Bangkok has a growing reputation as a hotbed of artistic talent, and the number of multi-purpose creative spaces popping up around the capital is testament to that. Plenty of the Thai capital’s newest art galleries also double up as bars, cafés, restaurants and social spaces – meaning you always have the perfect excuse to drop along and take in the latest pieces of Bangkok’s best creative. Here are some of our favourite art galleries in Bangkok, from large public galleries to smaller and more intimate independent operations.
Intended as a living and breathing public art space, the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre – just across from the popular MBK Center shopping mall at National Stadium – has a refreshingly relaxed atmosphere, and it’s not uncommon to see groups of young people chatting and laughing as they explore and appreciate the photography in the People’s Gallery. The numerous floors of this large gallery have a range of rotating exhibitions from well-known and less established artists, and the centre also packs in a number of pleasant shops and cafés, as well as a comprehensive art library in the basement.
939 Rama 1 Road (BTS National Stadium); Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-9pm; www.bacc.or.th
The privately owned Kathmandu Photo Gallery in Silom – and close to the area’s Wat Kaek Hindu temple – is home to the founder’s own collection of prints from his travels, as well as to rotating exhibitions of work by local and international photographers. But this is another multi-purpose space, where you’ll find everything from books and souvenirs to weekend yoga classes. The open, airy and homely space is a favourite among arty Thais and Bangkok-based expats, particularly at the regular launch nights for new exhibitions.
87 Pan Road (BTS Surasak); Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-7pm
It’s a little far from downtown Bangkok, but the Museum of Contemporary Art – more commonly known simply as MOCA – is Thailand’s most comprehensive collection of modern art. The four-year-old building housing it is just as impressive, and inside are works by some of Thailand’s most renowned creatives. It’s an expressive space that doesn’t hold back from showcasing pieces of artwork that deal with some of the country’s more challenging issues, and it’s a gallery that should be on every art-lover’s Bangkok itinerary.
3 Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road (BTS Mo Chit/MRT Chatuchak Park, then taxi); Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm; www.mocabangkok.com
Housed in Thailand’s former Royal Mint, the National Gallery puts on an impressive spread of nationally recognised artists whose work dates as far back as the 17th century. Among these are paintings by current and former members of the Thai royal family, while rotating exhibitions also focus on more contemporary work.
4 Chao Fa Road (Phra Athit river boat pier); Wednesday to Sunday, 9am-4pm
Which is your favourite Bangkok art gallery? Let us know in the comments!
Photos by M-louis; Franklin Heijnen.