MahaNakhon has recently installed ‘Bangkok Soul’, a landmark sculpture located at MahaNakhon Square in front of the main tower. A seated man 9 meters tall, Bangkok Soul is created by Jaume Plensa, an award-winning world-renowned artist, well known for his work in the field of sculptures in public spaces at the center of the Contemporary Art arena.
MahaNakhon is a significant landmark in Bangkok, symbolising the city’s rise onto the world stage alongside other major capital cities. Featuring a unique ‘pixelated’ design, the mixed-use development brings together:
The Ritz-Carlton Residences – super-luxury hotel branded residencesBangkok Edition, a high-end boutique hotel operated by Marriott InternationalMahaNahhon CUBE, fine dining restaurants & retailWorld-class observatoryMahaNakhon Square, a public space for events and activities
Installed before the full operation of the property in early 2018, ‘Bangkok Soul’ is both uniquely Thai and a thought provoking artwork installation, silently inviting visitors to understand its beauty and mystery, with Thailand’s tallest tower as its backdrop.
Best known for his signature sculptures that play with the relationship between words, signs and the human body, Jaume Plensa uses materials such as bronze, copper, and iron, and his works can be found around the world including Ocean Financial Centre in Singapore, Lotte World Tower in South Korea and Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England.
Although based in Barcelona, his success as an artist sees him criss-cross the globe. Most people who travel might find themselves inspired by the differences in the cultures they encounter, for Plensa it is the exact opposite condition that he finds most uplifting. Underneath it all, he says, “People are the same everywhere you go.”
Quote: “The more I travel, the more I see and understand this, and the more it makes me happy,” he continues. “You start a conversation, and you know other people everywhere are having the same conversation, and the deeper you go to your roots, the clearer it is – how similar we all are.”
His primary interest is in the “biological condition of language” – and his works, see multiple letter forms take on a human shape. Bonded together into silhouettes of human bodies, seated or kneeling and contemplating the horizon, his spiritual figures represent a shared human soul.
Using different letters from a diversity of alphabets and combining them, as if pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, or a mosaic, Plensa demonstrates the symbolic nature of language. The human form they make up represents hope, beauty and unity. As light enters the cavities between the letters, it’s possible to see the entire sculpture from every angle at once. With its face blank and with an entryway through the crouching legs, it conveys openness in spite of the conventional barriers that frequently divide and separate humankind.
Quote: “Given the time we are living in, when much of the world seems to be trying to separate people, and destroy bridges, I want to share a positive message about community and encourage people to come together.”
Open to the public, ‘Bangkok Soul’ is a crouching human form seated in front of MahaNakhon Tower, representing hope, beauty and unity. See for yourself, and don’t forget to take a picture!!