkok 2015

“Wu Jin”「無盡」meaning ‘timelessness’ in Chinese, describes Mr. Ko’s current status; keep walking, keep shooting, freeze the time, cross time and space, step over the beauty, stand far above the unworldliness, this name is also inspirited from the “Endless Light” in Vimalakirti Sutra-Buddha Chapter.

[Opening reception: September 11th 2015, 7:00 pm]

Adler Subhashok Gallery – Bangkok

160/3 Soi Sukhumvit 33, Sukhumvit Rd., Klongton Nue, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Tel: (+66) 2-662-0299 http://www.sacbangkok.com/

 56th Studio

Further down and hidden deep inside Sukhumvit soi 31 (BTS Phrom Phong), another privately owned gallery, 56th Studio was created by Thai creative director/designer Napawan and art director/bartender Saran. This quirky space is dedicated to Visual Designs with a blend of graphic design, illustration, product design, furniture and ‘everything sitting in between’.Combining a pop-up speakeasy with drinks tailored to the theme of each exhibition, the 45sqm attic function not only as an office to a multi-disciplinary design studio; but also as a bar, a concept store and a meeting point where established designers, upcoming artists and all design-lovers collides.Their monthly-curated events showcase young and upcoming designers and makers, with selected graphic prints, illustrations, furniture and fine art. Make sure to have a chat with them on their secret outdoor covered terrace and try their excellent concoctions.56th Studio Private Gallery (opens on Fri, Sat, Sun from 12.00 – 24.00)

235/10, unit 9-11 Green Connect, Sukhumvit soi 31, Klongtun-nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 http://www.56thstudio.com/

H Gallery Bangkok

H Gallery Bangkok was established in 2002 and deserves a special mention in this article as one of Thailand’s pioneering leading venues for current art in the region by maintaining a curated program of experimental works and international dialogues.

With an exclusive focus on Thai artists, the gallery has evolved as critical shifts in Asia’s art scenes and continues to ensure their transnational importance for the very notion of Contemporary Art ‘made in Thailand’.

In 2011, as a continuation of Bangkok’s longstanding history of alternative venues, saw the birth of H Project Space (on the second floor of H gallery), directed by Dr. Brian Curtin, an art critic and curator.

In 2012, H Gallery Chiang Mai opened with an installation by the celebrated Thai artist Mit Jai-Inn. H Gallery also manages two exhibition spaces at Gaysorn department store in Bangkok.

The gallery roster includes Sopheap Pich, Somboon Hormtientong and Jakkai Siributr. H galleries has also collaborated with Shen Wei, Sakarin Krue-On, Michael Lee, Jedsada Tangtrakulwong, Olivier Pin-Fat, Viet Le, Simon Larbalestier and a provocative variety of emerging and established talents.

H Gallery keeps an extensive inventory of works, which can be viewed by appointment only.

Upcoming exhibition at H gallery Bangkok:

Frank Hallam Day ‘Call Waiting: Bangkok Phone Booths’

(Aug. 6 – Sept. 27, 2015) *This exhibition is part of Photo Bangkok 2015

A multivalent series of photographs of Bangkok’s battered public phone booths.

H GALLERY BANGKOK / H PROJECT SPACE . 201 Sathorn Soi 12 Bangkok

H GALLERY CHIANG MAI . Mae Rim Province . Chiang Mai – Near The Four Seasons Resort

G1 CONTEMPORARY & THE SPACE . Gaysorn Shopping Center . Bangkok

H GALLERY at EAT ME RESTAURANT Convent Road Bangkok

HGALLERYBKK.COM Tel: +66(0)85 021 5508

Speedy Grandma & Speedy Grandchild

Speedy Grandma* was founded in August 2012 by Lee Anantawat and Thomas Menard, both big supporters and art enthusiasts of the dynamic Thai contemporary art scene. Entering 2015, Pisitakun Kuntalang and Judha Su united the team, and they started to position themselves as an “alternative space”.

In addition to monthly exhibitions held at Speedy Grandma, they recently launched a new project, Speedy Grandchild, which is exclusively dedicated for art students or young (inexperienced) artists to occupy their second floor studio each month.

Opened for any kind of experimental ideas, they are also running artist-in-residency programs for international artists who would like to work and share their experiences with local artists and audiences. Lee Anantawat ‘Granny’ truly believes in the transformative power of art, youthful spirit, and non-hierarchical relationships. She declares: “Art should not be condemned to an isolated or exclusive universe, so our main mission is to advocate for the dynamic and critical role of art in the society. We see the experimentation as a mode of inquiry which is necessary if we are to insist on a constant, probing and generous interaction with reality. If you are having any daring and risk-taking idea, and think we can be helpful, just contact us; as ‘Granny’ with a restless soul I am always available for you”.

*The name “Speedy Grandma” was from an urban ghost legend. A Grandma riding a motorbike in Bangkok was cut in two pieces by a string stretched in a small street. The legend says that if anyone rides too fast in that small street, he will see in his wing mirror the upper half Grandma’s body crawling after his vehicle… As an urban legend can be spread out quickly, the “Speedy Grandma” space aims at popularizing art, and intend to promote a new generation of talented and ambitious artists. The name also reveals the quirky character of the four members team.

Speedy Grandma & Speedy Grandchild, 672/50-52 Soi Charoenkrung 28, Bangrak, Bangkok

Tel: +66811005154 (Jen) / +66921158696 (Thomas)

http://www.speedygrandma.com/

Soy Sauce Factory

Following his steps to develop more art venues in what was then ‘an abandoned part of Chinatown’, Thomas Menard (co-founder of Speedy Grandma) opened Soy Sauce Factory in May 2014, an eclectic art space which operates like a bar gallery on the first floor, an exhibition space on the second floor, and an artist in residence accommodations on the third floor. The interior is bare and industrial, a reminiscence of New York warehouses converted into airy lofts. Upstairs regular exhibitions are often held in collaboration with Most photography agency, lead by Eliseo Barbara.

The recent addition to the venue is a Northern style street food restaurant overlooking the destitute khlong and offering outdoor sittings. Enjoy a strong ‘rhum arrange’ (perfumed rum) while swinging over the canal, home to a couple of giant lizards.

Soy Sauce Factory, Soi 24, Charoenkrung road, Bangkok

Tel: +66(0)61 835 6824 https://www.facebook.com/soysaucefactory

S gallery

A recent addition to Bangkok art galleries, Sofitel Bangkok (Sukhumvit) luxury hotel has launched its own 100-square-meter gallery inspired by French contemporary art and design.

In what was previously Le Bar, S gallery hosts new exhibitions every two months. Curated by MG art design, they feature the works of Thai or French painters, photographers, sculptors and installation artists.

Current exhibition: ‘Out of Curiosity’ by Bruno Tanquerel (June 18th – Sept 6th, 2015)

French artist and architect Bruno Tanquerel’s solo exhibition features his latest contemporary artwork in the style of Paul Klee, with abstract lines that touch upon human relationships.

S Gallery, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 189 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok, Thailand

Tel: +66(0)93-582-6588 http://www.mgartdesign.com/

YenakArt Villa

The latest addition to the burgeoning Bangkok art scene, YenakArt Villa is the second collaboration between Frederic Meyer and Jeremy Opritesco (Namsah Bottling Trust).

Inside a spacious building influenced by the European 1930’s architectural avant-garde and a facade made entirely from glass, facing a 600 square meters garden, the innovative duo created a place “where art could be enjoyed during intimate gatherings, in the presence of the exhibited artist; a place where art is considered as an essential part of a subtle and exciting life-style; a place where art could be experienced together with fine dining, wine tastings and music; a place with a cosy ambience, where all the guests could express their own personalities, in the company of old and new friends.”

The highlight being their bi-monthly exclusive gathering with fine dining paired along with wine in the presence of the artist and music played by a DJ according to the exhibited art works. For each diner, around 15 invitations are sent out to selected individuals, from art collectors, art critics, journalists, key opinion leaders, academics, artists to entrepreneurs, mainly Thai but as well to expats living in Thailand.

Yenarkart Villa is located at 69 Soi Prasat Suk and can be visited only by appointment

Tel. +66(0)2235-9800 email: aie@avrilprod.com.

Photos: courtesy from the galleries unless specified (© photo by Vincent Sung)

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