Located in Northern Thailand, 700km away from the busy tourist spot of Bangkok, Chiang Mai has placed itself as the cultural capital of Thailand, with a lot of tech start-ups, digital designers, and artists forming an innivative hub in the city. With many creatives taking up residence here, Chiang Mai has become an tremendously artistically and visually rich city to visit. Discover the city’s top ten galleries with our guide.
1. Sangdee Art Gallery
Means ‘good light’ in Thai, the not-for-profit Sangdee Gallery has set itself the aim of promoting not only local but also national and international artistic talent. The space has previously displayed the work of Royal Academy alumnus Chris Bredon, who created a study of Aung San Suu Kyi during her house arrest in Rangoon and has also painted canvases enthused by his travels from corner to corner of Madagascar and the African Continent. Sangdee Gallery also has a energetic café attached to it and plays host to open mic nights, as well as live musical performances from upcoming local talent.
Located:- 5 Sirimankalajarn Rd, Soi 5 Amphur Muang Tambol Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand,
Contact: +66 53 894 955
2. Gongdee Gallery
With one of the major artistic spaces in Chiang Mai, Gongdee Gallery is a absolute incubator of local creative talent. Established in 1989, the gallery set out to platform some of the finest wooden creations of the Chiang Mai area, blending both Oriental and Western styles of fashionable art. Home to theatrical sculptures such as large Buddhas and altars painted by local artist Baniya, a few of the works include home interiors, soft furnishings, and tapestries.
Located at : 12 Soi 1 Nimmanhaemin Rd., A.Muang Chiang Mai, Thailand,
Ph: +66 53 225 032
3. Matoom Art Space
Displaying the work of local artist Chumpol Taksapornchai, the Matoom Art Space, which was established in 2014, showcases Thai and Southeast Asian old art. Including work in a array of mediums such as oil, acrylic, and watercolor on handmade bamboo papers, Taksaponchai’s adaptable artwork exudes a peaceful aura and allows those who come to view it to take a moment to unwind and reflect.
Located at : 136/4 Ratchapakinai Rd., T.Prasign A.Muang, Mueang Chiang Mai,
Ph: +66 89 998 8055
4. Tita Gallery
Tita Gallery is situated in Mae Rim District, where the tourists can stop on the way to Mae Sa Elephant Camp, or the trip to the North of Chiang Mai. Even though it is a popular coffee spot, the gallery is as well as known for its range of art from the traditional to the current, as well as its support of local artists. Recently Tita Gallery has showcased work by renowned watercolor and magazine illustrators Khun Manoth Kitticheewan and Khun Narongyot.
Located at : 68 Rimtai Mu Maerim, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Ph: +66 53 297 811
5. Documentary Arts Asia
Documentary Arts Asia seeks to give confidence and support to emerging Asian photographers, documentary artists, and filmmakers. In turn, the gallery targets to give the Thai and visiting international public more exposure to this growing art form, which has some real stories to tell. Past exhibitions have incorporated works featuring Thailand’s Buddhist monks, a pictorial spotlight on the contrasts between North and South Korea, and a multicultural project entitled, I AM BANGKOK by Lilian Suwanrumpha.
Located at: 2/7 Wualai Road, Soi 3, Chiang Mai, Thailand,
Ph: +66 81 387 470
6. La Luna Gallery
Since 2004, La Luna Gallery has displayed the work of a number of talented promising artists from Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Although some of those who have showcased here are well-known, most are up-and-coming new artists such as Trinh Truan from Vietnam, who has since gone on to exhibit in New York. Within its multi-floor 400 meter square venue showcased paintings, photos, prints, sculptures, and design products.
A exclusive cooperation with the Elephant Parade makes La Luna Gallery the only seller in Thailand of the miniature elephants created by Thai and European artists. La Luna Gallery also cooperates with interior designers and provides special deals to developers.
Located at : 190 Charoenraj Rd. T.Watgate, A.Muang, Chiang Mai,
Ph: +05 33 06 678
7. H Gallery Chiang Mai
Alongside its superior sister gallery in Bangkok, H Gallery is one of Thailand’s most important venues for budding regional and international art. Established in 2002, the gallery began with a center on emerging Asian artists and has since established a program of exhibitions and installations that targeted to generate important and artistic dialogue on modern art practices for a worldwide audience.
The gallery’s Project H Space is now in its third year, and performs as a platform to exhibit more experimental artists. H Gallery Chiang Mai has seen distinguished artists and events, such as the 2012 Mit Jai Inn exhibit, which received critical acclaim.
Located at: H Gallery Chiang Mai, Tiger Kingdom, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai,
Ph: +66 (0) 85 021 5508
8. Suvannabhumi Art Gallery
Suvannabhumi is one of the lone galleries to focus almost absolutely on Burmese artists. The space provides an exposition look at Burmese artists and their work in a range of mediums, ranging from oil on canvas to sculptures. The gallery hopes that these types of art exhibitions will assist visitors to experience the rich culture of Burma and celebrate it as a center of beautiful art and architecture.
Located at :116, Chareonrat Road,T. Watgate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai,
Ph: +66 81 031 5309
9. Galerie Panisa
Nestled in the centre of Chiang Mai, Galerie Panisa is a clandestinely owned enterprise founded in 2002 by the Chindasilpa family, who together share a passion for art and furthering the goodwill of artists in the Chiang Mai and Northern areas of Thailand. The gallery arranges around five or six exhibitions each year for collectors and art lovers alike to take pleasure in.
All those who volunteer their time at the Gallery are fine artists from the area and therefore can offer visitors with insider knowledge, as well as curating thrilling and imaginative exhibitions. Recently the gallery organized the works of Missamai Prutamang, who explored the lives of Northern Thailand’s hill tribes. His exhibition shows how even these remote tribes are integrating more and more with contemporary culture.
Located at: 189 Mahidol Road, T.Haiya Muang, Chiang Mai,
Ph: +66 80 588 0586
10. Ne’na Contemporary Art Space
Ne’na takes a wholly shared, international approach to its exhibitions and activities. Founded in 1998 by a group of Thai and Swedish artists, the space comprises of several buildings in the traditional Lanna style, in which artists-in-residence live and work together. The cooperative vibe extends to the local arts community, who frequently work with the international residents on creative projects.
Many of the works shaped by Ne’na artists are large scale and site specific, like Royce Ng and Daisy Bisenieks Hanging Altar (2009), an installation that recreated the whole educational center out of usual materials and hanging plants. Although located a mere 2km from Chiang Mai city, Ne’na feels more like a tranquil haven in which to welcome art enthused by the landscape of Northern Thailand.
Located at: Monfai Cultural Center, Living Museum 6 soi7 khor, Sukasem Road, T. Partan, A.Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand,
Ph: +66 89 266 6547
11. Wattana Art Gallery
This gallery is based on the works of acclaimed Silpakorn University and Rhode Island School of Design graduate Wattana Wattanapun. The arts here range from sketches and portraits to oil and acrylic depictions of European sights and silk screens. The small shop sells print editions for those who wish to take home a truly strange souvenir of their visit to Wattana and Chiang Mai. The gallery is on the adjacent of the Suthep Road and just near to Wat Umong temple.
Wattana Art Gallery: #100/1, M. 10, Soi Wat Umong, T. Suthep | Opens from: 08:30-16:30 (Daily) | Ph: +66 53 278 747
12. Galerie Panisa
Galerie Panisa is devoted to showcasing the skills of traditional and modern Thai artists. Panisa is privately run and has a bunch of associate graduates from the nation’s Fine Arts universities. Revolving exhibitions show the likes of watercolour and acrylic pictures, carvings, sculptures and woodcut prints. At Galerie Panisa exhibitions, attendees are capable to buy artworks at very attractive prices. This gallery also offers art classes for children and adults and is situated on Mahidol Road in the Haiya area of town.
Galerie Panisa: #189, Mahidol Rd., T. Hai Ya, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Opens from: 09:00-18:00 (Mon-Sat) | Ph: +66 53 202 779
A wide range of fine art and unusual articles will be agreeably surprised when they land in Chiang Mai. The former capital of the Lanna Kingdom is home to a flourishing community of artisans, artists and creators of bespoke artworks. The heritage and traditions of Lanna can be seen in a lot of of the pieces while the sharp skills of the region’s cottage industry craft workers add additional dimensions to others. The galleries are themed on diverse mediums and have different aims. A few focus on exhibitions only while others act as sales outlets for artists.