Art work trading business has been well organised in many countries for a long time. For example, Art fairs like Art Basel or Frieze Art Fair can generate over billion baht in revenue. However, in Thailand there had not been any activities that focused on trading arts until Hotel Art Fair Bangkok. The event was held for the first time 4 years ago. It created a lot of dynamics in Arts and Design industry.
The Hotel Art Fair Bangkok 2017 has confirmed the strength of Thai artists and arts industry. This time the organiser has transformed Volve Hotel Bangkok at Thonglor to be an art market where you can find galleries of many Thai and foreigner artists.
Creative Thailand has an opportunity to talk with Mr. Tap - Vorathit Kruavanichkit, founder of Farm Group, design consulting firm, and one of the organisers of Hotel Arts Fair - about Arts industry in Thailand and the direction of Art Fair Thailand in the future.
“It was 5 years ago when I had an idea of the Art Fair. I have a company named Farm Group which is a design and creative company and I have partner. My partner’s friend who owned Maduzi Hotel at Asoke came to us and said that he wanted to organise an event at the hotel to boost the hotel’s brand awareness.”
“The hotel is a closed-door hotel. It opens only for its guests and not everyone nor any vehicles can come in. I was a bit surprised and didn’t see any point to organise the event in the hotel as they want to keep their guests’ privacy. However, the hotel owner said that he needed to do some marketing despite the concept of privacy of the hotel. Therefore, he would like the event to align with this concept and the hotel’s environment. Eventually, we decided to do something that we are familiar with and came up with an idea of art galleries.”
Although the first attempt is to promote the hotel, the owner and the organiser team are willing to continue the art fair in the future. “We have set our mission to create a new image of the hotel. People should perceive the hotel as Thai hotel that truly gives value to Arts and Design and in the same time it is very cozy and reachable that you can even go talk to the owner. It is easier to have the hotel as the fair venue; however, we plan to change the location next time and it needs to be accessible for our visitors.”
In spite of the event success, Mr. Tab has no intention to extend the scale of the fair. “In my point of view, this scale is appropriate already. We don’t want it bigger and more crowded; otherwise, it may lose its charm. The scale of 200-300 persons is decent and acceptable. Anyway, It cannot be larger due to limited galleries in Thailand as well as the hotel’s small size.”
According to Mr. Tap, to grow Arts industry in Thailand, it requires the cooperation from several parties including artists, gallery owners and sponsors. However, Mr. Tap said that it is not sufficient for artists to earn only by drawing. They need skills to represent and promote themselves as well.
“From my perspective, famous artists like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are also trader and PR. I don’t even know if they can really paint but they can actually do marketing for their work and for themselves. This is the skills that Thai artists still lack. It is not enough now to sell drawing or painting, they need to be able to sell themselves too.”