Jim Thompson Creative Director Ou Baholyodhin cuts a distinctive figure on the design scene. He is a widely-recognised face whose work in interior design and décor has taken him from the hospitality and dining industry to private homes in South Africa, England, Italy and the United States. Photogenic and fashionable, and described as “Master of the Minimal” it’s simply natural to mark him as one of the more noteworthy forces in the modern design world.
When the established international textiles and silk house Jim Thompson lured him back to Bangkok, Thailand, a question thus hung in the air: what would result from the amalgamation of Ou’s contemporary aesthetic and the brand’s habit of looking to tradition?
His debut home textile collection, “Forbidden Colours”, released to much fanfare at the beginning of 2015 and showcased at Deco Off 2015, was his audacious answer, inspired by textures and patterns created exclusively for royalty.
The newly released Spring 2016 collection is a continuation of this theme, with fabrics that use motifs with European lineage and Eastern artistry, comprising in all 19 designs, named “Bonsai of the Vanities Collection”. (The East/West theme has been surging in popularity since 2015 - Gucci creative director recently also explored this theme.)
Here’s a rundown of our favourites.
Behind the Scenes
Noppadol Ou Baholyodhin, Creative Director, Jim Thompson
Trained in furniture and product design in London’s Kingston University, Ou has nonetheless formally studied many other different fields, such as architecture at the Bartlett, political science at the London School of Economics, cookery in Florence and industrial design in Paris. After establishing himself as a furniture designer in London for two years, he was elected to be a member of the Berlin Trendtable for Messe Frankfurt, consulting for the Tendence and Ambiente fairs in 1999.
A multi-disciplinary thinker, his exhibitions now span the globe (most notably, including an exhibit in Tokyo’s Axis Gallery); he also contributes to the design world with expert lectures and talks given on the subject.
His current practice, OBS (Ou Baholyodhin studio) is similarly wide-ranging, handling furniture design, industrial, residential and commercial projects internationally. Ou continues to oversee every project at each stage, investing complete and meticulous attention from concept to completion.
His work with Jim Thompson began in 2000, when he played the role of creative consultant; that year, he also published his first of two books, Living with Zen. Being with Flowers soon followed a year later.
Ever the nomad, Ou moved from London in 2007 to live a simple life in the South of Thailand, at a coconut plantation. Jim Thompson and Bangkok beckoned, however, and he was enticed back and into his current position in 2013.