Connoisseurs of fine art and unusual articles will be pleasantly surprised when they land in Chiang Mai. The former capital of the Lanna Kingdom is home to a thriving community of artisans, artists and creators of bespoke artworks. The heritage and traditions of Lanna can be seen in many of the pieces while the finely-honed skills of the region’s cottage industry craft workers add extra dimensions to others.
The galleries are themed on different mediums and have different aims. A few concentrate on exhibitions only while others act as sales outlets for artists. The latter are perfect for visitors who want to take home a souvenir guaranteed to wow visitors. Most of the galleries are free. Art in Paradise is not really a gallery or a museum but showcases illusion masterpieces and historic scenes.
Chiang Mai Art Galleries:
Art in Paradise | Elephant Parade | Panisa | Gongdee | Matoom | Studio Naenna | Suvannabhumi | Wattana
*Note: Admission fees do change, we recommend you to check with the galleries before visiting.
SUVANNABHUMI ART GALLERY
Suvannabhumi is dedicated to the works of artists from Myanmar. The collections and exhibitions at Suvannabhumi are literally an A to Z of artists from Thailand’s neighbour with works by Aye Min and Zaw Win Pe represented. Original paintings depict olden Burma and modern Myanmar and glimpses of its artistic and architectural heritages. This gallery is on Chareonrat Road and close to the east bank of the Ping River.
Suvannabhumi Art Gallery: #116, Charoenrat Rd., T. Wat Gate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 10:00-19:00 (Daily) | Admission Fee: Free | Tel: +66 81 031 5309 | Website | E-mail | Map
WATTANA ART GALLERY
This gallery is themed on the works of acclaimed Silpakorn University and Rhode Island School of Design graduate Wattana Wattanapun. The exhibits here range from sketches and portraits to oil and acrylic depictions of European sights and silk screens. The onsite shop sells print editions for those who wish to take home a truly unusual souvenir of their visit to Wattana and Chiang Mai. The gallery is on a soi off Suthep Road and near to Wat Umong temple.
Wattana Art Gallery: #100/1, M. 10, Soi Wat Umong, T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 08:30-16:30 (Daily) | Admission Fee: 100 B | Tel/Fax: +66 53 278 747 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
MATOOM ART SPACE
Located on an Old City side-street, Matoom Art Space was set up by Chumpol Taksapornchai as a venue for established and rising artists to show their creations. The exhibitions here are not restricted to Thai artists and previous showings include the works of ones from neighbouring Southeast Asian nations and, on occasion, international ones.
Matoom Art Space: #136/4, Rachapakinai Rd., T. Phra Singh, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 10:30-20:00 (Daily) | Admission Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 271 751 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
Galerie Panisa is dedicated to showcasing the skills of traditional and modern Thai artists. Panisa is privately operated and has a group of associate graduates from the nation’s Fine Arts universities. Rotating exhibitions feature the likes of watercolour and acrylic pictures, carvings, sculptures and woodcut prints. At Galerie Panisa exhibitions, attendees are able to buy artworks at very attractive prices. This gallery also offers art classes for children and adults and is located on Mahidol Road in the Haiya area of town.
Galerie Panisa: #189, Mahidol Rd., T. Hai Ya, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 09:00-18:00 (Mon-Sat) | Entrance Fee: N/A | Tel: +66 53 202 779 | Fax: +66 53 202 771 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
STUDIO NAENNA TEXTILES GALLERY
Studio Naenna was founded by antique textile specialist Patricia Cheesman in the 1980s as an outlet for eco fashion clothing and household decorative designs. The founder still collaborates with master weaver Viroy Nanthapoom on the creation of bespoke ikat, silk and cotton articles with matchless patterns and natural dyes. A tour of the main studio on Huay Kaew Road walks visitors through the manual production and dyeing steps on the route to the finished article. Naenna has a sub-branch on Soi 1 of Nimmanhaemin Road.
Studio Naenna: #138/8, Huay Kaew Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 5030 | Open: 09:00-17:00 (Mon-Fri) | Admission Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 226 042 | Fax: +66 53 261 363 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
On Soi 1 just off Nimmanhaemin Road, Gongdee Gallery was set up by local artist Vichit Chalwongse as an outlet for his innate creativity. All the items sold at Gongdee carry the brand’s trademark style and have been crafted by Chiang Mai artisans. Objets d’art, paintings, mirrors, hardwood furniture and marble sculptures are unique in every sense of the word and carry the Gongdee stamp of quality. Gongdee also sells a collection of items such as bags, mats and coasters which are made from 100 per cent natural materials.
Gongdee Gallery: #30, Nimmanhemin Rd., Soi 1, T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 08:30-20:00 (Daily) | Admission Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 225 032 | Website | Facebook | E-mail |Map
ART IN PARADISE
Not an art gallery as such, Art in Paradise is an interactive and fun facility at which visitors are able to able to indulge their fantasies with Korean-style illusion art. Visitors are able to project themselves into paintings such as the Mona Lisa and images of a Pharaoh’s tomb or on a gondola on a Venice canal. A total of six zones are home to 130 different illusionary artworks and scenes guaranteed to delight young and old alike. Art in Paradise is on Chiang Klan Road and one kilometre south of the Night Bazaar.
Art in Paradise: #199/9, Chang Klan Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 09:00-21:00 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 300 B, Child 200 B | Tel: +66 53 274 100 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
ELEPHANT PARADE HOUSE
Chiang Mai’s Elephant Parade House is a fairly recent and welcome addition to the city’s attractions. It is a combined display studio, art gallery, workshop and sales outlet for ornamental statues of elephants. Elephant Parade House’s home in the northern San Phi Suea zone features a fantastic assortment of elephant calf statues with themed titles such as the Commandments of God, Big White Happiness and Cleopatra.
People visiting Elephant Parade House also get the chance of a tour of the statue production workshops while films shown at the onsite theatre illustrate the efforts being put into conserving Asian elephants for posterity. Guests are able to join a workshop and try their hands at painting miniature elephants or buy art boxes to do the same thing when they get home.
The facility’s shop sells limited edition replicas of the statue collection as well as other elephant souvenirs including mugs. A percentage of the income from each sale is donated to elephant conservation foundations. The Chiang Mai Elephant Parade is the sister of establishments in the same group in Amsterdam and Singapore.
Elephant Parade House: #156, Charoenrat Rd., T. Wat Ket, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 10:00-20:00 (Daily) | Admission Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 246 448 | Website | Facebook | Map