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Cabinet de Curiosities 2014 – Think, Feel, Create

Picking works of art from world over and congregating in a luxurious location, Cabinet de Curiosities by Thomas Erber is an event which presents myriad ways in which artists can envision and create
Picking works of art from world over and congregating in a luxurious location, Cabinet de Curiosities by Thomas Erber is an event which presents myriad ways in which artists can envision and create
Luxury, for many, means something that is inaccessible in terms of its material value. For some, however, it’s to do what is unique and one of it’s kind. ‘Curiosities’ might be too dramatic a word to call such products, but then, nothing else defines them that magically…
Cabinet de Curiosities were once sprawling rooms in early Europe, filled with unique objects and artifacts, which mankind hadn’t learned to recognize yet. Borrowing this term, and creating one of his own, is Mr Thomas Erber.
A journalist, Mr Erber curates a fine collection of artifacts, fashion, unique mechanisms and designs that the world is still learning to appreciate. Some of these creations and their artists may not be too well known, but have such a characteristic which many haven’t been able to capture yet, or understand it, except Mr Erber. “I wanted to transform the antique cabinet into a modern one – and more connected with my own fields of explorations for when I was a journalist. They were very mysterious in ancient times. I want to make them more curious instead of mysterious now, and interesting for other people too…,” he says.
The response to his thought has been phenomenal too! Mr Erber gushes about the global attention and media support he has received till now. “I think it is coming from the fact that journalists can feel the sincerity of the event. It is not fake. Every guest is talented, renowned, excellent in what he or she does, whether it is jewelry, design, fashion, watches, etc. They create a unique or limited edition piece especially for the event, the host is, every year, really famous for being avant gardiste in his own country, and I try to be a good curator,” he says.
One and only
Organised in collaboration with Siwilai, a Thai retail marketplace, sharing international fashion that compliments the Thai lifestyle, the fifth edition of this annual property is happening in Bangkok from November 20 to December 21, 2014. Apart from the creations, of course, this year’s event is bigger and more wholesome than previous ones. Adding to the long list of must-see products, Mr Erber adds a list of must-experience factors too in this event. He enumerates them and says, “This year we have two bands and four DJs coming to play in Bangkok, four chefs that will stay in Bangkok for one week each and serve special dinners every night, more than 70 guests instead of 56 last years. A true scenography made by Diplomates.”

The event is going to showcase some permanent guests like fashion brand Maison Kitsune, jewelry brand Harumi Klossowska, eyewear brand Maison Bonnet, accessories brand Alexander Olch and many more. Other 2014 guests include design brand Paul Smith, watchmaker Jeanrichard, Atelir Perceval’s luxury knives, ceramics from Astier de Villatte, furniture from Pierre Frey and a lot more. It’s a tad bit difficult to mention all the 70 participating brands here. 
Curating them all, I am sure, wouldn’t have been an easy task. But for Mr Erber, the process is quite simple. “I need to like what people make, and I need to like them too. I am a very emotional person. That said, I visit every studio, every workshop where each guest is working, I check how they work, with who, based on what is their knowledge built on – and then I decide,” he explains. Feelings and the attention to detail are of primary importance. Quite natural considering this is art we are talking about here. 
Ask him which are his favorite products from this year, and he can’t say them all enough, mirroring my dilemma too. But press a bit and he mentions “the HCC motor bicycle, the Jeanrichard watch, the thaï rubis helmet, the lightest jacket ever created by Officine Générale and many more.” Apart from this, Mr Erber publishes a book every year around this event, which is his art, his curiosity for the world. 
Luxury’s true form
Taking luxury back to its original meaning, Mr Erber says he is “fighting for a world of individualities not masses”, and rues the narrow mindedness of people in general. An artist who creates for the love of it, Mr Erber curates this show every year, whether it reaps in some profits for him or not. “Like for everyone involved, it’s a great window of visibility, and amazing platform for networking with creative people, an artistic challenge, and some very good fun!” he says.
Mr Erber, through this event, has painted an ingenious world, which supersedes anything mundane and leads viewers to expand their own perceptions, interpretations and boundaries.