Swedish Artist Create His Own Dream Town In Thailand

Ernst Billgren has always been enticed of unexplored land. Now, he has taken
the opportunity to shape a piece of land with his own ideas, as a builder in Thailand,
writes the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
    The artist is surrounded by tractors and elephants. What has the eclectic
artist now figured out?
Answer: He is building a village, a real Billgren by. But the village will not
be named after the developer / artist, but with a more tourist-sounding name “Sea
Hill Phuket”. It is located north of the town of Phuket, in the unspoiled Bang Ko Raed area,
and will consist of about 150 houses.
    Ernst Billgren got the idea during his travels to Thailand, where he found sculptures
and worked with woodcraft.
    “I’ve seen a lot in those areas that exist and everything looks like American
suburbs, or Malaga
style with blocks of flats. It is a bit like standing in front of a new
painting, how would you like to see this flat white square look like? Then one
begins to draw on a napkin, and then it is too difficult to stop again.
    “Sea Hill Phuket” is built in close cooperation with the local population, which,
according Billgren is enthusiastic about the project. He points out that people
was keen to make the village to a natural gathering place for people from
neighbourhoods. The creation of surfaces on which activities might occur. The
environment and materials on site has been ruling the village’s design. The
architecture is made in cooperation with Swedish architecture and design
company NOD, Nature Orientation design, and is integrated into the landscape.
    A natural component may well also be said to be the area’s elephants, which
will assist the villagers as the “elephators”, a live lift to the
hill top.
    “I do not know how practical it is, but it is something pleasant to sit in your
jungle garden in the morning and see an elephant go by.
    Who will end up living in Sea Hill Phuket? Billgren says that he will not
advertise in the usual way, and those who are curious about an alternative
accommodation or want to participate in the project may find the village
through the jungle telegraph.
    It is lavish houses; there is no risk that the village becomes a foreclosed upper-class
resort?
    “I received
a proposal from a man in Hong Kong who wanted
to buy 40 of the houses but we rejected the offer. In the beginning, we have a
chance to have some kind of mix of people, but later on we will loose the
control of who will live here.
    “Big house is not something poor people can afford to live in, but we have not
come as obese white blokes and bought land and ruled everything. No. We have
worked closely with the local society all the time. There is potential it could
be a living culture.
    Will “Sea Hill” be marked by Ernst Billgren-art?
    “There is a
square, perhaps, I will make a statue there of myself on a horse”, consider
Ernst Billgren cheerfully.
    “I shall in all cases draw furnitures, so there is a certain feeling to the
details. But there will be gallery’s activities and a variety of artists who
will be invited, too. After the summer the first phase of Billgrens village will
be ready for interested people to have a look.

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