Sunday, August 31, 2008

HRH Princess Srirasm proves to be a creative floral artist


Royal arrangement

HRH Princess Srirasm proves to be a creative floral artist


Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasm proves to be a creative floral artist, as shown by her work at last week's flower show at the Nai Lert Park Hotel. Her floral work of art, which commanded a well-deserved place of honour as the centrepiece in the hotel lobby, was simple but beautiful and held its own among the works of such innovative designers as Sakchai Guy, Sakul Intakul and Sutipong Kongrak.

To express the motif, Kwam rak, kwam samakki an ying yai (Great love and unity), bamboos were cut into rings and ingeniously strung together to form the framework for the princess's choice of flowers, fragrant white gardenias instead of orchids, which were the dominant flowers in the show.

The princess came to the hotel at 1am on Friday to do the arrangement herself, a hotel staff member said. She left at around 2:30am, only to return again to preside at the opening at 5pm.

All the flower arrangements were beautiful in their own right, but some were more creative than the others. At the Garden Wing, JSL covered a whole wall with mosaic made entirely of flower petals. It depicted a scene from a carnival in 19th-century Venice, with women wearing elaborate headgear and colourful costumes, and a similarly attired woman playing a violin.

Another creative piece of work is PR Express's "The Hidden Beauty", designed by Sutipong Kongrak. At first glance it showed a curtain of greenery depicting rainforest. But the ferns, Tillandsias, philodendrons, anthuriums and other leaves that represented the rainforest actually framed a glass cage containing 10 colourful finches perched on a branch, with roses, chrysanthemums and asters arranged in a spiral serving as background.

Thai Airways International's contribution was a globe showing the countries where the airline flies. "It looks the same as the one shown at Siam Paragon last June," someone commented. In fact it was not exactly the same, as the petals of orchids covering the globe were of different colours, and so were the orchids depicting the countries. What's more, this time around the globe was perched on a pedestal standing in a pond, with more orchids arranged as maps floating on the clear water.

The floral displays provided an opportunity for photographers, both amateur and professional, to take photos to their hearts' content. "I've taken so many pictures that my camera's memory card has run out," said Churairat Lerdnakharin, 76, from Muang Thong Thani. "I love flowers and I've come here every year without fail since the show started more than 20 years ago, just to take photos.

"Grandma goes to every flower show in town, and must have taken a million photographs over the years," her granddaughter, Nampueng, said with a laugh. "She has hundreds of photo albums containing nothing but photos of flowers she had taken."

Another flower enthusiast, Kirattiya, used a notepad and pencil to sketch the flower arrangements. "My friend and I came all the way from Chanthaburi to see the show," she said. "Both of us have gardens and we want to get some ideas on how to arrange flowers."

The flower arrangements were removed after the show, but the orchids in the park are permanent displays which, after their flowers have faded, will be replaced by fresh ones. Some are attached to a rope and festooned over the canal; others are attached to pieces of wood impaled in the canal or on the ground in masses; while many species are attached to the trunks of trees. The orchids have added colour to Nai Lert Park, which used to boast mostly greenery that screens the hotel from surrounding high rises.

"This is not all," Professor Rapee Sagarik, consultant to the hotel's orchid garden project, said. "A glasshouse will be built to house more orchids."

Even with a glasshouse, however, it may be wrong to claim that the orchid garden is the biggest in the world. During my visit to Japan some years ago, my friend Shuichi Obayashi took me to see his friend's collection of orchids in Toyohashi. The friend had several glasshouses containing hundreds of species of orchids - his collection of Cymbidium bore some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen - yet the friend dared not say his garden was the biggest in the world.

For more photos of the flower show, visit the gallery in the forum section at

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