In recent years, interest in contemporary art in Bangkok has been blooming. All over the capital, different types of spaces devoted to art have opened and increased access to it for interested residents and visitors. Specialized galleries now offer platforms for artists, emerging or established, more than ever before to showcase their ideas and techniques. Art hubs such as the Creative District and Bangkok Art and Culture Center now cater to the taste of modern urbanites seeking visually engaging works. However, before these came about, Queen Sirikit had a vision to help Thai artists in the early 2000s and was an early supporter of local contemporary art movement. The result was the creation of The Queen’s Gallery in North Rattanakosin Island.
Since 1974, the Bangkok Bank Foundation has been holding an annual painting competition. The prestigious competition has produced winners who have gone on to achieve great renown. In 2001, Queen Sirikit presided over the awards ceremony and saw the quality of the entries. Upon realizing that there was no permanent space to house and exhibit quality contemporary art by Thai artists, she initiated a conversation to create such a destination. Bangkok Bank donated its building close to Phanfa Bridge for this cause and The Queen’s Gallery Foundation was created to oversee the activities. In 2003, The Queen’s Gallery opened its doors to the public.
The gallery covers a massive 3,700 square meters and goes up to five storeys. The exterior, while nondescript, is significant in its architecture and gives insight to a time when this specific type of modern style was in vogue. Inside, a large exhibition full of works by Thai artists awaits you. The exhibition has been broken down into two categories: those by emerging Thai artists to be introduced and others by veteran artists. The Queen’s Gallery is a great establish where one can get a pulse on Thai artists and the local contemporary art scene.