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Jumbo Size Impression

THAIS HAVE MADE a name for the country in the Guinness World Book of Records several times. Our King is acknowledged as the longest reigning monarch in the world. Also, Chiangmai is the home of a man who has the longest hair in the world.

Recently, Chiangmai was entered in a new world record as "The Most Expensive Painting by a Group of Elephants" (Painting ID: 99559). This is where eight elephants have painted a 12 meter long painting that was sold for One Million Baht. The most expensive elephant painting ever created in the world. Ms. Kim Lacey an official of Guinness World Records was on hand to witness the event.

It was a beautiful day for creating a painting at the Maesa Elephant Camp located in Mae Rim, Chiangmai. The team of eight elephants, eight mahouts and two Thai artists Mr. Cholsinth Chorsakul, Artistic Director and Mr. Tossapol Petchrattananakool, Coordinator began painting at 8 am on Saturday, February 19, 2005 completing the historic piece around 2.30 pm. The painting titled, "Cold Wind, Swirling Mist, Charming Lanna 1" is acrylic on canvas technique. The specially imported canvas from the USA was hoisted up on the easel stand every few hours to make it easier for the elephant artists to apply the colors. The pastel flower hillside rising into a turquoise sky was created before the eyes of hundreds of spectators. Each elephant has a technique. The younger ones employed loud sporadic strokes compared with the older elephants that were more thoughtful. The two or three elephants worked for about 20 minutes then took a break in a nearby separate tent with vegetables, fruits and a quick shower. Refreshed, they returned to the canvas and back to work again.

The art enthusiast purchasing the jumbo painting formerly lived of Chiangmai, Mrs. Phanit Warin (Sinunta), who is now a permanent resident in northern California. Mrs. Warin kindly donated half of the painting to the Chiang Mai province while the other half of the painting would be taken to be displayed in prominent place in the U.S.A.

Hundreds of residents and visitors sat patiently for hours watching the painting take shape. Throughout the event many onlookers took time to have photos taken of themselves with the massive painting and the elephant painters in the background
After the awards and speeches were completed, the crowd was treated to snacks and beverages at a typical Lanna market. The day was another memorable event in Chiangmai. Congratulations to Mr. Choochart Kalmapijit, the owner, and his daughter, Ms. Anchalee Kalmapijit, the Operations Director of the Maesa Elephant Camp that has been providing love and care to these wonderful creatures for thirty years since its founding in 1976. This event was the completion of five years of training the elephants in the intricacies of impressionist painting. The first successful elephant painting exhibition took place at the Kawamura Art Museum in Chiba, Japan a few years ago in 2003.

Readers are welcome to see the jumbo painting until the end of March 2005 at the Maesa Elephant Camp located on the Mae Rim -Old Samoeng Road from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm daily.

The Maesa Elephant Camp Group also includes the Cafe' Ele on Thapae Road and Homestay Baan Kwang Chang in their customer services range. The office in town is at 119/9 Thapae Road or phone 053 206247-8.

What's next for these talented elephant artisans??? How about training elephants to weave their own flying carpets?????o

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