So happy to discover Bangkok's budding artist-run N22, comprising art spaces and artist studios. Initially started by Thai contemporary artist Rirkrit Tiravanija's Gallery VER to provide visibility to emerging Thai contemporary artists, a couple of artists gradually came together rather organically to locate their studios and art spaces there. Cartell is another artist-run gallery for young artists. I was told, increasingly the art community congregates here.
Thanks to ChiangRai-born Angkrit Ajchariyasophon, a multi-disciplinary Thai contemporary artist who opened his one-year old art space for me after closing hours, I was able to experience this budding initiative first-hand. Angkrit himself is an impressive "multi-tasker". He runs his family's Chinese soup business as early as 6am in the morning (goes to the market and cooks), finishes his day job at 2pm to work on his art, while running ARTIST+RUN, to showcase talented artists from Thailand. When I was there, he was showing works by Thai Abstract master, Somyot Hananuntasuk.
It is always inspiring to discover artist-run spaces in different parts of Southeast Asia and hear how more established artists come together to increase visibility of and create opportunities for younger artists. It reminded of Cemeti Art House, Sarang Art Space and Sangkring Art House in Yogjakarta. This place is not centrally-managed, it comes together in a make-shift sort of way. When we sat down, the conversation did not just pertain to contemporary art from Thailand, but also around what artists from Southeast Asia are doing. High on soul factor. Let's hope we will hear even more about artists from Thailand.