Raffles Celebrates Art for 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
RAFFLES HOTELS & RESORTS CELEBRATE ART FOR 2013
April 2013 – There are many hotels decorated with art – but this is not necessarily the same thing as a hotel with authentic art associations. What every hotel in the Raffles Hotels & Resorts family strives to offer is true engagement with their guests, so they make an emotional connection with the hotel and its staff. This "emotional luxury" also has a lot to do with authenticity and heritage – something that Raffles has in abundance. In fact, 125 years of it – since Raffles Hotel opened in Singapore in 1887. In its own way, each of the ten hotels in the Raffles portfolio gives its guests an authentic artistic connection – whether it's a puppet show in Phnom Penh, a photography contest in Makkah, an art concierge in Paris, or the only painter on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles.
As Pablo Picasso said, "The purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls." Below we take a quick artistic tour of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, and find out how right he was.
THE SECRETS OF MONTPARNASSE WITH LE ROYAL MONCEAU, RAFFLES PARIS
Domoina de Brantes holds the unique role of Art Concierge at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris. A graduate of the Sorbonne, with the Louvre on her CV, Domoina has the Parisian art world at her fingertips. New for spring 2013 is her own tour of Montparnasse, a cultural hub for Paris' Left Bank for more than a century. Domoina will bring three secret landmarks to life with her knowledge and expertise.
Guests will begin at IDEM, founded in 1880 as a printing workshop used by Matisse, Picasso and Cocteau. Today, Karl Lagerfeld and David Lynch, among others, continue to use it. Close by, the CARTIER Foundation for Contemporary Art is a creative hub for artists commissioned by the Foundation to contribute works for its own collection. The final stop is La Maison de la Revue Noire, originally the publishing house for Revue Noire, a magazine for African contemporary art. Though the magazine ceased printing in 2001, the 'maison' has been preserved as an exhibition space, showcasing artists and designers from Africa, and other developing countries.
The hotel is home to an art bookshop, private art gallery and its own impressive collection of artworks: Domoina's role brings the hotel to life – she comments, 'It adds an extra dimension to the guest's experience, making them feel part of the city, at home. In fact, it gives the hotel soul.'
4 hour guided tour, with private car transfers, costs €390 (for up to 5 people) Short & Suite stays at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, from €2 100 per room per night B&B – with return private airport transfers, use of the spa and a private tour of the hotel art collection with an art concierge. www.raffles.com/paris
EXPLORE BEIJING'S CONTEMPORARY ART DISTRICT WITH RAFFLES BEIJING HOTEL
Steeped in history yet at the forefront of contemporary China, Beijing thrives as the cultural capital of the country. At the city's heart is Raffles Beijing Hotel, originally established in 1917 just moments from Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the modern shopping district of Wangfujing.
Today this historical icon welcomes guests to explore the modern side of Beijing – a city which has transformed into an epicentre for art, fashion and music, and nowhere more vibrant than the 798 Art District. A must-see for trend-seekers and modern art fans, this bustling avant-garde space is a hub for contemporary Chinese art showcasing a wide array of different styles and mediums. Originally designed by East German architects in the 1950s Bauhaus style, this old factory compound has been perfectly converted to house numerous galleries, bookshops and cafes, combining the past, present and future of 'New China'.
AN ARTISTIC TAKE ON AFTERNOON TEA WITH RAFFLES DUBAI
The grand tradition of Afternoon Tea is given an artistic twist at Raffles Dubai at the hands of British-born artist Hatty Pedder, the magic of Raffles' pastry chefs, creating 'The Collection – Afternoon Tea by Raffles,' Dubai's only Fashion Afternoon Tea. The concept is to create delectable savories and sweets inspired by designer collections straight from the catwalk.
Each of the elements is inspired by the fashion trends of the season. Spring/Summer 2013 sees cake-stand favourites include the oh-so-chic Spring Stiletto with White Chocolate Orange Blossom, and a charming Cream Choux Puff "Miss Daisy". Raffles launched the fashion afternoon tea in 2011 at the hands of British-born artist Hatty Pedder. A graduate of St Martin's School of Art, Pedder creates sophisticated works with a witty, observational edge, and her latest works are on display in the Raffles lobby – available for purchase to take a slice of Dubai home.
"The Collection – Afternoon Tea by Raffles" is served daily in the Raffles Salon. From AED 199 for two - or AED 399 for two including a glass of champagne. Short & Suite stays at Raffles Dubai from AED 3095 per room per night www.raffles.com/dubai
PRASLIN'S ONLY PAINTER SHOWCASED AT RAFFLES PRASLIN SEYCHELLES
Raymond du Buisson is distinctive on the small island of Praslin, tucked quietly in the Seychelles archipelago: he is the only visual artist to call Praslin home. A well-respected Seychellois painter, creating colourful and vibrant works, du Buisson takes inspiration from the Indian Ocean landscape, reflecting the rich fauna and flora of the Seychelles.
In addition to his own gallery at Anse La Blague, twelve of Raymond's works are on display at Raffles Praslin Seychelles, capturing the essence of the island and reminding guests of a sense of place. With 86 villas set across the hillside in the north of the island, Raffles Praslin Seychelles is characterised by sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, with lush gardens and secluded beaches. The resort is home to the first Raffles Spa, allowing for total relaxation to the sound of the sea.
Short & Suite stays with Raffles Praslin Seychelles from €540 per villa per night, based on two sharing on a B&B basis including airport transfers on Praslin. Stay 4 nights pay for 3 www.raffles.com/praslin
'INSPIRING MAKKAH' THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY WITH RAFFLES MAKKAH PALACE
Raffles Makkah Palace enjoys an outstanding location within the iconic Abraj Al Bait complex, directly adjacent to Al Masjid Al Haram and the Grand Mosque – some of Makkah's most photogenic sights. The hotel works as a place of calm contemplation with a privileged viewpoint over the most sacred place in Islam.
In celebration of the city's heritage, Raffles Makkah Palace is launching an international photography competition, 'Inspiring Makkah', encouraging young and upcoming photographers to come together to share their work.
Entries should be inspired by the people, places and culture of Makkah, and will be displayed with an exhibition at Raffles Makkah Palace throughout April 2013. The competition will then be judged by two of Saudi Arabia's most notable professional photographers, Lamia Romaih and Suzzane Iksander, as well as two representatives from the Saudi Arabia Society for Culture and Art.
THE ART OF CAMBODIAN SHADOW PUPPETS WITH RAFFLES HOTEL LE ROYAL, PHNOM PENH
Phnom Penh sits at the heart of the new Cambodia, characterised by a determined people, and resurgence in the arts, slowly rebuilding the damage of the civil war (1975-79) which obliterated all traces of the country's artistic, culinary and musical heritage. The only luxury hotel in the city to pre-date the Khmer Rouge, Raffles Hotel Le Royal stands as a colonial reminder of Cambodia at her finest, one of Asia's great hotels. An elegant French colonial building, with cool black and white tiled floors, high ceilings, louvered shutters and overhead fans, the hotel is an artistic statement of Khmer art deco in itself.
Guests are able to join a private shadow puppet workshop with Mann Kosal, master puppeteer and director of Sovanna Phum - translating to 'Golden Era' – which was established as an art association in 1994 to treasure the revival of Khmer traditions. Kosal will reveal how he has breathed new life into a dying art form in Phnom Penh, giving a unique insight into how shadow puppets are made, and revealing the techniques behind the choreography of performances.
ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHY FOR AN ICONIC HOTEL: JOHN MCDERMOTT AT RAFFLES GRAND HOTEL D'ANGKOR, SIEM REAP
Whilst discovering the astonishing temples of Angkor, guests of Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap should visit the McDermott Gallery in the hotel. The gallery opened last year to showcase the iconic monochrome photographs of the Angkor temples by award-winning photographer John McDermott.
Hailed by The New York Times as "the Ansel Adams of Angkor" (after the American photographer known for his black and white photographs of the American West) McDermott began photographing Angkor in 1995. This led to a long-term photography project, preserving a vision of the temples as ruins being overtaken by jungle. The result reveals a dark and moody surrealistic world, echoing the mysterious spirit of visiting these ancient monuments.
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor was the first luxury hotel to open in Siem Reap in 1932, specifically for early visitors to the temples. Oozing personality and heritage, the hotel is an icon itself - so there is nowhere more appropriate for McDermott's works. A John McDermott print would also make a lasting - and incredibly stylish - memento of a visit to these temples.
SINGAPORE'S ART SCENE WITH RAFFLES SINGAPORE
Raffles Singapore is celebrating 125 years at the heart of the cultural scene of its city. Ever supportive of local talent, Raffles Singapore is linked closely with the Chan Hampe Galleries in the Raffles Arcade. The Galleries seek to foster emerging artistic talent in Singapore, promoting the contemporary visual arts in the city, as well as celebrating Singapore's established artists: this is a focal point for the discourse and discovery of contemporary Singapore work.
Its current exhibition, 'The Mask We Wear is One', explores the work of Yusof Ghani – and internationally acclaimed Malaysian artist, whose career spans more than three decades. Ghani is known for his bright, expressive works inspired by travel and ancient cultures. The works in this exhibition all feature deconstructed masks, reminiscent of the past yet reflecting a highly charged contemporary world. Ghani’s works are bold and full of movement, and perfectly intriguing for discovery during a stay at Raffles Hotel.
FILIPINO ART SHINES IN THE NEW LONG BAR AT RAFFLES MAKATI, MANILA
Raffles Makati in Manila opened in February 2013 with a contemporary look, whilst drawing on the timeless quality of Raffles Singapore – echoing Manila's own blend of old world charm and new world sophistication. This is reflected in an astonishing collection of art, all by Filipino artists. There are some 2 700 pieces, giving this glamorous new hotel a real sense of place. Art consultant Hala Jaber was determined to avoid having artworks that had no meaning or relevance - "here we make it personal" she says.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Long Bar – which, for the first time, has travelled to Manila from Singapore, complete with tropical punka fans and a 14 metre long bar. Some of the most memorable pieces are by Cebu-based French artist Delphine Delorme, whose Pop Art collages brilliantly mix the vintage and modern. There are three big works which depict themes deeply ingrained in the Filipino pop psyche: beauty pageants during the 1900's; Manny Pacquiao the famous Filipino boxer (seen right); and symbols of its Hispanic heritage.
Over the bar a large work, "The Singapore Sling", is inspired by the original painting in the Long Bar in Singapore. This version is a collaboration between two local artists, Sherwin Gonzalez, a cartoonist, and Anthony Palermo. The work shows the making of a Singapore Sling in cartoon form, and it has been wittily localized with the inclusion of Ginebra San Miguel, an iconic Filipino beer.
AND A SPECIALLY CURATED COLLECTION AT THE NEW RAFFLES HAINAN
Raffles Hainan will open in Spring 2013 in Clearwater Bay, the new hotspot on the southeast coast of Hainan Island – China's answer to the French Riviera and a rising star in the luxury tourism market.
The resort will be home to a collection of more than 1 000 works of fine art, specially curated by Hong Kong's renowned Willow Gallery, including works commissioned specifically for the resort. Traditional yet contemporary, local yet worldly, the collection will blend the culture of Hainan with a wider vision, in keeping with the Raffles concept.
Highlights will include a bespoke sculpture from Chinese artist Ho Sin-ying in the Balinese themed lobby, Indonesian batik silks and stamps used in the dyeing process, and an antique brocade from the local Hainanese Li tribe. These will be joined by bronzes, weavings, traditional silver ornaments, and fishing artefacts all working together to convey the themes of the ocean, nature and culture.
Each of Raffles Hainan's 331 elegant guestrooms, suites and villas will have a contemporary design with locally inspired accents, such as artisan wood furnishings, colourful fabrics and indigenous artworks. These pay homage to the traditional local hill tribes in Hainan and Bali. Each room enjoys magnificent ocean or golf course views from private balconies.
Senior Manager PR & Communications,
Raffles Hotels & Resorts
ABOUT RAFFLES HOTELS & RESORTS: Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises nine luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to city hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, the Phillippines and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in Istanbul, Indonesia and China scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles – to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests.
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