10/20 H Gallery's Ernest Lee
Opened in February 2002 after months of restoration, Thai contemporary art master H Ernest Lee’s beautiful wooden H Gallery has become the default stop for connoisseurs in the Asian contemporary art market.
1. First a little about yourself, where you come from and how you came to be in Bangkok?
I arrived from Virginia in January 1998 having sold my events management business, finding myself free for the first time.
2. What first interested you in Thai art?
I loved the edgy work coming from Silapakorn, Chulalongkorn and Srinakharinwirot Universities and started to work with these young artists.
3. With the meteoric rise of interest in Chinese art, where do you feel contemporary Thai art fits into the Asian scene?
Compared to China, Thailand is late to the table [but] the upside is the artwork is "pure' and authentically Asian.
4 .Tell us about the beautiful gallery you have, and why its special.
H Gallery is housed in a late C.19th Anglo-Thai wooden mansion. It's an excellent example of this architectural style.
5. How did you find the gallery in the first place?
I walked every street between the river, Rama IV, Sathorn, and Suriwongse looking for an interesting and large enough structure.
6.Having lived in Bangkok for 14 years, you must have several favourite restaurants... care to share?
I love Eat Me Restaurant [Soi Pipat 2 off Convent Road], I did exhibitions there between 1999-2010. I eat there regularly – excellent, food, service and music.
7. If there is one thing a visitor to the city shouldn't miss what would you say it is and why?
Exploring the shops on some of the old streets in Chinatown shouldn’t be missed, you’re essentially going to another culture.
8. Tell us about the current exhibition.
Tada Hengsapkul will have a solo show of his photography. He's a young Thai photographer whose work is uniquely sexual.
9. Who are the young upcoming Thai artists we should be investing in right now?
Jakkai Siributr, Sopheap Pich (Khmer/Cambodian), Jaruwat Boonwaedlom, and Somneuk Huangtanapan.
10. You're marooned on a desert island, with one piece of art (it can be anything from anywhere), what would it be and why?
Francis Bacon or Lucien Freud – both artists have a depth of understanding of the human experience that draws me in.