A night of contemporary art and canapes at Siam@Siam Bangkok.
By Ashima Sethi
On the 10th of March, Masala was invited to sample Chim Chim’s delightful all-day dining menu, after which our team was joined by members of the hotel team who explained the vision behind the vibrant, versatile space, that doubles as both an eatery and an art gallery.
Boualem Arezki, Creative and Marketing Director at Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok, explained that he was inspired by the Parisian concept of an artist loft when conceptualising Chim Chim’s design, “In France, we often mix and match furniture and I wanted to introduce this concept here,” he explains as he points out the various carpets, sofas, arm chairs, and booths that have been crafted from patterned textiles from Jim Thompson and upcycled fabrics.
“I’m also a big fan of D.I.Y, so much so that my team and I have all had a hand at painting the plant pots around here and outside on the terrace,” he explains. Even during just the brief walk around the restaurant, the attention to detail is clear, with every element playing a role in tying the entire space together.
As the sun set, we joined other guests for the opening of Chim Chim’s debut exhibition titled Souvenirs by Munchausen, a long-running project by Parisian designer couple Simon Pillard and Philippe Rossetti. After the duo moved to Thailand three and a half years ago, Philippe started painting, opting to transform their adventures that had been documented on Instagram into big, bright, bold creations. As a result, the oil-on-canvas pieces in their Souvenirs exhibition act as tangible manifestations of their memories. The artists have also incorporated Thai elements and crafts to reflect their experiences in the Land of Smiles as two foreigners.
In their process, it’s explained that Philippe draws while Simon paints. This allows the finished artwork to combine both their visions, the figurative and the abstract, and the bright contrasting colours with the various geometric patterns. Examples of their work include capturing their first bike ride through Chatuchak Market and a portrait of their beloved Labrador retriever, Ernestine.
Inside Chim Chim’s first In Residence magazine about Munchausen, the duo were asked about the concept behind the exhibition, to which Philippe replied: “There was no concept…We are just fascinated by Instagram and how it allows us to build up a type of curated memory. These are some of our favourite memories.”
Simon followed by explaining, “Our approach is more like a laboratory, actually. Whenever we have something with free lines, we’ll balance it with a geometric pattern.” Finally, Philippe discussed why the duo opted for the name Souvenirs: “It’s our memories of France mixed with Thai arts and crafts. As a foreigner, when you first arrive in Thailand you are really impressed by these pieces. We would walk around and be like, ‘Oh my god to get this in Europe would cost you a lot!”
As fans of contemporary art that utilises bright colours, we really appreciated Munchausen’s pieces and felt that they added even more life to Chim Chim’s already vibrant dining room. The exhibition is expected to be on for the next few months, should you be interested in paying the restaurant a visit. Keep updated on their offers with the following links:
Photos courtesy of Chim Chim.