That COVID-19 was devastating for local businesses, we all can agree, but slightly forgotten were these vibrant upcoming art galleries of art lovers who got a major blow when Thailand closed. Unfortunately, most of these art gallery owners decided to pull the plug resulting in well-known art galleries being permanently closed for good moving art galleries in Bangkok to the past. Here is just one tip of the iceberg of the fallen art gallery.
Bangkok isn’t precisely globally known for its modern art scene. While the city has always had great aesthetical traditions, with lots of ancient art and artistic Buddhist images and icons spread throughout the city, the modern art scene has been somewhat lacking. That is until now.
The Bangkok scene was booming before the hit of COVID-19, but today it is sad to see that budding artist once flocking to the capital from all over Thailand and beyond, are now looking to take their work online and art galleries closing their commercial spaces as owners lost their appetite to run these expensive spaces. It is sad to see some of the Bangkok art spaces you could find in the city have closed.
The many different influences coming out of Bangkok in recent times have taken the artistry scene to the next level of consciousness and disappointing that will not be where you thought you would go to discover art. Of course, there are some who have survived the pandemic, but for smaller galleries, you need to breathe artworks online from the screen of your smartphone or i-pad.
This was The Most Comprehensive List of Bangkok Art Galleries that will not only shake your world but make you question the essence of what it means to be creative:
H Gallery – Contemporary Art Galleries – permanently closed
What was set in a jaw-dropping 125-year old colonial-style mansion in Bangkok, the H-gallery is owned by American, H Ernest Lee, and has been a mainstay of the Bangkok contemporary scene since 2002. The gallery showcased work from local Thai and Asian artists, with a particular emphasis on textiles, painting and photography, this Bangkok art gallery is run by the Irish-born curator Brian Curtain, who is a specialist and has been published in a litany of culture magazines such as Frieze. When you want to view the most exciting pieces of contemporary in Bangkok, you can ask the owner to make an appointment at H Gallery, a physical space, that was before COVID-19 is no more.
WARP 54 [Moved to Seam Riep]
Warp 54 is the creation of modern pop artist Christian Develter, the large teakwood warehouse was a centre for cool pop art in Bangkok. As well as hosting lots of fascinating and playful pieces by the resident Belgium artists, it was also the venue for some very creative and inspiring events and exhibitions, and an excellent spot for alternative parties and party events. Unfortunately, Bangkok faced too many challenges and the painter moved on several years ago, landed in Cambodia and continued his passion there. Warp studio is located nearby a 12th Century Hindu temple Wat Atvea six km south of downtown Siem Reap.
Chomp – Permanently closed
A favourite burger restaurant in the city’s Old Town, Chomp developed itself before COVID-19 into a popular art venue, with regular exhibitions and installations celebrating the best local talent. Unfortunately for Chope, Covid-19 didn’t bring the fortune that they needed to stay in operation and this gallery can be written down as the next brutal COVID-19 victim. The building was a work itself, with a very fresh and nostalgia-inspiring rustic interior and a creative menu of sandwiches and cocktails.
Toot Young Gallery – Bangkok Art Galleries – permanently closed
The Toot Yung Gallery was probably one of the most critical Bangkok galleries for the local scene. Not only did it showcase contemporary works from lots of local artists, but it also took a prominent place for international artists or art-lovers moving to the city that wants to get acquainted with the Bangkok art scene. Showcasing an eclectic selection of mixed media, performing arts, live music, new media and all forms of appreciation, if you wanted to get a deep insight into local art, the Toot Gallery Bangkok was the ultimate venue. Covid-19 blew away the dreams of operating a commercial space and the gallery closed permanently with the owner revamping his business model to bring art online for sale.
Dot Art + Suites – permanently closed
Dot Art + Suites was a Bangkok gallery dedicated to design and architecture. Even they could not survive and sadly the Facebook page is no longer operational. The business was built by the father and son team and was primarily used to display their own unique collection of furniture, ceramics, and wood carvings, though they allowed visiting artists to put on exhibitions and present unique pieces of work. It was also a tiny but cool boutique hotel, with 2 very cool rooms available for around 2,000 Baht per night, but no more sadly.
Most of these galleries were also contemporary spaces that can be used for private events or exhibitions and have been lost also with areas combined to create an ambience that was slightly different from the usual ballrooms where events usually take place. Salut to all these Heroes who served the public and believed in making art available to all of us.
Remember those days enjoying art and stories behind visual expressions? Unfortunately, Thailand could have done more to preserve art in the form of subsidies to help these galleries to remain open, unfortunately, destiny decided another path and the feeling might not be the same anymore.