Elephant Parade sits down with Hans Bogetoft Christensen, owner and Creative Director of GINGER and THE HOUSE by Ginger, to discuss GINGER’s design approach and their collaboration with Elephant Parade.
Hans Bogetoft Christensen arrived in Chiang Mai in 1997 and set up a design company producing home-ware and gift items. Originally from Denmark, he studied men’s tailoring and design in London. After working at a company in London creating costumes for theatres and films, he relocated to Asia, where he began working as a design consultant to an NGO in the Northeast of Thailand. Later, he moved to Malaysia, taking up a position as a buyer in a small chain of home-ware stores.
In 2002, he established GINGER together with his local business partner, Siriluck. It started out as a small fashion accessory shop next to the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai. Today, it has grown into a full lifestyle concept, with stores selling home-ware, fashion, kitchenware, furniture, and more. A restaurant and café have also been added, and branches have opened in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Amsterdam. GINGER has become known for its love of bold, and slightly quirky, designs and colours, combined with a Scandinavian touch.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Hans to talk about GINGER and their work with Elephant Parade.
Tell us about GINGER. What is the underlying inspiration?
“GINGER identifies with art that uses a lot of colours – we love colours! And we love fun art with an element of quirkiness and humour. A lot of inspiration comes from the natural world in our designs, especially when it comes to our graphic designs and embroideries. You will see lots of flowers, birds, butterflies, and wild animals.”
What three artists would you like to be compared to?
“As we are a lifestyle and design-retail company, we probably compare ourselves more to designer and other retailers such as Alessandro Michele from Gucci, Miuccia Prada from Prada/Miu Miu, and retailer Anthropologie from the US.”
You designed a GINGER elephant for Elephant Parade Chiang Mai. Can you give a description of the elephant’s pattern, theme, and colour palette?
“GINGER is well known for its fondness of colours and for its hand-embroidered fashion, so we thought we would bring those two design elements together and design a real GINGER elephant. All the patterns on the elephant are copies of our embroideries – a vision created with two more artists: Khun Nanut and Khun Anantavara.
The background pattern is a fun and naughty polka dot with a selection of patterns taken from our signature embroidery collection.”
Do you think art can play a vital role in environmental conservation awareness?
“Art can play a vital role in almost everything – especially when you combine art and education, it can become a very powerful and inspirational tool to advance a cause.”
Miniature 10cm, 15cm, 20cm and 30cm versions of GingerZAA are available for sale here.