Very Thai book launch
Themed party and photo exhibition held at Jim Thompson House to celebrate publication day.
A huge crowd turned out for the official launch of Very Thai, held on 20 December 2004 at Jim Thompson House Museum. The event ran all evening from dusk till 11pm, with a couple of hundred guests from the media, arts, Thai society, expat circles and celebrities.
The themes of the entertainment and decoration – and even some costumes – drew from chapters in the book in a ‘temple fair’ concept. Guests ate streetfood from vendor carts and drank shots of yaa dong herbal whisky and all other drinks from bags – wine and beer included – served by staff from bags slung by elastic bands from nails in blue pipes carried through the throng. Books hung in bags from the trees along with multi-colour fluorescent tubes like a temple fair. Candle stands and flower displays were also handmade for the event from blue pipes. A blind band serenaded the crowd all night, and a clairvoyant read fortunes. Among the guests in ‘theme’ were appearances by celebrities (Hugo Chakra, Pop Areya Jumsai), hi-society ladies (notably Khunying Rose), the reigning Miss Jumbo Queen (beauty pageant winner for women over 90kg with the grace of an elephant), and the motocycle taxi vest worn by author Philip.
The official host, William Klausner, President of the James HW Thompson Foundation, presided over the event, introducing publisher Narisa Chakrabongse of River Books, the author Philip Cornwel-Smith and principal photographer John Goss.
On exhibition in Ayara Hall were a selection of photographs from the book by John Goss & Philip Cornwel-Smith. John had these printed onto translucent stickers affixed to shiny aluminium plates for a shimmery, pop effect. Around the displays, which were painted in the bright hues of the book was an installation of tiny plastic chairs. The exhibition continued for several days after the party. The event drew several rave reviews.
Reviews of Very Thai Launch
Thailand Tatler magazine
Nima Chandler (Publisher, Nancy Chandler Maps)
‘As a former travel trade journalist and as a frequent freeloader at parties in Bangkok hosted by both the big and small of luxury hotels, big business, pr companies, etc, I am still in awe. Your party last night was simply the best, most well conceived and delivered, truly original theme party I have been to … ever. Only two others could compare, both organized by big money with professional event planners. To all those involved in last night’s event, a standing ovation. Well done.’
Jerry Hopkins (Author of ‘No One Gets Out of Here Alive’)
‘I wanted to thank you for inviting me to what I consider the very best book launch I’ve ever attended. That includes four continents and dozens of my own. Your launch was the most realized, best planned and executed, and best matched to the book, as well as the most fun.’