100 Tonson Gallery – A force for contemporary art
I feel uneasy when I enter the building for the first time. My knowledge of contemporary art is very small. Therefore I am a bit embarrassed when I see a small privately owned collection, which is on display in just two rooms. I expect to be in and out in only a few minutes.
However, the small exhibition room creates the opportunity for a more personal approach. The gallery’s friendly assistant, Harmiss starts a conversation with me. He takes the time to tell me everything about the gallery and its exhibitions. I am surprised to hear from him that this small art house has a big international reputation.
100 Tonson Gallery
The gallery opened in 2003 and just celebrated its 10th year anniversary in January 2014. Despite of its small size, this art house is pretty famous and important in Southeast Asia. For example, it is Thailand’s first and Southeast Asia’s only gallery that has been showing its works at Art Basel. This is one of the most important international fairs for contemporary and modern art.
This art house gained its important position because of its many international connections and its presence at important international fairs like Art Dubai and Art Stage Singapore. 100 Tonson Gallery supports (emerging) artists by showcasing their works, and supporting the development and distribution of (contemporary) art.
The address of the gallery is at 100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd in Bangkok. Soi Tonson is a quiet and green street with lots of trees and upper class houses. The artworks are being displayed in one of those houses. It is named after the street in which it is located.
Take the BTS SkyTrain (Sukhumvit Line towards Bearing) to station Chit Lom. From there take exit 4 and walk in the opposite direction of the traffic. After about 100 meters you will see a street sign that says Soi Tonson. Turn right and walk about 300 meters into the street. You will find the building on the opposite site of the Royal Dutch Embassy.
What to see
On display are the private collections of founder Ek-Anong “Aey” Phanachet. The exhibition room itself is designed by Christian Liaigre. The exhibitions consist of contemporary works from Thai and international artists. The collections change every two months. Famous artists who have displayed works in the past are for example Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama and Pinaree Sanpitak. You can enter the exhibition room for free.
Do you like to visit galleries in Bangkok? Then make sure you obtain a free copy of the Bangkok Art Map (BAM). This useful monthly brochure provides you with updates about the latest exhibitions and where you can find them. You find the Bangkok Art Map at information counters of museums and galleries.
What is your favorite gallery in Bangkok and what makes you like it so much?
- 100tonsongallery.com: The official website of this gallery. Visit their site to learn more about current exhibitions and activities. You can also read more information about the artists which showcased their work in the exhibition room. The site also provides many pictures of the displayed artworks.
- sea.blouinartinfo.com: Click this link to read a BLOUINARTINFO interview with Aey Phanachet. In this interview, which she gave back in March 2013, She talks about the 10th year anniversary shows and the importance of introducing (Thai) contemporary art to the world.
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