Merging passion with business

Collectors of paintings to sculptures have reason to rejoice as JWD Art Space becomes the first fine arts logistics service provider in the country

Tucked away in an orange warehouse-like building, JWD Art Space is drawing the attention of young art lovers with an interesting programme of upcoming contemporary exhibitions as it attempts to expand its reach by serving up a wide array of fine art logistics services.

After opening late last year, the new project is the brainchild of executive Charvanin Bunditkitsada, who found a way to merge his passion for arts with his expertise in business. His goal is to facilitate collectors, artists and museums in transporting, storing and caring for precious items.

This new business is blooming under the umbrella of JWD Group, which has provided integrated logistics solutions to the chemical, automobile and warehouse industries for over 40 years and has specialised in storing and relocating homes and offices.

"Our boss Charvanin has collected artwork for many years and realised that art handling services were a pain point that many local collectors have experienced. He recognised the potential of Thailand's art and culture tourism industry, which has generated over 21 million baht in income, according to the Thailand Creative & Design Center's report. We spent two years setting up JWD Art Space as the first fine art logistics service provider in the country. Customers can enjoy our seamless services from transportation, installation, shipping, restoration to insurance," said Punnapa Parimmethachai, director of JWD Art Space.

"Basically, if we want to sell an expensive product, we should make it look classy. Besides using quality materials, artists should also pack and deliver artworks to customers professionally to add value. After 15 years of experience running the Artery Gallery, I realised that most galleries and artists had to hire the pick-up service to convey art pieces which poses a risk, especially in the rainy season. So, having high standards in logistics services can help upgrade Thailand's art industry."

The space occupies 1,300m² on the third floor of the JWD Store It! and houses five galleries of different sizes and designs in which veteran artist Somboon Hormtientong boasts over 70 pieces of abstract works in his solo exhibition titled "Die Schone Heimat".

"Located in downtown Bangkok, this area is a mixture of the old and modern. It is home to many hip cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, galleries and Chulalongkorn University that can connect with our art space," Punnapa said.

"Originally, we planned to curate three exhibitions a year but all schedules have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We're working with both international and Thai acclaimed artists in different fields to give audiences a good chance to learn and enjoy contemporary artwork."

The towering door seems like a gateway to a secret chamber. There's a 365m² art storage warehouse that can accommodate more than 1,000 art pieces, ranging from paintings, sculptures to complicated installations. The monthly rate starts from 490 baht to 1,190 baht for painting and 590 baht to 1,590 baht.

With an air-conditioning system, the temperature and humidity are controlled to maintain the condition of the artwork while the storage room is fully equipped with security control systems like CCTV cameras, electronic scanners, fire suppression units, alarms as well as security guards to ensure high standards of safety.

"We've also developed a mobile application in which customers can monitor their items in real-time, arrange an appointment with our specialist team, check out the programme of interesting activities and shop for artworks with just a few clicks. Using a British broker, customers are required to buy insurance for all their artworks, covering transportation, installation and shipping," Punnapa said.

"Now, we're preparing space for more than 200 art pieces and installation services for a customer who relocated from Hong Kong to Thailand. This year, Bangkok Art Biennale's organiser also used our services to transport and install artworks in several venues."

There is also a laboratory where the condition of all the artworks will be examined, cleaned and repaired before being moved to a storage room. There's also a luxury 93m² private viewing room for customers to host exclusive parties and meetings amid the artistic atmosphere.

"Our specialists will check the condition of the artworks upon arrival and give customers some advice in case their paintings get mouldy in a bid to protect a transmission to other works in the storage room. For damaged paintings, we can restore them --currently, there are 37 pieces in a queue," Punnapa said.

To add colours to the toy-art market, JWD will be launching the Character Me project in collaboration of 10 veteran and new-wave artists including Vasan Sitthiket, Sutee Kunavichayanont, Wutigorn Kongka, P7, Youenmo Koo, Yuree Kensaku, May-T Noijinda, Jitsing Somboon, Line Censor and Lampu Kansanoh.

On view from last Saturday to Oct 11, all artists will showcase their creativity in designing the limited edition of bronze figures. Each design has 79 pieces and starts from 40,000 baht to 80,000 baht.

"In October, renowned illustrator Yozanun "Suntur" Wutigonsombutkul will present his solo visual and sound exhibition, which his illustrations will be synchronised with new singles, composed by 25 artists such as Singto Numchok, Wanyai, Lula and Pod Moderndog," Punnapa said.

JWD Art Space is on the third floor of JWD Store It, Soi Chulalongkorn 16. It's open daily from 10am to 7pm (except Monday). Find out more details at jwd-artspace.com.