History of Art at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok

16.02.20 01:44 AM By Eric Monteil

History of Art at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok

At Siam Kempinski Bangkok,  the symbol of the lotus is the central element of the hotel decoration

The grand hotel Siam Kempinski opened its doors to the public in 2010. The hotel is situated in the heart of Bangkok, in an area of unique heritage and history. Here stood the ‘Pathumwan Palace’, later known as the ‘Sra Pathum Palace’, ordered to be built in 1851 under the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV). The name ‘Pathum’ was given to refer to the nearby lotus pond of the canal Khong Saen Saeb. The palace became one of the most important places for the Chakri Dynasty to arrange their ceremonies in subsequent years. Later, The Royal family generously gave a part of the palace to be turned into a hotel, which was called the Siam Intercontinental Hotel. Over the next thirty years, the hotel was reconstructed and it was at this time that the Siam Kempinski Hotel was officially launched. The team at Siam Kempinski appreciates the memorial status of the land, and so uses the symbol of the lotus around the hotel, as a reminder of its revered nature.

There is a fine quality to the architecture and decorations of Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. The hotel is a branch of Kempinski, which was initially formed by Berthold Kempinski in Geneva in 1897. The décor serves to highlight a mix of urban luxury presentation and exclusive service. In order to reach a satisfactory standard, the creative development team decided to use Thai history and culture to enrich the identity of Siam Kempinski alongside other style elements. The property was designed as an enclave, defined by a fusion of modern and contemporary Thai architecture, with a lush tropical garden at its centre. The architecture and interior design were coordinated to complement each other while reflecting and reinforcing the prominence of the tropical garden at the core. This five-star hotel combines Kempinski’s trademark of European flair with Thai hospitality traditions.

Apart from striking architectural design, the hotel teams use a variety of artworks from prominent Thai artists to reflect their place in Thai culture and tradition. The majority of artists were prestigious award winners, invited to create art pieces exclusive to Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. After four years of research, study and development, more than two hundred original paintings, sculptures, and photographs have been commissioned. Also, countless objets d’art and antiques were collected from all over Thailand to complement those major art pieces. All of these artworks are on display at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, in public areas, rooms and suites. The hotel is fast gaining a reputation as a serious collector of arts, and supporter of emerging, and renowned Thai artists. The Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok is debuting one of the largest Thai Art collections ever created and orchestrated for a hotel in South East Asia. With almost four hundred art pieces, the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok’s collection represents the cultural profile of the hotel; a contemporary vision of Thai artistic traditions and culture that blends seamlessly with timeless architecture, tropical gardens and a theatrical interior.

In this particular project, the symbol of the lotus is the central element of the hotel decoration. Historically relevant and symbolically coherent, the lotus flower and cascading water inform and inspire the works found in this art collection. In ancient times, the lotus was held in regard as the union of the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The roots take to the earth, while the flower grows on the water; its leaves feed from the air and the power of the sun’s fire. The lotus therefore symbolizes the perfection of the fourfold order of the natural world. The unfolding petals of the lotus also indicate to the expansion of the soul. The lotus represents the purity of body, speech and mind, as if floating above muddy waters of attachment and desire.

In practice, eighteen renowned Thai artists - Alongkorn Lauwatthana, Ariya Kitticharoenwiwat, Arnan Ratchawang-inn, Chotirost Techapanwanit, Chutchawan Wannapo, Dow Wasiksiri, Jiraparnn Tokeeree, Kriengkrai Vongpitirat, Metha Kongsonthi, Paramat Lueng-on, Pichet Piaklin, Pornchai Jaima, Somsak Sansukjareonpol, Songdej Thipthong, Sumpun Sanathed, Tippanet Yaemaneechai, Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch, Watcharaporn Yoodee - and art curator Surisak Kittisasikultorn, joined forces for the art project, creating artworks specifically designed to decorate certain spaces within the hotel. The result was a unique, exclusive collection of elegant pieces that enrich the experience within the Siam Kempinski.

Curatorial content provided for Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok

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