14th February 2017 – Belmond introduced a new concept in luxury rail travel on 10th February 2017 with the unveiling of the Eastern & Oriental Express as it has never been seen before. The exterior of two of the iconic carriages of the Eastern & Oriental Express in Asia will showcase a stunning ‘rolling canvas’ by Singapore-based street artist, Rajesh Kumar that will remain on the train until 28 April 2017. Giving new meaning to ‘Art in Motion’, Belmond has worked with creative experts to curate a fully sensory experience that includes collaborating with leading mixologists ‘Cocktail Professor’ on an innovative new cocktail menu and world-class DJ & music producer, Mr Has, for a contemporary soundscape as well as introducing a relaxed dress code of ‘tropical elegance’.
Arnaud Champenois, SVP Brand & Marketing comments “Eastern & Oriental Express is an icon of luxury travel in Asia; the colonial carriages have always evoked the spirit of the golden age of travel and today, as we look to our future heritage, we are revealing a contemporary new look and feel in partnership with some of Asia’s leading creative talent.”
Art in motion
Belmond commissioned emerging artist, Rajesh Kumar, to create the one of a kind artwork – ‘The Koi Pond’ depicts the joy of travel, movement and the coming together of friends and family – the result is a visual surprise as the train weaves through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Commenting on his work: “The Koi Pond, has always been something I have been fascinated about. Throughout my journey, it had made me feel like a koi fish in a pond. The colours and vibrancy of the fish and the water that displays emotions in many and felt it would beautifully represent Eastern & Oriental Express in aspects of luxurious travels”. Rajesh Kumar, Artist.
Rajesh’s artistic style of amalgamating old and new school techniques within the context of art is a perfect combination for the Eastern & Oriental Express project. A Fine Art Graduate from Goldsmiths University of London, Rajesh has previously worked at Sundaram Tagore Gallery Singapore – renowned worldwide for representing artists such as Hiroshi Senju, Sebastiaõ Salgado and Golnaz Fathi – where he gained experience as an art handler.
Cocktails to stir the senses
Devised by leading mixologists, Cocktail Professor, the new cocktail menu takes guests on a sensory journey along the train’s route. Combining modern techniques with classic cocktail etiquette and imaginative presentation; new signature cocktails include ‘Mist of the rice paddies’ created to evoke the aroma of the mist at sunrise over the paddy fields during harvest, and ‘Malay Jungle’ using fresh natural botanicals for a green, fresh and full of life and healthy drink. Cocktail Professor creates concepts that aim to tickle the taste buds create a memorable cocktail experience.
The sound of travel
The bar car is the social hub of the train, it’s where new friends meet and raise a glass to their shared adventures in bonhomie and celebration. Music is essential to creating the right atmosphere and so Belmond has collaborated with producer and DJ, Mr Has, to curate a soundscape that sets a timeless pace and tone for the train – combing live recordings of cool jazz with uplifting future classics and deep grooves. Singapore-based Mr Has is an award-winning music DJ and champion of electric sound – the creative brief for Eastern & Oriental Express is to bring this contemporary sound into a classical environment inspiring an atmosphere of modern nostalgia.
“At Belmond, we are creating experiences that invite our guests to enjoy classical hospitality whilst immersed in modern culture – we call it ‘tradition re-imagined’.” Summarizes Mr Champenois.
Eastern & Oriental Express travels between Singapore and Bangkok on 2 and 3-night journeys from January to April and September to December carrying up to 82 passengers in all en-suite cabins. Travelling aboard the train is the perfect vantage point from which to view breathtaking scenery and to meet exceptional characters with a story to tell.
Watch a short film of the artist at work:
For full details and bookings visit www.belmond.com or call reservations on 0845 0772222.