The New York Times has a nice travel feature on Bangkok’s thriving art market which has heavy participation from expatriates:
In the 1970s, a group of Thais and expats founded the Bhirasri Institute of Modern Art, with works donated by both Thais and foreigners. After the death of the chairwoman (who also owned the building), the institute closed in 1988 and the art works are now kept in storage.
Chatvichai Promadhattavedi, who served as the institute’s director, stated that its demise was the inspiration for the setting up of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.
“BIMA shows how locals and internationals have been involved in building up the art infrastructure in Bangkok for generations,” said Ms. Gaweewong, who studied art management at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In the 1980s, the Visual Dhamma gallery — owned by the Austrian Alfred Pawlin — was one of the first expat-run galleries to promote both Thai and international artists. And Mr. Pawlin is credited with helping to propel Mr. Montien onto the international stage.
Starting in the mid-1990s, the commercial gallery scene in Bangkok has flourished. 338 Oida, which opened in November 2012, is owned by Rene Feddersen, a Thai-born collector of Anglo-Indian and German parentage. The gallery represents both Thai artists, including Mit Jai Inn and Chitti Kasemkitvatana, as well international artists like Achim Kubinski and Dennis Balk, a Bangkok-based American.
“Places like Thailand and Malaysia are starting to get more attention in the art world,” Mr. Feddersen said. “That is the reason that I shifted from collecting to starting a gallery because I think that interest is really growing.”