Things you only know if you are curator

According to Baicha Pongcheen, 27, freelance curator
Baicha Pongcheen
Sereechai Puttes
By Gail Piyanan |

A curator does more than just choosing and putting together nice art pieces
It’s important for a curator to have a good relationship with artists and to be updated on all their work, from the beginning to the most recent ones. Curators are also in charge of designing an exhibition. That means you have to be true to what you want to be able to communicate with the gallery’s audience, search for artists whose work matches with your concept, create the perfect viewing experience which includes, probably one of the most important factors, exhibition lighting that enhances all the artwork. Poor lighting can kill great pieces of art.

Paintings sell the easiest
Compared to other media, painting is the most approachable art genre and the easiest to perceive as art among other collectibles. A painting is also a “one-off ” object, and it gives buyers and collectors the feeling that they’re collecting a special, valuable item. Sculptures, on the other hand, require time to understand. This is the same for other media such as photographs or videos, which can be reproduced in different editions.


Art collectors are getting younger every day
Based on my experience, 80 percent of those who buy art in Bangkok are foreigners and the remaining 20 percent are Thai art collectors that are mostly in their late 20s to 40s. The Western collectors, mostly from Europe, are usually in their 40s or older. I’ve seen a significant increase in the number of Thai art collectors compared to five years ago, which is a good sign.


Getting the famous artists ain’t easy
Normally, it’s the artists who would approach a gallery if they want their work exhibited. But if a gallery is aiming for top artists, the curator would need to be the one who contacts them directly. You’ll need to show these big-name artists that you genuinely appreciate their work, and that you intend to have a long-term working relationship with them, not just a one-off event. It would be easier if the gallery purchases the entire collection rather than adapt an incentive system where pieces are sold individually and both the gallery and artist share the profits. 




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