Anantara gets artistic to support Asian elephant conservation


Mark Elliott, TravelDaily

Date Published
Anantara is aiming to raise funds and awareness for Asia’s elephants by partnering with a major new public art exhibition in Bangkok.
The luxury hotel, resort and spa brand, which forms part of the Minor International, has teamed up with Elephant Parade to bring the open air exhibition to the Thai capital for the first time.
Timed to coincide with HM King Bhumibol of Thailand’s 88th birthday, Elephant Parade will showcase a “herd” of 88 specially created elephant artworks at three locations in Bangkok: the Siam Paragon shopping mall, Asiatique riverside night market and Lumphini Park. The exhibition will run for a total of two months, from 1 December 2015 to 29 January 2016, at the end of which approximately 30 of the artworks will be auctioned off for charity, with the proceeds going towards elephant charities in Asia.
“As a company, we are always looking for like-minded partners who share our true passion in saving the Asian elephant, and Elephant Parade has long been known for its elephant conservation efforts in Thailand, which is why we feel this partnership is the ideal fit,” said William E. Heinecke, chairman & CEO of Minor International.
“The more awareness that is raised on the plight of domestic and wild elephants in Thailand, the better the chances we have for their survival. I can’t think of a better way to raise awareness than bringing the largest open air art exhibition in support of Asian elephants to Bangkok in 2015,” he added.
The elephants featured in the exhibition have been painted by artists and celebrities, and feature a diverse variety of styles and patterns, from modern to classical. One of the elephants was painted by famous Thailand-based artist Nancy Chandler, who tragically passed away shortly after completing the work. Another elephant was created by actor and martial arts star Tony Jaa, who grew up in a family of mahouts (elephant handlers).
Elephant Parade was co-founded by Mike Spits, along with his father Marc, who took pity on an injured elephant during a holiday in northern Thailand. The young elephant, named Mosha, had lost her leg after stepping on a land mine. And despite being 70 years-old, Mr Spits senior vowed to create a global public art exhibition to raise awareness and funds for Asia’s elephants.
The exhibition launched in the Netherlands in 2007 and has now travelled across the world, to cities including London, Milan, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. Every exhibition now features a statue of Mosha, the injured elephant.