Elephant Parade Bangkok officially ended recently with a glittering gala dinner and charity auction held at Anantara Siam Bangkok. The event hosted by prestigious auction house, Christies raised over THB 7 million (US$200,000) which will be donated to various charities that benefit wild and domestic elephants throughout the region.
The colourful herd of almost one hundred 1.5 metre elephants has delighted residents and tourists alike as they travelled throughout the Thai capital for three months starting with a launch at Siam Paragon in December 2015 to honour the 88th birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Bangkok’s premier night market, Asiatique was the herd’s second stop before finally ending in the more natural surroundings of Lumphini Park, allowing approximately one million visitors to get up close and personal with the capital’s largest ever outdoor art exhibition.
All elephants showcased in Elephant Parade Bangkok have been available for the public to bid and own in an online auction and twenty, selected by Christies, were auctioned off at the gala dinner. The total amount raised from both auctions has amounted to over THB 10 million, (US$300,000). Notable celebrity painted elephants auctioned off on the night included, actor and martial artist Tony Jaa; supermodel and actress Sirinya Bishop; singer and musician Kong Saharat and architect Duangrit Bunnag. The largest bid of the evening went to the elephant Utopia by artist Elizabeth Romhild for THB 600,000 (US$17,000)
The final proceeds will be donated to The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation who in turn will select strategic partners to drive forward key conservation projects. These include building the first elephant clinic in Chiang Mai’s Mae Teang Valley, expanding a Positive Reinforcement Target Training Project to traditional mahouts throughout Thailand helping protect 18,000 hectares of virgin rainforest in Cambodia where wild elephants roam and working closely with the national parks throughout Thailand to ensure the safety of wild elephants.
Other notable artists who participated in the world’s largest outdoor exhibition include: Designer Paul Smith, Moo Asava, ML Jirathorn Jiraprawat, Wisut Ponnimit, Nirut Sirichanya, Nancy Chandler and world number 1 DJ Hardwell.
To help raise more awareness and funds for elephant welfare and conservation projects, during the event Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas also gave Elephant Parade visitors the chance to win a seven day trip to Anantara's resorts in the Maldives through an Instagram competition with the main prize won by Evelyn Zheng.