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Modern Art in Thailand

Handout about the history of Modern Art in Thailand
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   THAILAND Cao, Del Castillo, Sauler, Laguardia, Lizares, Vinuya    overview  - “ Land of the Free ”; Thai = “free”; formerly “Siam”- Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonized- Constitutional Monarchy: Prime Minister serves as head of a parliamentary government and a hereditary king functions as head of state- 95% of the population are Buddhist pre-modern/traditional art - Mainly religious  artworks- Public funds invested on temples because this was the highest merit-making a Buddhist could perform in his life- Executed miniatures or model images of Buddha reflecting the very essence of faith- Conveyed: Behaviors of humans and their inner nature (emotions such as love, greediness, anger, and mercy); between the people and their enironment,  both in natural scenes and in man-made construction;  beliefs beyond reality especially the scenes showing life in hell- Primary pigments: scarlet lake, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, pipe-clay white, pot black  modernization in thailand  King Chulalongkorn  (Rama V; r. 1868-1910)- Known for his reforms and modernization of Thai land; Introduced Western culture, politics, and tech- Responsible for saving Thailand from colonization through diplomatic relations with heads of states- Brought in foreigners who were professionals in different fields (nation-building)   Modern Life & Art - Scientific and mechanical progress increased the standard of living- Remodeled and created new tastes because of dramatic change in scenery (buildings, cars, clothing, roads, etc.)- Portraiture was intoduced; homes were decorated- Art imports and foreigners working in Thailand influenced style- Construction of public/private buildings over temples- Education included fundamental and universal subjects; increased mental capacity of people  Silpa Bhirasri/Corrado Feroci - Father of modern art in Thailand- Italian “farang” invited by King Chulalongkorn- Fine Arts Department; royal sculptor: Monument of Democracy, Monument of Victory, etc.- Founded Silpakorn University: School of Fine Arts - Founded the National Art Exhibition (annual event)  western influence on thai art  Education Using Western Art Books - Universality of concepts; Western art critics said to be “hypnotizing” Thai students; Results in lack of individual character- Lack of financial support prevented publishing of Eastern art books  Styles and Techniques - A variety of styles have been formed, suggesting a struggle for individual character modern art in thailand - Artists are mostly graduates of Silpakorn University and have continued further studies abroad - Examples: Fua Haripitak, Tawee Nandakwang, Sawasdi Tantisuk, Jitr Buabusaya - Styles range from Realism  to Impressionism  (use of color and form), to geometric cubism  and abstract, and even a little of Surrealism . Artists learned to incorporate their own flair to existing Western styles through palette, brush strokes, subject matter, etc. contemporary art scene  Overview  - Combines both traditional and modern techniques- centered in Bangkok - Proliferation of several museums and galleries including: Museum of Contemporary Arts in Bangkok (MOCA), Silpa Bhirasri National Museum, Sombat Permpoon Gallery, etc.  Art in the 90s-Present Time - Military coups, protest rallies; constant social unrest- Art is reflective of political and social changes- Focus on “big issues”; gender, identity, capitalism, etc.- Rise of installation art, performance art, film, photography, etc. --> new media - Globalization; art was limited locally because of censorship but many works were big hits aborad  because of their provocative and edgy themes- The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture was established. It was in charge of sponsorships, work  shops, and festivals, etc. that would help promote Thai art locally and abroad - Bronze, stucco, wood, ivory, stone, crystal- Bronze, wood, terra cotta  pastmodern - For religious purposes, standard images of Buddha - Simplified, delicate outlines of the human body - Tempera, fresco, koi paper- Oil, water color, fresco- For religious purposes only; No vanishing point; No shadows; flat colors; Generalized landscapes- Scenes from everyday life; Realistic; Surrealist (present but uncommon); Impressionist; Portraits sculpturepainting  FUA HARIPITAK  composition, 1956, oil TAWEE NANDAKWANG suwannee, 1956, oil JITR BUABUSAYA  fuji vines arbor, 1946, oil SAWASDI TANTISUK  koh samuy village, 1999,  watercolor JIRAPAT TATSANASOMBOON composition, 1999, acrylic CHATCHAWAN AMSOMKID the aquarium, 2014, fiberglass KHIEN YIMSIRI harmony, 1959, bronze CHALERMCHAI KOSITPIPAT blessing of lord buddha, 2006 acrylic PICHAI NIRAND the end, 1960, oil SAWASDI TANTISUK   wat suhat, 1960, oil EXAMPLES OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART IN THAILAND
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