Price: Free (except for special events. Charges for concerts and plays vary).
Opened in 2018, the modern and exciting Bangkok Art and Centre (BACC) is at the heart of Bangkok’s growing art scene and offers a wide range of contemporary art, design, music, theatre and film arts. The centre hosts a large number of ever-changing exhibitions from both Thai and international artists. It aspires to the great heights of other western cultural centres and galleries and is making quite a name for itself. Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre now welcomes over 1.7 million visitors every year.
The centre includes public galleries, performance spaces, meeting spaces, cafes, commercial art galleries, bookshops, craft shops, and an art library. It’s intended to be a driver of cultural exchange and gives Bangkok a place in the international art world.
The upper floors host larger galleries with rotating exhibitions that are usually cheap or free to the public. From vintage photos to modern art that pushes the boundaries of Thai social fabric, the range of art is wide and varied.
Some say the building is reminiscent of the Guggenheim in New York, with its huge white curving facade and spiral walkways. The exterior architecture also represents traditional Thai forms with slanted walls and curved profiles. It stands out on the corner of the Pathumwan intersection amongst the shopping centres and often displays some interesting sculptures in the entrance plaza. Despite political stumbling blocks, changes in government and grant funding, years of advocacy paid off and the centre continues to dedicate itself to the aim of providing a space for locals and visitors to define and explore art and culture.
The exhibitions have an international feel with explanations in English and bilingual staff are on hand to enhance the experience. At times the large space can feel empty but once you step inside the galleries the innovation of having so much space is evident, and the light filled space enhances appreciation of the work.
The art centre is popular with students, but it seems the enthusiasm has not always been shared by the general public and tourists. There are some limitations and not every display is of a world-class standard, but the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre does give great insight into modern culture in Thailand.
For the keen shopper, artHUB@bacc comprises more than 30 unique shops and cafés offering unique art-inspired products and dining experience and occupies nearly half of the space inside BACC
It’s been said that Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre is one of the few islands of quality art in Bangkok. The expos are wonderful, and the biennale includes many quality South East Asian artists. The traders inside are known for their friendliness. Don’t miss it.
Some things to remember on your visit to Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre
- It’s easy to find across from the popular MBK mega shopping mall and Siam Discovery Centre
- Start at the top and work down
- You are encouraged to touch some installations and become part of them. Make sure you know which works you can touch as you are generally not allowed to touch them
- It’s a big place so give yourself a couple hours to enjoy it
- Do not disturb others peaceful enjoyment of the galleries
- Please observe photography rules for each exhibition
- For permitted photography, the use of flash, tripod and selfie sticks are prohibited
- Video recording is prohibited
- Photographs taken from BACC exhibition are for non-commercial use only
- They have lockers to store your oversize bags on entry
- Make sure to read about upcoming live events and interactions with the artists and art pieces on certain days and times
- There are also a few coffee shops and places to eat and shop on your way to the top where the museum and exhibits are situated
- Food and drink are prohibited inside the galleries
The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is centrally located in Bangkok at 939 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, and is open from 10am to 9pm every day except Monday.
Pick up the Bangkok Art Map during your visit if you’re interested in exploring some of the smaller art galleries around Bangkok. Partly sponsored by the BACC, the art map is updated monthly with current exhibitions and their locations throughout the city.
If you are an art lover then why not make a visit to BACC part of an art tour? Take in some other nearby galleries such as:
- Jim Thompson House
- H Art Gallery
- Akko Art Gallery
- Ardel’s Third Place Gallery
- La Lanta Fine Art
The temples of Bangkok also feature amazing examples of Thai art and there are plenty around the central Bangkok area. Ask Your Thai Guide to put together a temples and art gallery tour for you.