The exhibition will see a herd of almost one hundred 1.5 metre brightly coloured elephants – which have been specially decorated and hand painted and will be exhibited as a herd in key locations throughout Bangkok, starting on 1st December 2015 and ending on January 29th 2016.
The first major Elephant Parade was held in Rotterdam in the Netherlands in 2007 and has since been exhibited in cities across the world including London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Milan and Hong Kong. Elephant Parade Bangkok will be a first for Thailand and the only one for the city.
The event was originally created after founder Marc Spits and his son Mike visited the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand, which treats sick and injured elephants. There they saw Mosha, a baby elephant who lost her leg after stepping on a landmine when only seven months old and was the first elephant to receive a prosthetic limb. She is fitted with a new leg every year, and each time must learn to walk all over again. Mosha features in each Elephant Parade exhibition and will have a specially Thai themed painted prosthetic leg for the Bangkok Parade.
Artists from all walks of life have been busy designing their elephants, each an original piece of art to help paint a brighter future for the country’s national animal. Famous supporters of Elephant Parade Bangkok include: Hangover 2 star Nirut Sirichanya; Furious 7 star Tony Jaa; Designer Paul Smith; World Number One DJ, Hardwell; Miss Thailand World, Sirinya Bishop; Artists Elizabeth Romhild, Elsie Evans and Nancy Chandler, Sculptor Gavin Fifield and a wide range of Thai celebrities and artists.
“In my life I have spent a lot of quality time with elephants. I grew up in a mahout family and started my movie career with an elephant as a co-star,” said Furious 7 star and Elephant Parade Ambassador Tony Jaa. “I want to thank all the people and organisations who take the time and resources to ensure the safety of these intelligent creatures in Thailand and around the world.”
In February 2016 a selection of elephants from the parade will be auctioned off at a charity gala dinner at Anantara Siam Bangkok, with the proceeds going to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation who in turn will select and fund a range of sustainable programmes that benefit the elephants of Thailand, including Wildlife Alliance, Freeland, WildAid, Think Elephants and Thai Elephant Therapy Project.
The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) was set up in 2006 to improve the plight of Thailand’s elephants, and has since been diversified to include welfare projects that incorporate broader philanthropic and cultural objectives with unprecedented success.
William E. Heinecke, Chairman and CEO of Minor International, the parent company of Anantara, Hotels Resorts & Spas, commented, “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.
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.”
“Elephant Parade is very proud and excited to team up with such a great company as Anantara and The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. We share the same commitment and values in helping save the Asian elephant, ultimately from extinction. We’ve travelled all over the world with Elephant Parade and now it feels like we are coming home, with our upcoming event in Bangkok. I am sure this exposition will be our most exciting and colourful one to date,” Mike Spits, Elephant Parade® Founder.