9 months ago

Fah Thai Magazine Jan-Feb 2018


OVERTURES ARTS & CULTURAL MATTERS Your 2018 Bucket List? See More Art Words Sarita Urupongsa There’s no denying a simple encounter with art adds the proverbial colour to life. Consider engaging in the creative spirit and the soothing ways of art appreciation. With the plethora of museums and galleries that makes it more accessible, mark this as a year that’s more art-filled. As we’re spoilt for choice – here’s a curated collection of some of the best places in Asia to satisfy your artistic yearnings. Bibo in Hong Kong Bibo is not your usual place for a spot of food. Yes, it’s fine dining for French gastronomy lovers and while it’s luxurious, the presence of contemporary art makes it beyond a gastronomy destination. Housed in the former Compagnie Générale Française de Tramways office, the place magically and stylishly morphed into a glamorous, yet boho-chic art and culinary destination. Bibo combines the finest of both worlds with indoor art and an enticing menu – all in one place. Diners can savour the finest seasonal French gastronomy while taking in the 1930s vibe and admiring artworks from renowned artists like Banksy, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons. OCK POP TOK IN LUANG PRABANG Ock Pop Tok or “East meets West” was founded in 2000 by Jo Smith and Veo Douangdala. Despite a difference in nationalities and talents, both hold the same commitment and connection of that of the artistic spirit. They established ‘OPT’ to introduce the Lao heritage of beautiful textiles and offer economic opportunities for local artisans to continue the craft. In its early days, OPT was a small shop selling only a few designs. Now the business has expanded into two locations: one in the historic district of Luang Prabang and the other, the Living Crafts Centre (LCC), on the Mekong riverbank. Apart from the wide array of gorgeous hand-loomed textiles, visitors can immerse themselves in seeing instructional demos of silk and cotton weaving, dyeing, and Hmong batik. THEAM’S HOUSE IN SIEM REAP Theam’s House is a home-cum-atelier of artist and designer Lim Muy Theam. Passionate about Cambodia’s cultural heritage, Theam, upon returning to his homeland after 15 years in France, set off on the journey to bring back Khmer art and culture. The mission took him to marvellous discoveries of astonishing artefacts and splendid temples and pagodas. Aiming to blend Cambodia’s rich art and cultural aesthetics into modern surroundings, the designer launched Theam’s House as a showroom for local artisan products crafted from original techniques and materials favoured by people in the old days. The place also offers the opportunity for local artists and villagers to work there and hone their talents. Redtory Art & Design Factory in Guangzhou THE LAND FOUNDATION IN CHIANG MAI Here’s a situation rarely visualised – that of rice fields and a creative space coming together. Two artists intentionally engaged in the use of anonymity to redefine the idea of land ownership and created the Land Foundation. Here, two concepts merge in an open space where agriculture and art come together in an artists’ residence in nature’s setting. Nestled in area that’s naturally serene and close to the San Pa Tong district in Chiang Mai, the lush land and its surrounding green environment now belongs to the Land Foundation who in turn cultivated a landscape that dedicated one fourth of its area to the concept of earth and three-fourths of it to water. The resulting terrain offers lucky folks a chance to dwell and experience living among agricultural communities and furthering the creative spirit. Working with nature up close, the Foundation aims to make it the core energy of all artistic endeavours for artists and to inspire art lovers. Its significant beginning was that of a canned food factory, but this industrial space in Guangzhou now sees new life as Redtory, an artists’ village and art district that serves to inspire its creative and residential community. A major force since 2009, over 200 exhibitions, cultural events and lectures have been held with the goal of bringing art and modern design into ordinary people’s lives. In an area that spans 170,000 square metres, the Redtory industrial setting has been transformed into seven exhibition areas and over ten creative designations that include studios and art shops. In a big nod to its industrial heritage, Redtory embraces creative industries such as design and applied engineering to complement its contemporary art platform. 30 31