The Place & the Plate

The Jim Thompson Art Center, the French Embassy in Thailand and Alliance Française Bangkok organize
Food, Feeling and the New French Table Way of Life
An exhibition of design and gastronomy
from June 28 to September 30, 2007
(Part of LA FÊTE – French Thai Cultural Festival in Bangkok)

The exhibition at the Jim Thompson Art Center is a part of the 4th annual celebration of La Fête, the French Thai cultural festival which is being held from June 6th to 28th 2007. The grand finale of La Fête 2007 will be celebrated with the opening reception of The Place and the Plate exhibition. In collaboration with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the organizers of the festival aim to contribute to the celebration of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday anniversary commemorations.

THE PLACE & THE PLATE is an exhibition of Design, Gastronomy, Food, Sound, Video and Installation. The exhibit will include Jim Thompson’s private tableware collection and the latest exclusive tableware design pieces from famous French and Thai designers, artists, craftsmen and chefs. Inspired by the East and the West, modernity and tradition, heritage and innovation, Jim Thompson was able to use his artistic creativity and outstanding sense of design to balance an appreciation of the past with implementing new ideas and trends. This philosophy has a great deal in common with the exhibition, thus there is no more suitable place to celebrate the closing of the festival and the opening the exhibition than at the Jim Thompson Art Center. In a way, “La Fête” could not find a better “Place” to serve its “Plates”.

The exhibition will stress the importance of the culinary arts, and will focus on food decoration and design in France and Thailand. Accompanied by music to contribute to the culinary atmosphere, the show will feature new tableware designs selected by two curators: Cédric Morisset from France and Gridthiya Gaweewong from Thailand. Video installations of trendsetting designer restaurants and bars from around the world will also be included. This dialogue between the two countries will honor know-how and creativity, encourage up-to-date innovation and highlight the permanent pursuit of a new lease on life. The reinterpretation of tradition, the use of new techniques and traditional production methods under the theme of “Fooding” (the mixing of Food and Feeling, a term invented in 1999 by famous French writer and critic, Alexandre Cammas) will be used to explain the unconventional gastronomy of blending the joy of food, the place and the plate together.


Internationally known French designer Andrée Putman is a major figure in interior and product design. More than a visionary, she has always been a bridge between cultures and has managed to anticipate the evolution of lifestyles. From the first boutique-hotel of all times “the Morgan’s” in New York, which she designed in 1983 to her latest hotel “The Putman” which opens this month in Hong Kong, she has been a leader in her field. In the very heart of her work, the art of receiving has always played a central part as highlighted by her numerous collaborations in tableware, including working with French silversmith Christofle, for whom she designed the best selling Vertigo line. Mrs. Putman has been invited to set and style a table mixing exclusive items from the Jim Thompson collection with contemporary designs of her own which will be presented as a focal point of the exhibition. This will serve as a link between the Thai and the French, the past and the future, and the formal and the casual.

After a month of exchanges between the two food cultures, the exhibition will invite its guests to combine ingredients to prepare a soup “à la provençale” and taste a fresh and healthy “Sain/Sein” menu from the Breast Stupa Cookery Project. These dishes will be cooked by both professional and amateur chefs using breast-shaped moulds, the creation of Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak.

Breast Stupa Cookery is an ongoing collaborative art project started in 2005. The project intends to examine through culinary art the meaning and interpretation of the artist’s signature work, the breast-shape stupa. Guest chefs will be asked to create dishes using the artist’s specially designed cooking moulds made of aluminum and ceramic. In this way, food truly becomes medium and connection of art.

To celebrate this event, special menus and chocolate desserts will be exclusively created by Jim Thompson chefs and will be served at the opening night reception. Professional and amateur chefs will be invited to create various menus for Breast Stupa Cookery. These menus will be available at Saladaeng Café and the Thompson Bar and Restaurant during the period of the exhibition, June to August 2007.

To begin the exhibition, Rirkrit Tiravanija, a well-known contemporary Thai artist will interact with guests in an ephemeral food cooking and serving performance. His signature work, making meals for participants, becomes, in a sense, a manifesto of the rebellion against strict museum regulations. For years his work has been highly praised as an important and interesting social art form.

During the exhibition period and for the opening ceremony, workshops will be organized with the collaboration of French designers Cédric Ragot and Anne Xiradakis and Thai designers Rachaporn Choochuey and Pim Sudhikam. The later two designers are both from the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University. Topics will include, for example, Benjarong (traditional five-colored Thai porcelain) or the Soup Culture.

French curator: Cédric Morisset
The 32 year-old Cédric Morisset started to work in the world of contemporary arts at the end of the nineties. He quickly left this to follow his passion for design. He has been working since then in the field of interior and product design for seven years as a design consultant for major companies in the world of luxury products, retail design and media. In addition to his consulting business, Cédric Morisset has also been developing extensive expertise in design through his work as a journalist (collaborating with A.D. France, L’Officiel, Mixte, Intramuros…) leading him to seek out the latest innovations in every part of the world. Adding culture to his quest for innovation, he also worked as a design curator and has curated several product design exhibitions such as “French Reference” presented in Rotterdam, Berlin and Reykjavik in 2006 and “Essayage” at the Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier near Paris in 2007. Cédric Morisset is also a close collaborator with worldwide trends forecasting agency Nelly Rodi.

Thai Curator: Gridthiya Gaweewong
Gridthiya Gaweewong co-founded and served as a director of Project 304, an independent art organization which has been based in Bangkok since 1996. Gaweewong has curated many local and international exhibitions, including alien(gener)ation, Bangkok, Chiangmai, Khonkhaen (2000); under construction, Japan (2002); nothing, a retrospective of Rirkrit Tiravanija and Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Chiangmai (2004) ; bangkok, Bangkok, Barcelona and Brussels (2005) ; politics of fun, Berlin (2005); and the Bangkok experimental film festival, Bangkok (with tours to Dublin, LA, Stockholm, Singapore, and Sydney (1997-2006), Saigon Open City project in Vietnam (2006-7). Currently she serves as an artistic director of the Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok.

Exhibition Designer: Wit Pimkanchanapong
Wit Pimkanchanapong, after studying at the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University in 1994, did his Masters Degree in Visual Communication at the Kent Institute of Art & Design of Maidstone, Great Britain. Presently he is one of the Thailand’s elite Multimedia Designers / Artists and is responsible for the scenography design of the exhibition.

Boonsanga Teo
Boonsanga Teo received his Bachelor Degree in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University and is responsible for all production aspects of the exhibition. He is a co-founder of KUUWORLD, an architectural studio where he works in conjunction with his colleague Sadtha Jareonrat.

This exhibition is organized by The Jim Thompson Art Center, The French Embassy, Thailand, The Alliance Francaise Bangkok, in partnership with CultureFrance, La Fete, Jim Thompson Thai Silk, and The James H.W. Foundation. The exhibit is sponsored by Evian, RCSC, Sofitel Silom, Bangkok and Christofle. Official Airline: Thai Airways & Blue Amadeus.

For further information please contact
La Fête team – French Embassy
Khun Alongkorn Thaubol, assistant to Cultural Attaché
Tel: +66 (0) 2627 2106

The Jim Thompson Art Center
Khun Penwadee, Exhibition Coordinator
Tel: +66 (08) 4709 3440

Khun Somsuda, Education Program Coordinator
Tel: +66 (08) 1409 7860

(Admission free of charge)

The Jim Thompson Art Center
(2nd floor, The Jim Thompson House compound)

The Place & the Plate
Exhibition Period: June 29th – September 30th, 2007
Gallery Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Admission free of charge)

The Jim Thompson Art Center Office
(4th floor, behind the Jim Thompson House’s parking area)
Tel: +66 (0) 2612 6741
Tel/Fax: +66 (0) 2219 2911
Office Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily

Address & Access:
6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama I Rd., Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
(BTS: National Stadium Station)

Exhibition: “THE PLACE & THE PLATE”
Exhibition period: June 29 – September 30, 2007
Venue: The Jim Thompson Art Center
Opening ceremony: Thursday, June 28, 2007 from 18:00 p.m. onwards
French curator: Cédric Morisset
Thai curator: Gridthiya Gaweewong
Exhibition designer: Wit Pimkanchanapong & Boonsanga Teo
Exclusive guest contributor: Andrée Putman
Thai artists in the exhibition: Pinaree Sanpitak, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Pim Sudhikam & Be Takerng Pattanopas

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