Bangkok is also capable of providing thrills for contemporary art lovers. One of the most popular art centers is the National Gallery, which takes visitors on a journey through the world of Thai art.
With the increase in trade with the West leading to a shortage of traditional coins, King Rama IV ordered the purchase of coining machines, which were installed at the Royal Mint in the Grand Palace. These machines were replaced during the reign of King Rama V, who ordered the construction of an entirely new building for the Royal Mint in 1900, which continued to produce coins until its machines wore out and the Mint moved to Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
The Department of Fine Arts then asked the Royal Mint to use it to create the National Gallery in 1974.
What to see
The National Gallery building is an architectural gem in itself and well worth a visit. The extensive collection ranges from contemporary art to traditional and ancient Thai art.
Modern art is displayed on the first floor of the building, where you can admire the finest works of Thai artists, strongly influenced by contemporary European art movements.
Continuing your visit, you will come to the rooms dedicated to traditional Thai art, where you can see ancient paintings dedicated to the Buddhist religion, some of which are 500 years old, works depicting historical scenes or related to Thai mythology and beautiful bronze sculptures.
There is also a section devoted entirely to the royal family, with works representing the most important people in the country and a series of paintings made by the kings themselves.
Permanent exhibitions: These include collections of modern art by famous Thai artists past and present, and include works by King Rama VI and His Majesty the King, traditional murals and all categories of modern art from the early days to the present.
Temporary Exhibitions: Thai and foreign artists organize rotating exhibitions alternating with the annual exhibitions, where works on display are selected, and include paintings, sculptures, prints and installations.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions change throughout the year, highlighting the work of local painters, sculptors, photographers and art students. It’s also worth taking a walk through the gallery’s courtyard: more sculptures can be found in this beautiful garden. The oil paintings of His Majesty the King are also on display for the public to enjoy.
How to get to the museum
The gallery is located a short distance from the busy Khao San Road. The entrance fee is 200 baht (€6).
4 Chao Fa Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand