Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Art in Paradise

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The term ‘Thai art’ is something of an oxymoron in modern days. Centuries ago, craftsmen produced stunning sculptures, wood carvings, and paintings that illustrate Buddhist texts or honor Buddha, but other than a few artists who are combining traditional Thai elements with modern techniques, contemporary art in Thailand is comprised largely of production line paintings and concrete garden ornaments. Recently, this penchant for kitsch spawned a new museum of sorts in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Billed as the world’s largest 3-D Art Museum, Art in Paradise features the work of 12 Korean artists who are masters of creating three-dimensional paintings that beg for interaction. My friend Paola and I spent a fun afternoon experimenting with the images that plaster the walls, floors, and in some cases, even the ceilings, trying to find the perfect vantage point for shooting photos that best displayed the illusions. We hopped onto surfboards, wrestled with a giant octopus, and tiptoed across a rope bridge that crossed a yawning chasm. Words simply cannot do it justice, so without further ado, I present the photo gallery below for your entertainment and amusement:

I fight off a giant octopus at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I fight off a giant octopus at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Paola pets a dolphin at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Paola pets a dolphin

Shark attack at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Shark attack!

Paola takes a dive in the pool at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Paola takes a dive in the pool

Riding the waves Paola takes a dive in the pool at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Riding the waves

Paola's head about to be dinner for King Kong at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Paola’s head about to be dinner for King Kong

Not the Life of Pi

Not the Life of Pi

Portrait at Art i Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Paola even brought a wardrobe change for her photo with these lovely ladies

Just don't look down!

Just don’t look down!

Paola is dwarfed by this giant roll of toilet paper

Paola is dwarfed by this giant roll of toilet paper

Angelic Paola poses against giant 3-D wings

Angelic Paola poses against giant 3-D wings

Paola and the Volcano

Paola and the Volcano

Me on the cover of National Geographic, looking down on Chiang Mai

Me on the cover of National Geographic, looking down on Chiang Mai

Spidey Barbara!

Spidey Barbara!

Wonder how the above photo was done? The room was painted on its side and I just laid down on the floor.

Wonder how the above photo was done? The room was painted on its side and I just laid down on the floor.

Sands of time rain down on Paola at Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Sands of time rain down on Paola

Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Art in Paradise in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Art in Paradise is a great way to spend an afternoon or even a day, but be sure to bring a friend because the most fun is taking photos of one another. The ‘museum’ is located on Chang Klang Road (near the Ping River) between the Shangri La and Empress Hotels and it is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The price for foreigners is 300 baht for adults (about $10 USD) and 200 baht for children.

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18 Comments on “Art in Paradise

  1. I thought about checking out this place, but I passed on it … boy, did I ever miss out! Will have to rectify this upon my return to Chiang Mai!

    • Hope you manage to go, Selma – it’s a lot of fun. But go with a friend, so you can take photos of one another.

    • Thanks LS. I rather like the pool one myself, and a lot of other people have told me the same thing.

    • It’s fairly new, Shikha. The building used to be a shopping center and I don’t think it’s been open more than a year or two.

    • It was so totally cool, Dana. Spent about six hours there and could have stayed longer.

  2. This is so cool! Makes sad I didn’t get to Chang Mai while living in Southeast Asia. I would have had a blast there! Oh well, looks like just another reason to go back.

    • Hi Meggie – I just love those “reasons to go back” – something I say all the time :-)

  3. That looks like a lot of fun. Kind of reminds me of the Madamme Tusaurds wax museums where it’s more about taking photos while posing than the actual wax models themselves.

    • LOL Chris. I think in this instance the intention was to create something that was totally interactive, and they’ve certainly succeeded.

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