SAMSAM MAGIC PLACES AND SPACES
SAMSAM, our MAGIC PLACE on the island of Yao Noi, follows in these footsteps. A haven of relaxation and comfort embedded in the purity of island nature, SAMSAM aims to be a source of inspiration for art lovers, connoisseurs, and those seeking contemplation and inner peace. We encourage visitors to Yao Noi to ask themselves: How does Thailand look, smell, taste and feel? How did influences from China, India, and the Malaysian Peninsula affect Thai culture, aesthetics and life? How do the different religions of Thai people coexist peacefully? And, most critically, how can this context inspire art and is it possible that art inspires the place and its people?
The founders of SAMSAM are passionate art collectors, and wanted to share their enthusiasm by publicly displaying parts of their contemporary art collection – like many pieces from the contemporary Asian and South East Asian collection in SAMSAM Yao Noi – in many of your private, but also commonly used public spaces.
These pieces encourage the viewers to ask questions, engage in dialogue with others in their travel party or themselves, stimulate discussions about the cultures and environments that surround SAMSAM and maybe back at home, and carve out unique experiences in memory. The SAMSAM Family believes that art is meant to inspire and stimulate the human mind, and provide an emotional outlet for both the artist and the observer. In the context of Yao Noi, art can enrich the path of quiet reflection and thought, acting as a backdrop or catalyst for the experience of the island, the smell of the sea, the vibrant jungle colors, the sound of birdsong…
Marcel, What fascinates you about art?
We talked to Marcel, one of SAMSAM’s founders, about the collection of artwork and the inspiration to make art a focus at SAMSAM.
WHY DOES ART PLAY SUCH A BIG ROLE AT SAMSAM YAO NOI?
“Art is very important when we talk about the resources that we wanted to use to make SAMSAM special and genuinely different, in Yao Noi as well as other locations. When I find places that affect me deeply and such affection remains for a lasting period of time, I like to create some space, like erect some architecture or use and existing structure to create the opportunity of unique experiences for myself and for anyone that stays there. It was only logical then to use such spaces to display parts of our art collection there to make it more personal to ourselves as well as to give direct access to our kind of personality for every guest to see and to conclude on their own. It is meant to maximize your quality of time and opportunity to select when you are here by offering intellectual and emotional challenges at many walls and in many corners of what is already a beautiful space. When you view these pieces, they may trigger you to ask questions, about yourself, about the artwork or the artist. They may make you think about what is being asked or described by the painting, sculpture or other art form in front of you, they may just trigger emotions. These are the reasons why I collect art in the first place – so you can hold on any time and anywhere to go into recess or inner dialogue, and have quality time for yourself or quality dialogue with people around you. Here at Yao Noi, we have selected pieces that fit the atmosphere and highlight artists mainly with a regional focus on “Asian Contemporary Art”. Whilst in other locations we do more focus on more mainstream contemporary movements like abstract expressionism, pop art or Gutai minimalism.”
WHAT FASCINATES YOU ABOUT ART?
“First of all, what inspires me about art is that I’m absolutely incapable of producing it myself, and have always admired people that have the inspiration and the talent and skill to express their power and ideas by developing their own language through art. Art is one of the most beautiful engines of societal and human progress, asking questions that are relevant in each period of history, very much reflecting on it, and pushing forward the development of human intellect and life’s philosophy. Art is a reflection of life: commenting on it, questioning it, and criticizing it and art is just art. I usually have dialogues with the best pieces of art I see, mixed of visual impressions, thoughts and emotions. Such dialogues never stopp, because every time you look at a piece, you’ll discover some new thing, new aspect, or it triggers new thoughts, new questions or new emotions, and this is really what inspires me about art. Last but not least, if mankind continually proves to be grossly incompetent of learning from history, art is competent to learn from it.”
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH PIECES TO DISPLAY?
“First, it is important to note that art usually is displayed in museums, so the people seeing it are specific groups that are seeking out that experience. That also means that the art does not have the opportunity to speak to people who would not go to the museum. Also, people in museums spend very little time, usually no more than seven seconds, in front of one art piece because there are so many pieces and visitors. We think in a space like Yao Noi, which is dedicated to be a quiet and contemplative place, guests during their hopefully joyful and recharging vacations may consciously or sub-consciously end up with a little bit more time in front of one of our pieces of artwork during their hopefully joyful and recharging vacations.
Since guests would be here at SAMSAM for a few weeks they would actually be living with art around them. What a wonderful complement with the complex and pure nature and tropical life around it. It inspires, it is very special. We want to keep this art world alive and as dialogues continue, we will be changing the exhibits from time to time, always striving to make sure that the displayed artwork is the most perfect for a particular area or space in just that moment of time or at just that part of the dialogue.”
DISCOVER OUR ART
SAMSAM YAO NOI CURRENTLY SHOWS MORE THAN
100 PAINTINGS AND 20 SCULPTURES.
Corinne Chauvet is a French artist whose works explore emotion, human gentleness, and joy. Most of her art is inspired by Buddhist or Shinto monks and detailed observations of the human face. These characters represent the positive side of ourselves that each of us could care to cultivate. Working mainly in bronze and clay gives the figures a feeling of life and energy, which the artist captures like a 3D-photograph. The viewer is easily charmed by the untamed, open and infectious laughter. The coexistence of Buddhism and Islam on the island of Yao Noi can be challenging, but is also intrinsic to its unique culture and charm. Remembering to smile, laugh and take joy in the moment is essential for tackling daily challenges as well as a good habit for life.
(French, B. 1973)
KIUSHU & SHIKOKU (FUJKATA)
33 x 51 x 30 cm
Yusof Ghani is a Malaysian painter, sculptor, writer, scholar and curator. His career spans over three decades and a diverse body of work dealing with Southeast Asian motifs in an abstract expressionist approach. His work is often a blend of different mediums – painting and drawing, sculpture and collage – to form the finished striking products. The piece displayed in Villa Cortez at SAMSAM is a singular powerful painting from just one of his many series of artworks.
(Malaysian, B. 1950)
HYDRAFINITY (WAJAH SERIES)
183 x 152 cm
Andres Barrioquinto is a Filipino artist known for his surrealistic portraits layered with Japanese art symbols and patterns, often incorporating natural elements like flowers and butterflies. He is not limited to a single style with regards to his paintings, mixing features of surrealism and hyperrealism, but always executed with expert painting techniques. He experiments and shifts his approach, often expressing a darkness within his imagery. His sometimes disturbing but mesmerizing paintings and graphite etchings have gained him international acclaim. SAMSAM is honored to display one of his pop art oil paintings as well as one of his similarly themed sculptures.
(Filipino, B. 1975)
152 x 91 cm
Sia Yong Koeh
Singaporean master Sia Yong Koeh’s artistic career spans over 50 years, and he is renowned for his versatility, producing everything from street scenes to cartoons to beautiful landscapes. He excels at capturing the feeling and ambiance of his subject with his realistic and expressive approaches and his expert use of contrasting light and darkness. His paintings often portray the rich cultures of Southeast Asia and its people, notably in Bali and Singapore. The oil painting shown at SAMSAM presents references to impressionist and post-impressionist masters, though often emphasizing bolder colors and emotions reflective of tropical surroundings.
Sia Yong Koeh
(Singaporean, B. 1938)
75 x 90.5 cm
Redy Rahadian is an Indonesian sculptor famous for his signature welding technique. It allows him the freedom to bring the shapes, sizes, compositions, and proportions that he visualizes to life. Rahadian is passionate about introducing new ways to explore solid materials, capturing and honoring the unique qualities of each metal. He exposes the world to creations that are sometimes peculiar but wondrous. Rahadian’s sculpture at SAMSAM is indicative of his work in showing his fascination with materiality in art. These pieces are just a few examples of the artwork displayed all around SAMSAM to foster extraordinary visual and tactile experiences for our visiting guests.
(Indonesian, B. 1973)
150 x 26 x 123 cm