The Borderline Gallery held its first exhibition in October 2004 and has since offered numerous exhibition opportunities for individuals and groups of artists. The Gallery has general exhibitions showing the work of all artist members. On the first Thursday of each month there are special exhibitions highlighting the work of one or more artist members or artist friends, which open with a reception of food and drinks provided by the Borderline Tea Garden.

The gallery can also be rented! Please contact us at [email protected] to discuss your event needs.

Borderline Gallery, Mae Sot, ThailandAbout the Gallery

All exhibitions are designed by the artists themselves including hanging and pricing of works. For general exhibitions 80% of sales go directly to the artist and for special exhibitions 75% as there are additional costs for the opening night.

The Borderline’s first international exhibitions were held at the Vidya Gallery, Seattle, USA and Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, Canada in October 2005. In November 2011, Borderline artists exhibited the group show “Divisions: Art from the Thai-Burma Border” at Sangdee Gallery in Chiang Mai.

Borderline also conducts workshops for artists to development practical skills in preparing exhibitions, writing personal statements, life drawing and sharing other art techniques with each other. Some examples of workshops include:

  • How to prepare and use oil colours! (Lecturer Saw Chu Cil)
  • How to use knife! (Lecturer Htut Aung)
  • How to use charcoal! (Lecturer Saw Kennedy)
  • How to use acrylic! (Lecturer Saw Chu Cil)
  • How to sketch and draw Landscape! (Organizer Sein Sein Lin)
  • How do we paint portrait! (Lecturer Htut Aung)
  • How to use water colour! (Lecturer Saw Chu Cil)

The Gallery also hosts art interns to come and learn how to manage an art gallery as well as international artists who come and share their skills and experiences with the artists of the Borderline.

In February, 2008 Wayne Boucher an accomplished abstract artist from Canada with the support of the My Story Project and the Canada Fund will have a residency at the Borderline concluding with an exhibition involving the artists of the Borderline.

Membership and Management

There are more than 16 artists from the Thai-Burma border who are members of the Borderline Art Gallery. The artists of Borderline live in marginalized communities on both sides of the Border and most are not able to travel freely as they hold no travel documents. They put themselves at personal risk to create and exhibit their work, in the hopes of sharing their experiences. Some artists received formal training before being forced to leave Burma while others learn traditional skills from elder family members.

One of Borderline’s artist members is also the curator of the Borderline. The curator is in communication with the artists about the situation of the Gallery including the day to day work, how to improve their art works and new ways to market. He also works with the artists to develop their special shows, including preparing invitation cards, advertising, arranging and hanging the works.

The curator and the artists come together to decide on special shows. Shows in the past have focused on celebrations of the traditions in Burma, resettlement, International Women’s Day, the anniversary of the Borderline and for funding the activities of the Gallery.

Our Gallery has a special show on the first Thursday of every month. The special show runs for two weeks followed by a two week (or one and a half week) member show. At the Gallery, we sell art work from 10:00am to 6:00pm. The Artworks typically sell for approximately 2,500Bt (11″x15″) and 4,000 Bt (15″x22″) although this can vary depending on the artist.

Recent exhibitions include:

  • Color Stream” the second solo show of Burmese artists Bo Bo and Wanna Zaw on Thursday, 6th September 2007.
  • Points and Spectrums” exhibition by Tin Ko Ko Oo and Htun, on Thursday, 4th October 2007.

Sometimes the curator invites outside artists to exhibit. Past exhibitors have included artists from inside Burma as well as other people who share the same vision as the Borderline including My Story student photographers and Studio Xang migrant children’s art classes.


The activities of the Gallery are supported in part by the 20% contributed to the Borderline through sales.

In addition all 16 artists of the Borderline, gave one of their best works of art to print art cards to sell to support the income of the Gallery. These 16 cards are arranged into 2 sets of 8 different cards.

Also in July, 2006 artists contributed 2 art works to Borderline’s 2 Year Birthday celebrations, sales of which were all contributed to the Gallery.

In the beginning, the start-up costs and construction of the Gallery space were supported by the Canada Fund for Refugees.

For more information on artists please visit the Artist pages, and for more information on Exhibitions, past and present, please visit the Exhibitions page.

Sample art works

Sandy Shum - Hand of Buddha No1Kyaw Kyaw Heain - In the Inlay LakeHtun - Meditation for PeaceSaw Chucil - FetchingSein Sein Lin - Beginning of Life