Vision for the hospitality industry

19.08.20 11:33 AM By Eric Monteil
Vision For The Hospitality Industry

Vision for the hospitality industry

Art is the noblest means of transmitting the culture of a people. As the oldest mode of communication known to date, it existed long before the advent of language, and has witnessed humanity’s great history and narratives. It cannot be denied that Art itself is a language of its own. It communicates where words cannot, it connects where voice fails. What we see on the canvas goes beyond simply conveying our thoughts and emotions, our goals or ambitions – it goes deeper than demonstrating a message or concept. It’s about how we see the world and how we live in it as human beings.

Religions have used art as tools of proselytism, veneration, and decoration of places of worship, and kings, to glorify their regimes, further their warlike conquests, and lavishly decorate their palaces. Though it is in Christian custom to venerate physical manifestations or images, it hasn’t always been that way. In the early ages, Christianity has always limited its use of material representations of important figures, and there were many attacks on this Christian tradition throughout history. It was Pope Gregory the Great’s efforts and the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 that represented a significant turning point, ultimately decreeing that the adoration of physical images is permissible.

This decision will forever mark the consecration of art universally, as the way of invitation to the sacred, to meditation, to dreams, to exceed oneself, and of course, to see the world. The contemporary American artist Ad Reinhardt perfectly captured art when he said: Art is art and everything else is everything else.

The act of travelling not only allowed humanity to be exposed to new ideas, it offered us a new way to contemplate culture represented visually, particularly with landscape imagery. In fact, consider that landscape painting commanded a stronger presence as a European art form from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. This took place around the same time that tourism was fast blossoming as an industry in its own right, brought about by endeavors of early explorers like James Cook and Lapérouse.

Art and travel clearly blossomed in the past together, and even now, it’s difficult to see art without the influence of travel, and vice versa. Following the trails of art on any trip will enrich your travels, helping you see your destination in a new light, and understand the people you meet along the way. It elevates your trip from simply a physical experience, taking you on a search for the greatest treasures in the world, and within you. And with travel, comes hospitality.

A high-end hotel that opens its doors in a country, opens all who stay there, to the culture of the country. But is that enough to understand the culture of a place, even with the highly sophisticated design, the excellent choice and environment of the site, the care given to every detail, and quality of the services offered?

Culture is the DNA of a people, a unique way to connect with their history, discover their traditions, and understand their uniqueness. Travelers are sensitive to local humanities – that’s what drives them to travel, and instills in them the desire to understand how others live on our planet. But standing between two groups understanding each other, is the barrier of language. That’s what makes art so important, in overcoming it.

I like the idea that a hotel could also be a museum. There, travelers would stay temporarily, immersing themselves in culture and traditions through works of art and educational content specially crafted for this purpose. If the interior design of a place gives it a unique ambiance, the art gives it a soul. It invites you to look beyond aesthetics, to penetrate the soul of the country and its people.

But what good is exhibiting works of art, without offering the viewer some explanation? It would be akin to enjoying a lovely meal, without the company of a good wine. The journey would be unfinished, the satisfaction only partial. After all, an artwork exists only within the context it was created, by the artist who made it. No matter how much pleasure it provides, it is the knowledge that comes with it, that permits a real dialogue with the culture.

That is our vision at Silapix: to bring travelers closer to local cultures, whether in hotels or back home, relying on art and new technology. Following the example of our work for Siam Kempinski Bangkok, it is a question of creating and hosting within the same platform ( virtual "museum-hotels", dynamically showcasing the works of art produced for the needs of the hotel, the artists who created them, as well as the educational and cultural content related to the history of art and culture of the country.

Every piece of art displayed in the hotel is accompanied by a wall tag presenting the artwork in a succinct manner. To find out more, simply scan the barcode with your mobile phone to access the content available on the platform. This includes a complete display of the work, biographies, and interviews with the artists, photos of the artworks in the hotel, and educational content. You can also book a room with works of art you like, buy an artwork on display in the hotel or order a copy, etc.

Staying in a 5-star hotel should be a unique cultural experience that lasts long after the stay is over. This is a great way to attract high-end clientele. All the "Museum-hotels" accessible on the platform would be, in fact, the largest museum in the world, perhaps even the first interactive online market for art, which is our ultimate goal.