Pattaya: Touring Liam’s Art Gallery

As a tourist, most of us think of Pattaya as a place to lie on the sandy beach or to take a walk down Pattaya’s infamous Walking Street, but Pattaya has long been the home of a serious art gallery offering major international exhibitions, sales, and shows for local contemporary artists as well as for some traditional Thai artists as well. So for any visiting art-lover, then Liam’s Gallery is a must see.

Liam Ayudhkij is the owner of Liam’s Gallery, and he’s been collecting art here there for almost forty years. Liam is a forward-thinking kind of fellow, and believes in the value of contemporary Thai art, even though most others in the industry don’t. This phenomenon is well documented in the book “Flavours – Thai Contemporary Art” written by Steven Pettifor in 2010.

In his book, Steven writes on the craftsmanship of Thai contemporary art:

“I do see it elsewhere in Asia, so it’s not necessarily different but there are different kinds of crafts that are brought into Thai art. Chusak Srikwan uses shadow puppetry, but he does things like modern politicians and symbols of corruption. Montri Toemsombat has used silk weaving and silk crafting in the past. There’s this attention to craft…”

And at Liam’s gallery, you can find the works of Chusak Srikwan as well as Montri Toemsombat and dozens of other contemporary artists who take their craft very, very seriously.

And with the interest in Thai contemporary artwork now on the rise, especially after the opening of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) a few years back, Liam’s Gallery has been the place to see what’s new and happening on the scene – from a national as well as local perspective.

Take for example, Andrew Groffman’s work that depicts local Pattayian portraits as you would find them: hanging out chatting with farangs, sleeping seductively in bed, or getting a quick bite to eat on the street. Andrew seems to specialize in Pattaya’s working girl, and has produced some stunning pop art portraits of beautiful behinds and bellies lit by the rising sunshine of the morning after.

Another interesting artist at Liam’s that predominately displays other parts of the human anatomy is Douglas Simonson, and his collection of Male Nude Prints. Simonson is one of Hawaii’s most famous of contemporary authors and artists, and this collection is quite revealing. And since Simonson does not have a gallery of his own, seeing his work at Liam’s is very convenient for anyone interested in buying or appreciating some leading male erotica.

But not all works at Liam’s Gallery is as titillating; the gallery tries to showcase new and emerging Thai artists such as Asawinnee Wanjing, who takes inkjet printouts of traditional Thai images and hand touches them using a process called Giclee.

Another example of an emerging Thai artist showcased at Liam’s is Danaiphat Lersputtitrakan, whose arresting acrylics on canvas have won him numerous awards both in Thailand and in the UAE. His series of odd misshapened heads is reminiscent of a Salvador Dali or more recently, Anastasiya Markovich’s work (from the Ukraine).

And Liam’s does not leave out local expat painters like Doris Kraushaar, who has been in Thailand since 1985 and drawing like wild with shows all over the country. Her pastels on paper can be both erotic and disturbing, all at the same time.

Some other rare gems at Liam’s include a unique set of signed Copper plate engravings by David Hockney, dating back to 1966, when man-on-man love was a thing of notable taboo.

So in short, any art-loving tourist will find much to see at Liam’s…and here are the location and contact details:

Located just off Thappraya Road heading towards the Varuna Yacht Club and the Asia Hotel, on Soi 4 opposite Cabbages and Condoms. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm. For more info, call 66-0-38 25 18 08 or see liamsgallery.com.