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Sumet Jumsai Archive 書梅春塞檔案

[1940s]–2017
This fonds captures the work and life of Thai architect Sumet Jumsai. It comprises of 7 major architectural projects designed by Sumet Jumsai, alongside the personal collection about his companies and career. They total 4690 items (c. 800 drawings, 3200 photographic materials, 300 documents, 80 publication materials, 40 materials and 200 raw digital working files).

Sumet Jumsai categorised his own designs as ‘Contemporary Modern and Abstract Traditional’, pursuing a dialogue between ‘local cultural tradition’ and ‘modern international innovation’. But he was not confined by the narrow divergence of the East and West, as much as he was aware of the influence the two worlds had on him. Sumet deemed it more essential for architects to re-invent and move on, he said ‘You must be totally at ease with both history and the future’. Hence his works and career is reflecting a dual fasciation of ancient and modern, manifested with perhaps a ‘sanuk ’ (fun) manner.

This archive contains materials related to his significant architectural achievements. The first 7 series (CA38/1-7) represents the 7 major architectural projects M Plus Museum acquired, namely the British Council Building (1969–1970), School for the Blind (1971–1973), Science Museum (1975–1977), Bank of Asia Headquarter/Robot Building (1983-1986), Thammasat University Rangsit Campus (1984–1986), US Geodesic Dome Botanic Pavilion (1987–1988), Nation Building (1988–1991), and Nation Tower (1989-1995). These buildings are all realised projects built mostly in Bangkok, Thailand, providing a gateway into understanding the various architectural style of Sumet Jumsai and the histories of architecture in Southeast Asia beyond the story of nation-building.

Throughout his career, Sumet Jumsai undertaken over 200 projects ranging from new town, industrial estate, and other large scale planning projects for individual buildings or corporate. He accomplished with various associates across different phases: in 1967, Sumet founded the DEC Co. Ltd. with his partners in the field of design and construction; later in 1969 he founded DEC Consultants Co. Ltd., which involved more directly in design. A small partnership was formed in 1972 with the establishment of Sumet Likit Tri and Associates Co. Ltd. (SKT), which was renamed to Sumet Jumsai Associates Co. Ltd. (SJA) in 1975. At last, SJA 3D Co. Ltd. (SJA+3D) was founded in parallel to SJA in 1989. The 8th series (CA38/8) contains mostly sketches and some photographs of other 100 buildings that Sumet designed, as well as some documentations of the various firms that he founded.

The 9th series (CA38/9) is fundamentally the materials about his personal life, and of his personal collection. It comprises photographs that show his presence in multiple architectural conference and meetings, and of his personal and professional association with renowned architects around the world, such as Lim Chong Keat, Tao Ho, and Buckminster Fuller in particular.
This archive was donated to M Plus Museum in 2018. Both the physical and digital works were owned and managed by the Sumet Jumsai family before it was shipped to M Plus Museum in the same year.

As for related materials in M+ Collection, a model for Bank of Asia headquarter and The Nation Building can be found: 2018.41, 2018.42. This archive also correlates to two other fonds at the M+ Collection Archives: Randall M. Whaley Archive of Buckminster Fuller Ephemera (CA24) and Architect Team 3/Lim Chong Keat Archive (CA29). Both Buckminster Fuller and Lim Chong Keat features multiple appearances in the CA38/9 series.

Details

Object Number
CA38
Archive Creator
Archival Level
Fonds
Date
[1940s]–2017
Dimensions
4698 items
Credit Line
M+, Hong Kong. Gift of Sumet Jumsai, 2018
CA38/1

Archival material, British Council Building (1969–1970), Bangkok, Thailand

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CA38/2

Archival material, School for the Blind (1971–1973), Bangkok, Thailand

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CA38/3

Archival material, Science Museum (1975–1977), Bangkok, Thailand

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