Afternoon Tea And Siamese Fighting Fish? Why Not

BANGKOK — Photographer Visarute Angkatavanich is exhibiting his famed images of Siamese fighting fish at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel until the end of May.

The exhibition, “The Beauty of Siam: Anantara Siamese Fighting Fish,” aims to present the fish through an abstract lens. Visarute is best known for his flowing images of the colorful species, which is native to Thailand and has recently been declared the national aquatic animal.

From a distance, the images appear almost as water-color paintings. Siamese fighting fish are merely an index-finger long but the 40 photos exhibited at the hotel are the size of movie posters, offering a new perspective on the aquatic animals.

At the opening of the exhibition last week, Visarute explained that he has been fascinated by ornamental fish since he was young.

“No two Siamese fighting fish are alike,” said the photographer, adding that the uniqueness extends beyond the mere colours of the fish. “They have their own character even if they came from the same parents.”

The photographer has also published a photobook dedicated to capturing the nuances of Siamese fighting fish. Unlike most other fish, claims Visarute, each Siamese fighting fish has a distinctive identity.

To complement the exhibition, the hotel has created a special afternoon tea inspired by the colorful fish. The hotel’s executive pastry chef Ajinkya Soundankar pointed out, for instance, a multi-colored swiss roll served as part of the meal.

“When it comes to pastry, you eat with the eyes before tasting,” explained the chef.

Afternoon tea is served at 850 baht per set from 2 to 6pm from Monday to Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, an afternoon tea buffet is available at 950 baht. The exhibition and special afternoon tea runs until the end of May.

The Beauty of Siam: Anantara Siamese Fighting Fish” runs 10am to midnight from now until May 31 at the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, which can be reached by a short walk from BTS Ratchadamri, exit 4. The exhibition will then be moved to the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort and Riverside Plaza and runs 10am to 10pm from June 5 to July 31. The hotel can be reached by a short taxi ride from BTS Talat Phlu.

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