CNTRFLD.ART catches up with the founder of exciting new Bangkok space, Supples Gallery.

As a Bangkok-based space promoting emerging artists from Southeast Asia and Europe,
it was only a matter of time before CNTRFLD.ART and Supples Gallery would cross paths.
Read on to discover what happened when CNTRFLD.ART caught up with gallery founder,
Louis Supple.

CNTRFLD is very excited about Supples gallery; not least because it corresponds with our vision of highlighting emerging creatives and their local environments. Can you give us some background to yourself and previous experience, either in the art world or other fields? How did that feed into a decision to launch the gallery?


Yes, absolutely. After graduating from Falmouth university in 2017, I began pursuing my career as a photojournalist. I had been fortunate enough to make somewhat of a living through jobs here and there but never really got off the ground.


During a dry spell of work, I remembered a case study I had written at university of a photographer called Patrick Brown, covering the wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. In a moment of both boredom of the UK winter and career desperation, I decided to send him an email, on the very off-chance he may have something for me to assist with. Much to my surprise, the email I received back was an invitation for a three month internship in his Bangkok studio, if I could get myself there.


I travelled to Thailand in March of 2018 to join Patrick and begin what I thought would be the beginning of my life as a photojournalist. My main duty was to go through Patrick’s archive of 35mm and digitise the projects he had been shooting across the world since the mid-90’s. Midway through my three month stint in Bangkok, Patrick had to fly back out to Bangladesh to continue covering the story of the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar. He had an upcoming exhibition in Bangkok titled, Exodus, which centred around the plight of the Rohingya people, and he needed me to manage it all in his absence.


So I found myself, considerably underqualified and with no prior exhibition experience, in charge of my mentor’s upcoming major solo show, centred around a humanitarian genocide… no pressure.


The show took place at River City Bangkok and signified the opening of their new ‘Photographers Gallery’ on the second floor. I was fortunate enough to work closely with the team at River City throughout the exhibition and the Managing Director, Linda Cheng, made me an offer to join them full time. This presented an opportunity for me to move to Bangkok and work within the arts sector, and at the same time, pursue my personal photographic projects.


In March of 2019 I officially moved to Thailand and began my career as a scenographer at River City Bangkok. I was now very much immersed in Bangkok’s art scene, and started to work with a lot of Thailand’s then-emerging artists. I had the privilege of being involved in some incredible projects and was allowed the opportunity to learn from local and international professionals.


After a year at River City, I had decided it was time to move on, with no real solid plan. I announced my departure and started looking around for opportunities. A day after I had handed in my notice, and in an act of what I can only describe as absurd serendipity, I quite literally bumped into creative figure, Goldie (Clifford Price) and we ended up talking about Bangkok and its burgeoning art scene. He told me he was building a gallery and needed a Gallery Manager.


So now I find myself a little more qualified and with a little bit more experience, helping Goldie build Aurum Gallery, Bangkok’s first dedicated international Street Art gallery.


Aurum was doing something new, and to me that was exciting to be part of. It was trying a different approach and diversifying the art scene in Bangkok. Aurum Is where I learnt about the importance of infrastructure in an art ecosystem. Like one huge organism, from art handlers all the way to auction houses, everyone plays a vital role in the industry.


After my time at Aurum, I began helping to manage private collections for new and old clients. I assisted with everything from sales, acquisitions, shipping, framing and sometimes even restoration. It was at this point that my job was centred around the secondary market, spending most of my time hunting down works for collectors. Although I enjoyed this period of time, it never gave me quite the same buzz as working directly with artists.


I made the decision to launch Supples in 2023, as I felt it was time to take another leap and begin building something that I was truly passionate about and that I could grow alongside.

Congrats on your first anniversary. How was the art scene in Bangkok prior to Supples opening in May ‘23?


Thanks! I think Bangkok’s art scene is still in a stage of growth, in the last year or so it has felt like there has been a shift to more pop and toy art, with lots of exhibitions featuring works of this kind. Overall, the scene is continuously progressing, with some brilliant galleries and people driving it forward. I think if we can be even a small part of that then we’re happy.


Would you say that was similar to other ASEAN countries you might have looked at? Were there other locations or cities that impressed you?


In terms of what is being produced, I would have to say that in my opinion, the current pop and toy art trend in Thailand is more closely aligned to Japan, and less so other ASEAN countries, perhaps also Indonesia with the influence of artists like Roby Dwi Antono. For other ASEAN cities that have impressed, I think all of them have their own unique style and characteristics, that’s what makes this region so interesting for art enthusiasts and what drives the ongoing excitement in the market.


Is there a story behind naming the gallery as Supples?


Yes, my name is Louis Supple, but Supple gallery just didn’t sound right… so we added an ‘s’. There is also the hope that there will be more than one Supple helping to run it one day, so it works for that too.


What about the new location you’re moving into; what attracted you to the neighbourhood and what is the new space enabling the gallery to do?


Well we’re moving a short walk away from our old space, but the area we are moving into feels much more like a community, which is something we feel very strongly about. The new space gives us two more floors and has doubled the overall size of the gallery, so it allows us to get more creative and give our artists the freedom to think bigger both conceptually and physically.

Thanapol Tanyapipatkul | Unusual

By the end of 2023, Supples had displayed work by known international artists, such as Yoshimoto Nara and Nobuyoshi Araki; and also young upcoming Thai artist, Apichaya Wannakit and Japanese, Soichiro Shimizu. We love the mix. How about the local community – how are they responding?


From what I can see, they are responding well. I would like to think the community appreciates what we are trying to do and anyone familiar with us knows we are incredibly passionate about what we are building at Supples. Our initial shows were sometimes a mix of secondary and primary works, however, this was a period in which we were still finding our feet as a new gallery. I look back at this as a period of learning, and one which enabled us to really determine what it was we wanted to be. We now focus solely on emerging and early career artists in both Southeast Asia and Europe, with a clear ongoing gallery program fostering local and international talent.


Please tell us more about the new exhibition by Thanapol Tanuyapipatkul which you’ve just launched. What drew you to the work and how does it slot into the gallery’s offering? 


Thanapol’s current exhibition with Supples, Unusual, takes influence from a video game that left a lasting impact on his childhood, Tanyapipatkul has developed a distinctive style that merges the format and content of gaming culture, Embracing the concept of “bugs” – errors or defects in computer programs and games – he employs graphics of a digitalised nature to create works that evoke feelings of uncertainty and intrigue. By presenting scenes with abnormal and unreliable imagery, he prompts viewers to question the realities of the society depicted. Whether pondering the deeper meaning behind his compositions or drawing parallels to real-world narratives, he encourages an exploration of the complexities and hypocrisies inherent in contemporary Thai society.

I was initially drawn to Thanapol’s artwork in 2022, when I bought some works from him via Instagram. I came across him by chance and I watched his style develop. When the time came and we began to set the gallery program for 2024, he was someone I really wanted to work with. His attitude and approach fit very much with the gallery’s ethos, as he is an emerging artist asking important questions of the society he has grown up in, and he expresses that through beautifully constructed works.

How about the future now that you’re in a new location – any artists we can look forward to seeing in the gallery?


Yes, absolutely. We have some really exciting shows coming up for the rest of this year. Our next exhibition will open on the 15th June and will be the first major solo show by Thai artist, Thanthai Nachai.


Following on from that, in August we will have our second exhibition by Apichaya Wannakit, who is a remarkable talent and one of Thailand’s most exciting up-and-coming artists.

For our final individual exhibition, we will have Asoke Aryapratheep in September to October and we then finish the year with a group exhibition of all our featured artists from 2024.


Similarly, looking beyond, the website mentions future plans for a European presence. If it’s not too premature to ask, how is that progressing?


Progressing slowly… It’s more of a 10 year plan for us really. The overall goal is to establish two main spaces, one in SE Asia and one in Europe, that allow us to create a cultural exchange between places and offer opportunities to our artists in both regions.


To find out more about Supples Gallery visit