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Capturing The Spirits Of The ARTS

She is now the go-to person for some of the most collectable artworks in Thailand. Panada Lerthattasin grew up in Bangkok where her life was pretty normal until she went to Pratt Institute in New York City where it became clear to her as she completed her Masters degree in Arts and Cultural Management what she was meant to do.

Now Panada is Gallery Director of Sombat Permpoon Gallery, the largest gallery in the country, with the most extensive collection of Thai art focused on documenting Thai cultural history from the last century and is devoted to presenting works of emerging, mid career and established Thai masters. They represent the works of Thawan Duchanee, Vasan Sitthiket, and Pratuang Emjaroen.

Panada shares with us her love for the arts.

When was the first time you knew you wanted to be in the arts?

I was raised around the art community as both of my parents are in the art business. I’d always wanted to be in the arts but wasn’t sure what kind of art forms suited me and what role I would play. The exact moment of my epiphany was when I was waiting in line to enter The Museum of Modern Art, NYC. I love the energy of audiences, the quiet of exhibition rooms and astonishment of art works.

What did you take away about the arts during your time in New York?

I learnt that art is a simple concept but very complex business.

Tell us about a recent exhibition that moved you.

The exhibition of Kiki Smith, “Lodestar”, 2010 at The Pace Gallery, NYC was amazing. I was blown away when I walked into the high ceiling room filled with thirty life size hand-painted glass panels. The entire room has only black and white colors. The subject was about women in various stages of life. I was touched by how Smith used such unusual media on her simple drawing, about a simple subject yet, was able to convey beauty and the depth of her thoughts.

Running a gallery can be challenging because it deals with both the business and creative side of the arts.

You chose to come back to Bangkok and give a voice to Thai artists. What motivates you to do what you do?

I truly believe in Thai artist’s skill and talent. However, I do recognize the lacking of art administrators and understanding in art management in Thailand. I want to contribute and be a part of this growing community.

When people visit Thailand, especially Bangkok, they rarely associate their visit with art. It’s mostly shopping, food and massages. What would they be surprised to learn?


There are over 60 art galleries and 5 museums in Bangkok!!! I recommend visiting The National Gallery Art Gallery, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Thailand Creative & Design Center.


I love BKK because… it’s unpredictable

Sombat Permpoon Gallery website www.sombatpermpoongallery.com

Yuni Hadi



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