Art & design venues in Bangkok

Posted on May 1, 2012 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

Giant art work outside of the Bangkok art & culture center


If you are interested in the art and cultural side of Bangkok, it is best to pick up the monthly guide, Bangkok art map, where you will find listings of the art and photography exhibitions in town. Since I didn't have much time to visit many galleries, I am only recommending the ones that I have visited, probably suitable for those whose time is limited like me.

Bangkok art & culture center - located in the shopping district, Siam, this Guggenheim-like centre has regular exhibitions throughout the year. Although the layout is slightly confusing with many emptied shop spaces, it is still worth visiting if you happen to be in the area. Personally, I find the building slightly soulless, however, it is the contents that count after all.

If you like photography, then you must visit the small and quirky Kathmandu Photo Gallery, housed in an old pre-war shop opposite Sri Mariamma, a Hindu temple in Silom. This wonderful green (green again? I am starting to love green walls now!) gallery is owned by Thai photo-artist, Manit Sriwanichpoom ( the guy dressed in a shocking pink suit below). In the room downstairs, there are framed photographs taken by Manit and many interesting art and photography books; while the room upstairs is airy, minimal and hosts temporary photography exhibitions by other artists or photographers. What is particularly interesting is the surrounding area/ neighbourhood, which is full of Indian shops and restaurants, showing the culturally diverse side of Bangkok.



Normally, I dislike glossy shopping malls, but in Asia, shopping malls are where local people hang out especially in the summer when the it is roasting outside. Yes, I get it... because it is not exactly pleasant to walk around Bangkok when it is dusty and extremely hot (37 degrees)! Luckily, on the top of the luxury shopping mall, Emporium on Sukhumvit Road houses a top-notch design center called, TCDC ( Thailand Creative & design center). The center hosts a permanent exhibition called, 'What is design?' and temporary design-related exhibitions on regular basis. There is also a cool shop where you can find contemporary Thai design products by local designers.



Though the best is yet to come...  it is the Resource center and Material ConneXion hidden at the back of the center that are not to be missed. Don't be put off by the procedure of leaving your belongings at the entrance and filling out forms by the reception, because the center is like a sanctuary where you can get away from the hussle and bussle of Bangkok (and for free). The huge Resource center has a cafe, a magazine section, film rental section, and more than 25,000 books on art, design, films, photography and architecture. There are reading, meeting, music and film rooms, as well as access to database for conducting international market research.

And if like me, you are interested in materials, then you can ask to visit the Material ConneXion ( the first in Asia) at the back of the center. I spent over 20 minutes ( I wish I had more time) alone wandering up and down the aisles touching different fabrics and materials ( there are over 4500) and it was so much fun! This is a truly inspiring place for all designers, I wonder when it will come to London?

London is home to internationally renowned designers and design schools, yet we don't even have one design center that provides the range of facilities like TCDC! Will the new Design Museum be THE place? Let's wait and see. In the mean time, I can only envy Bangkok's designers and design students! Oh, they are so lucky!




This post was posted in Exhibitions, Photography, Travel, Bangkok, Art, Thailand and was tagged with art and design exhibitions, photography, Bangkok, Thailand