Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Hong : Elephant Artist
Yepee - I now have my very own elephant painting!
Ever since I saw that video, I vowed that if ever I go to Chang Mai, Thailand, I will go and see that amazing feat. An elephant painting a self portrait!
One of the reasons I wanted to see it was to check if it was really true. Well, it is! It really is the elephant himself who paints it! Of course, you can see that the Mahout is holding her ear and speaks to him, so almost for sure the mahout is the one who directs the brush, via the elephant, but nevertheless!
It also has to be said that this particular elephant is a very nice being. It actually is a she, a young girl elephant born in 2001 and named "Hong". She even kissed me! OK, I gave her some banana for it, but nevertheless. I still remember to this day her soft breath on my cheek...
Then she was also the one elephant among the pack who was allowed to swim freely on to the other side, ran a bit there like a dog let free, and then came back on its own volition. Clearly a superior intellect and character, for an elephant, that is.
What surprised me was that those people there in Thailand do not seem aware that this elephant is world-famous. It was impossible for me to know while in Chang Mai where she was working. In desperation I just went to Maesa, the most known elephant camp, something like 30 km from town, even it was clear that Hong was not working there. Luckily, when I arrived there and asked for Nong, finally someone told me that she was working in another elephant camp, called Maetamann. They don't have their own web site, and they are selling her master pieces at the same prices as other paintings! As I said, they just seem unaware that they have among them a precious jewel that is worth much more!