TAI Gallery was created by Robert T. Coffland, a leading expert in Japanese bamboo arts in the West, who began sourcing works from contemporary masters in Japan. The gallery moved from the founder’s home to a gallery space on Canyon Road, then to its current location in the Santa Fe Railyard in 2006.
Margo Thoma purchased the gallery in 2014 and merged it with her contemporary American art gallery, Eight Modern. Rebranded as TAI Modern, Thoma and renowned bamboo expert, Koichiro Okada, continue Coffland’s mission of building museum-quality collections.
Thoma supports and promotes bamboo art in the West by serving as an advisor to Western collectors and institutions, facilitating public demonstrations, and curating bamboo art exhibitions. She is a tireless collaborator and ally with and for senior artists across Japan, and sponsors aspiring bamboo artists to participate in national competitions. She has written essays for exhibition catalogs both in the U.S. and Japan and is a frequent public speaker on bamboo art.
Works by TAI Modern artists have been placed in some of the country’s most prestigious institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Mint Museum of North Carolina; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Denver Art Museum; Museum of Art and Design; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.