Tawatchai Somkong

Founder and President

Tawatchai Somkong was born in Mae Hong Son, Thailand in 1964. He graduated from Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, India in 1995. Five years of study and living in India changed his life, both in terms of art purpose and personal path as a human being. K.G. Subramanyan and Jogen Chowdery, two influential Indian artists, were the persons who guided his hand at the time.

Tawatchai started up Fine Art Magazine, The Great Fine Art Co., Ltd in 2003 believing that Thailand and its art community needed a quality art magazine to call its own. His desire to borderless open Thai people’s art knowledge led him to collaborate with world-class publishers such as TASCHEN, Phaidon Press and Quintnessence Editions to publish books in Thai language. He always pays close attention to every step of the process most of the times selecting each book himself. Tawatchai also founded Plato13 Publishing in 2013 to focus on philosophy and self-development, believing that creativity comes from a balanced state of mind.

Tawatchai’s vision of art and management expanded beyond his work as an artist and CEO of The Great Fine Art Co., Ltd. during the 2000s. He was on the judging committee of the National Gallery, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and was on the panel of judges for Silpathorn Awards, organized by the Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture. He has numerous curatorial experiences in both national and international art exhibitions. The most recent exhibition he curated is The Revolving World at Thai Pavilion, 58th Venice Biennale, and in 2021 ‘Butterflies Frolicking on the Mud: Engendering Sensible Capital’ – Thailand Biennale Korat, 2021. Despite his many responsibilities, he never gave up his passion for art and continued to exhibit his work consistently.

Tawatchai created and launched MATDOT Art Center in Bangkok in 2020. His core vision and aspiration were to create a cocooning artistic family feeling environment for all people, not just artists and any art professional involved in the art world. The MATDOT Art Center is home to Thailand’s longest-running art magazine, a publisher for inner development, a cozy art cafe, galleries, artist studios, and residency.