Elephant name: Kiku
Artist: Chris Chun
Parade: UK Tour 2014
Inspiration: "Kiku is based off one of my paintings which was inspired by an antique kimono fabric I bought in Japan. One of the things I love about kimono fabrics are the rich colours, decorative embellishments and dramatic layout of patterns. I thought that my painting would look quite stunning on an elephant and in some ways, quite regal as there is a lot gold in it. After all, the elephants are majestic creatures.
I also added butterflies as they symbolise hope and freedom. It's my way of wishing for elephants to be able to live in a safe and protected environment. Last year, I had the opportunity to spend the day learning how to ride an elephant and become a mahout for the day (A mahout is a person who rides an elephant). We got to feed, bathe and look after our own elephant for the day and it was just such a magical experience. They really are incredible and gentle creatures."
All Elephant Parade replicas are carefully handcrafted in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Due to its handcrafted nature each piece is unique and might vary slightly in design.