C.D.C. VCentral Embassy & SIWILAI storeBangkok 2014

After colette in Paris, Browns in London, Andréas Murkidis in Berlin and Maison Kitsuné in New York, in 2014 my Bangkok host is Barom Bhicharnchitr, founder of the SIWILAI Conceptstore, supported by the Central Embassy.

This choice was based on intuition and it was a really good one : Central Embassy is now breaking the rules of the traditional luxury mall and takes it fast into the 21st century. SIWILAI can easily claim to be the first Thai concept-store with an international impact, and is already competing with leading stores in this market – places like Corso Como, colette or Dover Street Market. Entities that perfectly matched the core spirit of the Cabinet and our times, mixing all cultures with a fantastic sense of feelings. And that was an intense, creative culture shock, generating much greatness!

Needless to say this Bangkok edition of Le Cabinet de Curiosités de Thomas Erber is the first Cabinet show in Asia & the biggest ever done, thanks to Central Embassy and to Barom Bhicharnchitr’s key role in its development. I can only but feel the pioneering aspect of such an event and the whole cultural experience. That’s precisely what made it so exceptional. And this city probably was the most appropriate one to set up such a massive event.

This year, we have more than 80 guests, from more than 20 different countries, 4 world-class chefs, plus musicians, writers, and we’re not even mentioning all the people who quietly made all this possible. And we could also add the release of the book, and also tell you about the extreme, natural-minded scenography perfectly integrated to the shapes of this post-modern spaceship that is Central Embassy. This is all stuff made to durably strike minds.

All these elements make the Cabinet the multicultural event it truly is : a major, prestigious rendezvous to gather talents from this big internationalized space that now has become Earth. But the Cabinet never forgets to place the human and the individual at the very center of it all. This is a forward-looking concept, yet it is also paying its respects to a much-beloved héritage – and not the contrary!

Thomas Erber has curated the french scenographer Diplomates.

Diplomates is a French multidisciplinary design studio created by Mathieu Prat and Jean Panien, based in Valmondois, France. Working across the disciplines of visual art, architecture and industrial design, Diplomates proposes a raw and elemental vision of modernity, through bespoke projects and site-specific installations that both provoke and inspire.

A common thread with the avant-garde and urban aesthetics of the Paris fashion world have led Diplomates to a host of collaborative projects with international fashion houses from BLK DNM to Band of Outsiders and an evolving dialogue with the Paris-based designer Damir Doma.

Charged with the crucial task of scenography for the 2014 edition of the Cabinet de Curiosités, Diplomates immersed themselves in the culture of Thailand for a three-week residency in Bangkok, solidifying their concept by interacting with local practitioners to discover the ethnic and contemporary cultural landscape. Extensively documenting their experiences, Mathieu and Jean built an image archive that informed their final brutalist, yet sensitive spatial intervention – a structure based around a customized steel connector pod. Its multi-branch joint allows the Diplomates super-structure to grow organically throughout the space, interacting with the Central Embassy’s existing curvilinear layout.

The Diplomates installation sprawls inside and outside the Central Embassy complex in a maze of black-inked plywood and custom glazed bricks; reaching skyward from the groundfloor through the atrium, housing the precious objects and artworks of the Cabinet de Curiosités within Siwali, and extending outside into the Morakot parking as the public event space and Ploenchit window décor. Its dynamic format allows for streamlined dec- orative modules to seamlessly connect, creating infinite geometric designs to embody the spirit of discovery behind the Cabinet de Curiosités.

Permanent Guests

International Guests

Local Guests

Artists & Photographers

Gastronomy guests

Music guests