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We thought it was about time to inject a touch more culture into the Travelfish site, so here is a list of 10 art galleries in Bangkok worth poking your head into. Note you'll see no national galleries here, but rather more independent, small operations, as that's where you'll often find the most challenging art in Thailand. We've not set our eyes on all these places ourselves (we're a bit lacking in the culture department) but we put the word out and some of our far more cultured friends helped us come up with this shortlist.
ArtGorillas ArtGallery claims to be one of the most unique art spaces in Bangkok, displaying work by upcoming local and international talents influenced by street art, computer art and pop surrealism (among others). You'll see painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media.
ArtGorillas: 260 2nd floor Lido Multiplex Building Siam Square Soi 3 Rama 1 Rd. Bangkok. Closest BTS: Siam.
Set on the third floor of the Peninsula Plaza on Ratchadamri Rd, Art Republic's most recent exhibition, "Music Through Art", presented a fusion of work by both Thai and international artists. In their own words, Art Republic is a contemporary gallery representing Thai and selected Asian art, from young emerging and established artists.
Art Republic: 3rd floor, Peninsula Plaza, 133 Ratchadamri Rd, Bangkok. Closest BTS: Ratchadamri.
Conference of Birds
If you like your art with a generous helping of politics, the Conference of Birds (named after the 12th century Persian Book of Poems) should be on your short list. American curator Andrews Little opened the gallery in 2007 and there is a decided focus on art that you certainly wouldn't come across in your average Bangkok shopping mall. Check it out.
Conference of Birds: 131/18 Soi Pan, Silom Rd, Bangkok. Closest BTS Surasak.
Long-running Eat Me is both a trendy restaurant and gallery, with regular local and international exhibitions organised in conjunction with H Gallery. Even if the art was awful (it isn't) a visit here is close to essential just for the food.
Eat Me: Soi Phi Phat 2, Convent Road, Bangkok. Closest BTS: Sala Daeng, Subway: Silom.
Gallery Ver was established by Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, who has established an exciting location on the far side of the Chao Phraya River in Khlong San (roughly opposite Si Phraya River Express pier). The gallery focuses on experimental art, primarily by a stable of local artists.
Gallery Ver: Soi Klongsarn Plaza 2F, 71/31-35 Charoen Nakhon Rd. Closest BTS: Saphan taksin, then chao Phraya Express.
Long running H Gallery is worth visiting just to check out the 19th century two-storey wooden school and church building that now houses the gallery. Curated by American H Earnest Lee, H Gallery offers an exciting and diverse range of exhibitions covering the photography, painting and sculpture.
H Gallery: 201 Soi 12 Sathorn Rd, Bangkok. Closest BTS: Chong Nonsi or Surasak.
Well off the tourist trail, art incubator Hof Art has been set up and run by a bunch of young Thai artists who felt the space available to new artists was insufficient and expensive. The art on display is predominantly Thai ranging from straight-up painting to installation work.
Hof Art: 224, 248 Soi Vibhavadi Rangsit, Bangkok. Closest subway: Ratchadaphisek.
Kathmandu Photo Gallery
"Photos, books and divine inspiration" pretty much says it all about this charming gallery under the care of famous Thai artist Manit Sriwanichpoom and co-collaborator artist-filmmaker Ing K. Heavy on photography across a diverse subject matter, the gallery's cool green walls offer escape from Bangkok's hectic madness and are soothing come the regular Sunday morning yoga classes.
Kathmandu Photo Gallery: 87 Soi Pan, Silom Rd, Bangkok. Closest BTS: Chong Nonsi, Surasak.
Phra Nakorn Bar & Gallery
This four-floor place is a bar first, gallery second -- but there's no reason why you can't combine the two. Their roof-top bar and restaurant offers great views across to the Golden Mount. The main gallery is on the second floor -- it's focussed on the works of local, fairly mainstream artists, with the occasional eye-opener gracing the walls. Attracts an eclectic crowd, so swing by -- it's just a short walk from Khao San Road.
Phra Nakorn Bar & Gallery: 58/2 Soi Damnoen Klang Tai, Ratchadamnoen Klang Road, Bangkok.
Located in Siam Square, Whitespace is focussed on supporting emerging Thai artists in finding non-commercial space to display their work. Exhibitions are frequent and varied. Very conveniently located and well worth a look-in.
Whitespace Gallery: Lido Bldg 2F, 260 Siam Square 3, Bangkok. Closest BTS: Siam.
Got a sweet spot for a certain Bangkok art gallery? Please leave your tips in the comment section below.
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