Editor Obsession: Asian Elephant Art
We’re decorating our walls with works from the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project.
An obsession from my past has come back to haunt me. I’m the proud owner of an original Nom Chok, and I’ve bought the book by Komar and Melamid about teaching complete novices—all of whom are elephants—to paint.
The artists in question are domesticated Asian elephants, working with non-toxic paints when inspiration strikes, doing their part for the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness for the elephant populations of Southeast Asia. Some of the paintings show flowers or elephants, but I’m drawn to the abstracts, for which the animals don’t imitate movements but slap, swoosh and dab the paint however they like.
Rani, a rescued orphan with a playful/cheerful mien, has done some appealing work lately in an autumnal palette of green, brown and blue. Yod Yeam, slow but strong, has developed a technique that lands short, chunky brush-strokes on sheets of textured, environmentally friendly and odorless paper made on site with elephant dung. And Lakshmi, who starred in Tarzan with Bo Derek, has some terrifically energetic pieces. Today I’ve narrowed down my choice to either her Number 024, a horizontal burst of grass green and yellow, or Number 035, leaping flames of rust, yellow and blue. Tomorrow, who knows?
Discover what Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is doing to protect elephants, and learn how you can help.