#3 - Gardens and parks illustration world Tour : Jim Thompson House garden - Bangkok
Dernière mise à jour : 30 mars
Today is the last day of the year. I am surrounded by a layer of snow and a comfortable fog here in Quebec, but in the garden I am going to tell you some more about the temperature is probably closer to 30 degrees Celsius and the people living there have already jumped in the new year. This garden is one of Bangkok's incredible treasures. Bangkok is a bustling city like many others in Asia. Thailand's capital is also a place where the tropical heat can be overwhelming. Finding a haven of peace there which combines calm and the relative freshness brought by the shadows of the trees is an invaluable luxury.
That day we were lucky to find such a great timeless place: Jim Thompson's house in Bangkok. I remember that after visiting this beautiful house, we just spent the rest of the day in the shade of this magnificent lush garden.
My children played at feeding the pond turtles and carefully observed how the silk was spun. The adorable young girls taught them the steps of Thai dances.
The word that comes to my mind is simple but precious: HARMONY.
Jim Thompson was an American architect who had just landed in Asia in the last hours of the Second World War and he decided to settle there. Interested by South-East Asian arts he built a huge collection of artefacts. His great interest for thaï silk pushed him to build a successful company that contributed to the development of the silk industry in Thailand. His contribution was so meaningful for the country that he was later awarded for having rendered exceptional service to Thailand.
The Jim Thomson House museum in Bangkok is actually a group of 6 very ancient traditional teak houses brought to Bangkok from different areas in Thailand. The houses are raised on stilts to prevent from rainy season floods.
Jim Thompson respected every traditional and religious thaï rituals before moving in. This includes the beautiful spirit house you can see in the gardens of his house. In Thailand, each house has its own spirit house. This is where the guardian spirit of the place lives and you have to make daily offerings to this spirit with garlands of flowers, incense and prayers.
After the mysterious disappearance of Jim Thompson (in 1967 in the cameron highlands, Malaysia), his house was transformed into a private museum and is now a great destination for Bangkok visitors.
The art of manufacturing silk in Thailand which he really promoted is nowadays still alive thanks to his work.
Two years ago I draw a picture from this memory. This first illustration was showing a girl offering flowers to the spirit house in Jim Thompson’s garden. For the second illustration, I wanted to show a bit more of the teakwood house, the pond, and the luxuriant garden.
I tried to link those two illustrations by using the same colourful harmony and the same patterns. Two years separate them but Jim Thompson's spirit is still there...
If ever you happen to stay in Bangkok, don’t miss this place and take your time, don’t rush, enjoy the house as much as its garden.
It is really a gem not to miss...
MY MUST-HAVE LIST FOR THOSE TWO ILLUSTRATIONS
To reproduce parts of the house (it's too big to be fully represented) as well as the Spirit house
To include iconic plants of this luxuriant garden in the heart a huge city
To draw the thaï ladies we met there
Not to forget the Turtles pond