Supporting Local Artists at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai’s association with traditional Thai handicrafts and artwork is not new. As a hub for contemporary artists and designers, visitors to the city have a wonderful opportunity to meet artisans at their places of work and browse through a variety of fine handmade products including ceramics, lacquer-ware, and textiles. “Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is committed to highlighting these local craftspeople and their work at our boutique store,” shares Ashok Nair, Director of Rooms and Residences. “We are proud of our continuing relationship with the local communities and offering immersive experiences for our guests.”
The Resort’s Artists Program supports local craftspeople to showcase their work and skills to guests in a hands-on format at the cultural centre, Chaan Baan. “Guests can sign up for lesson in pottery, or the art of tie and dye,” shares Nair. The collaboration with Somsak Chuaynoo of Chin Clay Studio to display his unique sculptural artwork that features locally sourced, recycled wood, scrap paper and metal has been very well received at the Resort. “It is very rewarding to transform waste materials into something of value and beauty, and here at Four Seasons I have a wonderful platform to exhibit my work,” smiles Chuaynoo. Apart from such collaborations, the Resort’s boutique store features art and crafts from more than 20 local artisans and studios - a tribute to the rich heritage of the city.
As a focal point for many of the hill tribes of Northern Thailand including Karen, Hmong, Lahu, Akha, Lizu, Kachin, and Lua, Chiang Mai offers special access to unique crafts that these tribal communities produce. At the boutique, these communities are represented through a selection of fine embroidered textiles in the form of overcoats, bags and cushion covers as well as a stunning array of hand-crafted silver Lanna jewellery.
Lacquerware, Wood Carving and Ceramics
In addition, “At the Resort we take pride in supporting local talent and expertise in the arts, and our boutique store offers a selection of the finest Chiang Mai craftwork to guests who are looking for a memento,” shares Nair. Typical of the region, the local lacquerware exhibits intricate designs that highlight the skill and attention to detail of the artisans. Traditional folk motifs, such as floral patterns and scenes from Buddhist mythology, are painted meticulously by hand on items such as bowls, trays, vases, and boxes. Similarly, carving on wood is an ancient tradition that has been passed down generations, with unique traditional techniques and symbolism. “Chiang Mai is also famous for its medieval era Chinese tradition of glazed ceramics known as celadon,” reveals Nair, “These jade-coloured ceramics are highly prized across the region for their unique cracked outer-surfaces, and many local pottery communities here still practice it today.”
A more recent revival, traditional hand-dyed fabrics and cotton clothing have gained popularity in Chiang Mai. Natural colours and chemical-free processes are followed to create beautiful home linens, scarves, shirts, and dresses of the highest quality. “Visit our boutique store to find that perfect souvenir that reflects your experience of this wonderful destination,” invites Nair. “Every item represents the dedicated handiwork of local artisans, supporting and sustaining traditional crafts that this region is best known for.”
The boutique shop is open every day between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai