Clients & Partners Testimonials
Samir R. Wildemann
General Manager, Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
Bangkok, November 2017,
This letter of recommendation has been written on the request of Eric Monteil with whom I had the pleasure working with on a truly exciting project during my tenure as General Manager and Senior Vice President Operations for South East Asia at the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.
A brief introduction on how we initially joined forces on this project. At Siam Kempinski we are blessed with having close to 2000 pieces of artwork on display and without exception these works have been created specifically for the hotel by some of Thailand’s most talented artists. It was our intention to allow a broader audience to access these works of art and to showcase to a global audience the breadth of creative talent that exists in Thailand. Hence the idea of an online gallery was born.
From the beginning of our conversation, it was clear that Eric had a true passion for art and culture, and combining this with his vision as well as remarkable energy as well as skills in business development we were confident to have found the right partner for this project.
Eric, through his company Art Consulting Thailand, came up with an innovative concept to build a social network marketplace (Silapix), enabling Thai artists and designers to connect to organizations, in order to give them sustainable opportunities, in line with our initial commitment to support the nations artists as they strive to gain and retain local and international recognition. To operate and monitor Silapix, Art Consulting Thailand has developed a technology (Silasoft) which we have incorporated into our project. This allows our platform to connect with a much broader audience interested in Thai Art and Culture, giving us and the artists the potential of reaching an audience of millions of enthusiasts.
The final result has certainly exceeded our initial expectations. Art Consulting Thailand has provided in time, in a very professional and enthusiastic way, a designed platform, which is now Siam Kempinski Art Gallery (www.siamkempinski-artgallery.com), showcasing specific academic content related to Siam Kempinski’s art collection and history, biographies, photos, videos and interviews of artists (18 in total at this stage) and a complete descriptions of each artwork on display (57 in public areas). Now, any of our clients contemplating art in the hotel has access to our platform, via wall tag barcodes, and through this learning more about our collection and more importantly, the artists.
I know that Eric is currently looking for new clients and investors to speed up the growth of his company and to secure this ambitious and innovative project (Art Consulting Thailand, Silapix and Silasoft, the Sila ecosystem as Eric names it).
In case Eric approaches you for business purpose, I can recommend him without hesitation, he commits and he delivers high quality services.
CEO, Asian Trails Group
Bangkok, May 2015
Asian Trails is a leading inbound tour operator in Asia with own offices in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Bhutan, offering imaginative tour itineraries for individuals and groups at competitive rates.
Art Consulting Thailand (initially Rock Around Asia) bring museum exhibits into larger context and history and art comes alive through their passion and explanations. Eric Monteil and his team know museums and places in Bangkok that even long term foreign residents and locals have never heard about. You get real insight into Asia and the art world, different perspectives and academic content on a large variety of subjects, and all of this in a relaxed and leisurely manner. If you have a real interest in Asian contemporary history, contemporary culture and the art world, the Contemporary Thai Society Tour should not be missed.
Discovering Thailand through the museums of Bangkok
Isn’t it true that for many of us the sights that are closest to our homes are the ones we know the least? How many of us have really visited the tourist attractions in our own city despite recommending them to our friends and clients.
I, for one, have not been to many of the unique museums in Bangkok. It is in the spirit of discovering what’s in our backyards and on the initiative of our new partner, Rock Around Asia, we filled one of our minibuses with Asian Trails Thailand managers and set off for a full day of museum visits in Bangkok.
I must admit that I have not heard of the Thai Labour Museum. You won’t find it in any “to do lists”, “must see sights”, or listings of major guide books on Bangkok. A hidden little gem behind Makkasan Station, it claims to be the first and only labour museum in Asia. Don’t expect to see any multiple-storey grand building. Instead the museum is inside a discreet house, which used to be the railway police station. Make sure you wear light clothing, as parts of the museum are not air-conditioned. The museum gives a unique insight into the development of the modern Thai society, relating the story of the lower classes, as well as giving an equal account of Thailand’s contemporary history. You learn how the Thai people changed from a partially enslaved population to be a free people living in this modern industrial age, what motivated the Chinese to migrate to the Kingdom, and how work ethics changed after Thailand became a constitutional monarchy. The museum also pays tribute to the Thai kings who implemented reforms that were far ahead of their times. All inscriptions in the museum are in Thai and English. After an hour’s tour of its east and west wing you will be well versed with Thai’s contemporary history and the evolution of labour.
From history to medicine as we drove down to the Chao Phraya River, and crossed by boat to the Siriraj Medical Museum, for the Thai people, this is one of the most well-known museums in the country, and a compulsory field trip for most high school students in Bangkok. Housed in several parts of Siriraj Hospital, the most interesting area for foreigners is probably the Tsunami Museum that is part of the Forensic Medicine section. Here are accounts of the activities of the hospital’s doctors and nurses who traveled to the Phuket area on December 26, 2004 to help local hospitals cope with the injured and the dead from the devastating tsunami. Here you will relive the valiant efforts of these selfless medical personnel in saving lives with vivid and, at times, disturbing descriptions of injuries, and how the doctors and nurses coped with the sheer volume of the injured. It is also sad to watch the pictorial accounts of the forensic teams toiling through the piles of bodies to identify the victims, and the techniques they used to do this. There is screening of a comprehensive and touching documentary on the hospital’s activities after the tsunami. I don’t think anyone left the room without a tear in the eye. The Forensic and Pathological part of the museum is not for the faint hearted. Unlike its western counterparts where explicit photographs and displays of the dead and wounded are not usually displayed, the Siriraj Medical Museum shows all these and mostly in color. Expect to see graphic photographs of victims of train and traffic accidents. Visitors may find some parts of this museum a bit too gruesome to visit, so plan which sections you wish to go to. A word of caution – the museum is a definite no go for families with young children.
Our next stop is BACC or the Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, which probably has the biggest impact on the art world in Thailand since its opening. It is located opposite the MBK shopping complex, a few steps away from the National Stadium skytrain station, and is one of the easiest museums to access in the city. A number of halls are allocated to permanent exhibitions, but many are hosting temporary art shows that are quite interesting. Art is always a matter of taste, and the latter is pure individualism. What I like about the center is the mix of foreign and local art, local artists influenced by foreign elements, and foreign artists experimenting with Asian culture. I don’t know if the foodie term of ‘fusion’ applies to paintings and sculptures, but if it does then the temporary exhibitions at BACC certainly fit this term. Check BACC’s website for the schedule of exhibitions.
We have teamed up with Art Consulting Thailand (initially Rock Around Asia) to bring more meaning to museum visits and a wider context to the exhibits, as the company offers highly intellectual foreign and local experts for these visits. Their guides not only explain the museum’s displays, but will also bring perspective and academic content into the tour. They are also experts on a large number of museums and sights in Asia. Working together, Asian Trails can tailor make unique experiences for special interest groups, academics, universities, and travelers with distinct interests.