The majority of the art world’s infrastructure—from galleries and museums to public funding to art criticism and press—is concentrated in a handful of major urban centers including New York, London, Berlin, and Hong Kong. However, this hasn’t deterred an increasing number of tenacious gallerists from opening art spaces well beyond the comforts of established art-world hubs, and taking big financial risks in the process. For many, the remote locations have been the impetus.
Their goal: to expose local artists to an international set of collectors and curators, and likewise to bring the international art community into their emerging, at times far-flung, art scenes. For the below 15 galleries, hailing from San Juan to Cluj and Accra to Bangalore, the risks have paid off. And they are galvanizing their surrounding creative communities and turning the art world’s attention to their hometowns in the process.
Location: Bangkok, THAILAND
Founder: SUTIMA SUCHARITAKUL
After a decade living between London and New York, and with degrees in art history and art business and a gig at the Met under her belt, Sutima Sucharitakul decided to head back to her native Thailand. “I felt it was time for me to use the knowledge and experiences I’ve gained over 10 years abroad and apply it to my home city, Bangkok,” she explains. There, she saw a dearth in support for young artists—galleries and collectors were scarce—but also a growing number of Bangkok’s youth interested in art and culture. That’s when she decided to open a gallery, with the aim to cultivate the local art scene.
In less than a year’s time, Sucharitakul has begun to make headway towards realizing this goal. But she admits there’s still a lot of work to be done. While “Bangkok has a very rich cultural history and naturally cultivated talented artists, few ever ‘make it’ internationally,” she says, citing the city’s lack of both public and private support. To counter, she hopes to create awareness around the art emerging from Bangkok by engaging both curious locals and the international art community. This month, she’s showing New York-based artist whose Instagram account announced Nova Contemporary’s presence to many in his community of U.S.-based artists and curators. She also plans to invite international curators to conceive shows for the gallery’s program.